There are some things that can be endured only with irony, or a lot of drink (and I don’t drink).
Last night, as I listened to Barack Hussein Obama’s fifth “State of the Union” Address, I chose irony:
Obama just said he wants a smarter government, not a bigger one. So, surely, the new slogan will be: FREEZE GOVERNMENT SPENDING! Washington Will Simply Work Smarter for the Same Money! Now we’re united. Go Obama!
Live-blogging on Facebook in this manner allowed me to breeze through the rest of the tedium pretty well: my blood pressure didn’t rise one bit.
But this “smarter government” theme is actually a serious issue.
The problem with current government is not the IQs of the folks in our bureaucracies or running for office. The problem is the systemic effects of the incentives and disincentives that modern, barely limited government present to us all. We don’t need smarter government to improve conditions, we need wiser governance. And the wise person knows when to leave well enough alone.
Actually, there’s a lot of intelligence out there. And knowledge. But these are dispersed amongst “We, the People.” Government concentrates power, but it cannot concentrate knowledge or IQ in any multiplicative way. When people live under the right incentives — as provided by liberty and the rule of law — they become more responsible, they learn from their mistakes, and they even achieve some great things.
Government must learn to back off to allow this — or at least freeze spending!
I wonder if President Obama is smart enough, wise enough, to learn that.
Probably not as long as enough people laud him for saying inane things about “smart government.”
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.