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Appropriate Respect

My friend and co-blogger at Market Correction, Andy Morriss, sent this letter recently to the Wall Street Journal:

Jeffrey Shapiro bemoans the disrespectful treatment of Pres.
George W. Bush, listing examples including San Franciscans’ efforts to
rename a sewage treatment plant after him (“The Treatment of Bush Has
Been a Disgrace,” Nov. 5, 2008). Although I disagree with their
assessment of the Bush presidency, I applaud the San Franciscans.  We
spend far too much money and time honoring politicians.  Such honors are
often the rewards for dubious services. How many of your readers can name the vital
contributions to our nation that inspired the naming of San Jose, California’s
Norman Y. Mineta International Airport, for example?

Let’s name more sewage treatment plants, toxic waste
dumps, and landfills after our elected officials while building fewer monuments
to their glory. That might get us a better class of politicians, less focused
on their “legacies” and building pyramids to their eternal
glory.  And I suspect George W. Bush, a man who seems quite at peace with
his own place in history, wouldn’t mind a bit. Since he’s built in
Crawford, Texas the most environmentally friendly home of any of our living ex-presidents
or ex-vice presidents, he might even approve.

Andrew P. Morriss
H. Ross & Helen Workman Professor of Law and Business
University of Illinois


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