Both the economy and the environment are complex ecosystems. Governments often upset the natural balance and cause damage because they combine limited understanding with an excessive zeal to mandate and subsidize.
USA Today reported: “The Port Authority, which operates the bridge at the heart of a New Jersey scandal, says a key appointee of Gov. Chris Christie directed the controversial closing of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge … David Wildstein and Bill Baroni, who were appointed to the Port Authority by Christie, have resigned in the wake of the scandal.”
Robert Poole is one the nation’s top experts on privatization and transportation policy reform. He has a great new Hudson Institute studyon problems with our air traffic control (ATC) system and ideas for restructuring it. The nation’s ATC system is operated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Seventy-five economists, including seven Nobel winners, have signed a letter advocating an increase in the minimum wage. The letter was preceded by a New York Times editorial on January 2 making the same argument. I assume that there will be an opposing letter shortly, probably also including some Nobel signers.
In my testimony last week to the House Oversight Committee, I focused on aid-to-state programs as a major source of waste in the federal budget.
All federal programs impose burdens on taxpaying families, and so members of Congress have a duty to weed out low-value agencies, programs, and activities on an ongoing basis.
The Department of Energy spends $29 billion per year on various schemes with a disastrous track record, often with bipartisan support. From regulations that destabilize markets, decrease domestic output and harm consumers, to subsidies that pick and choose winners and losers, this department is a perfect example of a white elephant – an expensive project of little to no useful purpose.
A lot of federal weapons were created to fight President Lyndon Johnson’s ”War on Poverty,” and some of the biggest were in education. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Higher Education Act, and Head Start are all parts of Johnson’s overall effort to end poverty and create a “Great Society.” They also share two other things in common: pretty damning evidence that they are failures, and Cato videos laying out the bad news.
Americans then need to have an adult conversation about the budget. Too many people expect to live at someone else’s expense through Washington. Which is why the nation faces financial ruin.
Wasteful spending is a fundamental problem with the way the government works. Private businesses can also make bad decisions, have cost overruns, and misallocate investments. But private markets have built-in mechanisms to minimize those problems, whereas the government does not.