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So You Want to Give More Power to the Government?

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See that picture above? It was taken inside a state-run psychiatric hospital–a facility recently abandoned and left to rust and rot. In fact, if you search for “images of abandoned psychiatric hospitals,” you’ll find a whole photo gallery.

Here’s another abandoned hospital, on the outside. Nice, isn’t it? And inside it’s full of metal and plastic and equipment and furniture that could have been salvaged, and should have been–but wasn’t.

Before we surrender absolute power to the government (so they can Save the Planet, or achieve Social Justice, or whatever), maybe we ought to take a closer look at what governments do with the power they already have.

In my home town some years ago, they decided they needed to expand the middle school. So they spent two years building a great big extension, at a cost of millions of dollars. And  very shortly afterward–while we were still paying for it!–they decided that they didn’t need the building after all, and shut it down. (So first we expand the schools, and then, almost immediately afterward, we contract them. Some folks just can’t make up their minds.) They left it shut down for a few years, refusing to do any maintenance, so they could later plead that the building–which we were still paying for!–was now unusable, might as well sell the property and let the school be torn down so we can have some more condos.

At least if some developer’s bright idea goes belly-up, he’s stuck with the tab. Knowing that, the private sector does try to avoid disastrous money-losing schemes.

But we are on the hook for government’s disastrous money-losing schemes.

And please don’t forget how efficiently government protects New Orleans from hurricanes.



 

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