Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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President calls for an end to government-granted privilege

As expected, there were a number of beautiful words in the President’s Second Inaugural. In my view, the most-beautiful were:

The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few, or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a republic, a government of, and by, and for the people.

(Okay, so the POTUS didn’t provide a hyperlink to my Mercatus paper on government-granted privilege, but maybe the Government Printing Office will one day add one).

cronyismIn any case, one can only hope that this is a signal that the president has decided that the time has come to abandon government-granted privileges. No more bailouts of particular firms like GM (or, more accurately, certain of GM’s creditors but not others). No more expected bailouts that allow firms like Fannie Mae to borrow at significantly lower interest rates than their competitors. No more subsidies to farmers. No more regulations that require consumers to buy certain products such as health insurance. No more tax breaks for manufacturers just because they make things rather than provide services. No more loan guarantees for certain energy firms because they make politically correct products. No more monopoly status for the USPS. No more price supports for sugar producers or tariffs that benefit domestic makers of solar panels.

Hopefully, this signals a new era of non-discriminatory democracy. I won’t hold my breath.