Some ‘public policy’ thoughts …
From Jeff Deist, president of the Mises Institute:
“’To seek to organize society is just as crazy as it would be to tear a living plant to bits in order to make a new one out of the dead parts.’
“(Ludwig von) Mises’s enduring quote from ‘Socialism,’ written in 1922, neatly encapsulates the evil behind the concept of public policy.
“The public is an abstraction, consisting only of the aggregated actions of individuals. No person or group is fit to decide what policies should apply to each individual.
“Just as housing policy, energy policy, agricultural policy and the like are all bunk, the summation of various issues into an overarching public policy approach is bunk.
“Simply put, nobody should be making policies for your life.”
From Calvin Coolidge:
“Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.”
From Albert Jay Nock:
“It is unfortunately none too well understood that, just as the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. All the power it has is what society gives it, plus what it confiscates from time to time on one pretext or another; there is no other source from which State power can be drawn.
“Therefore, every assumption of State power, whether by gift or seizure, leaves society with so much less power. There is never, nor can there be, any strengthening of State power without a corresponding and roughly equivalent depletion of social power.”
From Winston Churchill:
“I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”
From Barry Goldwater:
“I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom.
“My aim is not to pass laws but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden.
“I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is ‘needed’ before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible.”
From Lord Acton:
“There are many things the government can’t do, many good purposes it must renounce. It must leave them to the enterprise of others. It cannot feed the people. It cannot enrich the people. It cannot teach the people.”
From Will Rogers:
“I don’t make jokes. I just watch government and report the facts.”
Some public policy thoughts to ponder in advance of summer — and in advance of “progressive” public policy makers recharging their batteries (with solar panels and wind turbines?) to return in the fall to promote, as contrarian lexicographer Ambrose Bierce once put it (in “The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary”), “a strife of (political) interests masquerading as a contest of principles.”
Colin McNickle is communications and marketing director at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy (firstname.lastname@example.org).