A had this book a while and thought that it would be a good one to follow The Law by Frederic Bastiat reviewed last week. Although published fifteen years ago The Death of Common Sense provides a direct insight into the substitution of common sense for bureaucracy in America. Common sense and responsibility is replaced with tens of thousands of pages of rules that promote inaction rather than progress. Having worked for many years in government I can attest to the ability of civil servants to skillfully avoid decisions contrary to the letter of the regulation even though they make complete sense.
Posts Tagged ‘frederic bastiat’
Just a few days ago I commented on my desire for Americans to learn more about economics. I also finished the post adding the need to learn about history. The writings of Frederic Bastiat prove this second point. Bastiat died in 1850 yet 160 years after his death words speak to many of the issues that we encounter today.
In The Law, written shortly before his death, Bastiat makes a compelling case that law in France at the time was being misused to commit legal plunder. Laws passed that allow government to take from one person and give it to other persons to whom it does not belong do not change the fact that something is TAKEN from the first person or plundered. The passage of such laws make the plunder legal. We most recognize this plunder in the form of taxes.
About a year ago I was asked to participate on a committee (I know yikes a committee) from our local school district. The idea was to pull together the community to work with district personnel to better prepare students for college and working life. Our district has an outstanding track record in academics and that is one of the main reasons that we moved here long before we had children of school age. At one of the first meetings we brainstormed about topics where more emphasis was needed to better prepare our children.
Frederic Bastiat was an infamous economist from France. Bastiat was infamous because he was able to show the fallacies behind many government and false economic policies and he often did it with humor. One of my favorite tactics that he uses is to take an economic argument to the extreme to expose the fallacy. I have used this to “silence” the naïve. I love it when they finally “get it.”
If you follow my posts, you probably know that I like economics. I my travels I had heard about a French writer, Claude Frederic Bastiat who cleverly exposes economic sophisms. I had thought that sophisms were similar to myths, but a sophism actually is meant to deceive. I have come to believe that most of the economic drivel that we are fed is meant to fool us while allowing those in power to tinker with our future.
Tinkering is bad.
The events surrounding the AIG bailouts, fallouts and now hearings made me think of an episode of the animated series The Simpsons. You will have to give me a little leeway to develop this concept.
The episode (Bart the Mother – 1998) featured a storyline where Bart accidentally killed a robin only to find the abandoned nest full of eggs. He becomes obsessed with hatching and raising the birds. When the eggs hatch, he is surprised that the young are not robins, but an invasive lizard species that replaces bird eggs with its own eggs.
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