Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Both the politics of “getting what we want” and the politics of reasonable principles — too often two very different things — rely, ultimately, upon the local, upon voters in actual communities.

In a review of a book with the provocative title How Local Politics Shapes Federal Policy, economist Robert Meiners considers the political economy of America’s most famous dam:

[M]ultiple states wrestled for control of the multi-state Colorado River and for control of the electricity that might be generated. When there is a pot of gold on the table, the stakes are high. Eastern interests opposed the dam. The rhetoric was about “states’ rights” . . . but likely had more to do with eastern members of the legislature seeing no benefit, only costs, for themselves. Again, assuming the dam had net benefits, there is no reason the national government needed to be involved in a project that provide benefits to six states at best.

The book’s author tells the story in terms of ideology, but the reviewer counters that it looks, to him, “more like traditional rent-seeking and logrolling. . . .” Our folks in Congress “constantly think about how to satisfy local interests at the expense of non-local taxpayers,” and that’s certainly the current problem.

And here ideology comes back into the picture. If you think that some people’s lives or property should be sacrificed for some other people’s lives and property, then the ultimate result is the mess we have today. Voters have little option but to take a stand and “ideologically” place limits on politicians and their very own selves.

In our limits, our liberty.

Lacking those limits, we’re each others’ hosts and leeches.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

2 Comments

  1. Brian Wright says:

    Interesting history, Paul. Who was it, Bastiat, who stated, “The state is the fiction by which everyone seeks to live at the sacrifice of everyone else.” Sounds like something out of a Randian novel. By the way, Atlas Shrugged II due out in October? (http://www.atlasshruggedpart2.com/)… just in time for the defeat of the Obamanon. bw

  2. Brian Wright says:

    Happened to glance at the famous words of Patrick Henry on your sidebar, Paul. Still stirs the blood, doesn’t it? Most assuredly the time has come for Independence II (http://brianrwright.com/CoffeeCoasterBlog/?p=376) and we shall need all our resolve and inspiration to accomplish it.

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