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March 03, 2009


Who, with any widespread credibility, can say that anything being done isn't being done because of the 'crisis'? The US has entered a political 'happy death spiral' where anything is possible as long as it's a plausible response to the 'crisis'. The real crisis is that there are now no clear rules, only jockeying for position at court.

I can think of one striking example - after Hurricane Katrina the New Orleans education system was rebuilt with a strong reliance on charter schools, as well as a smaller scale voucher program. In this instance, a terribly corrupt and underperforming govenmental institution (Orleans Parish School Board) was dismantaled in the wake of a crisis.

Take care,


historical reductions or limitations in government, crisis or not:

fall of the USSR
welfare reform (maybe)
term limits
end of Prohibition
shrunk militaries
California's Prop 13
bills of rights

Assurance contracts are interest; I swung from libertarian/semi-anarcho-capitalist to social democrat largely on the problems of externalities and public goods. Though also on concentration of wealth, and the fact that modern Westerners seem unwilling to just let people die at the point of need of food or health care, and that reluctance undermines exclusionary social insurance in those goods. Still, demonstrating assurance contracts working at large scales would help reduce the scope of government action.

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