Sunday, March 18, 2012

Who Speaks for the Muppets?

On Small Government

Muppets Waldorf and Statler
 ~ David Rothkopf, ex-Clinton Administration official and Seattle WTO attendee in a Grist interview:
I love it when Ron Paul says, “If we get rid of government, freedom will sweep right in.” That’s just not what happens. What happens is that a bunch of elephants stampede in because they’re in a position to take advantage of it. Meanwhile, if you get government out of the way, the people who need government, they don’t have it.

There’s this myth that government doesn’t belong in the marketplace. If that were true, there would be no canals, no railroads, no highways, no internet. The government was a critical partner in many of the biggest innovations in U.S. history.

But if you buy into that for 20 or 30 years, and you say, “smaller government, smaller government programs,” who gets squeezed by that? It’s the cities. And the problem is that, as that happens, it accelerates. Kids drop out of school. Neighborhoods decay. Businesses leave. The tax base goes down. Cops get fired. Teachers get fired. It’s a cycle of pain.
The small government types don't like the comparison, but the question begs an answer: how does what they propose differ from Somalia?

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