Today’s the traditional day for New Year’s “Resolutions,” but instead of resolutions, how about some solutions?
Sure, Thomas Sowell has sagely reminded: there are no solutions in social life, only trade-offs.
But, utopian perfection aside, let’s agree that some changes would be better than others, and, let us resolve to solve some nagging problems — or at least trade up. And since the really nagging problems are political . . .
For Republicans: this could be the year to give up on government as society’s chief moral agent, empowered to regulate everybody’s medicine cabinets and bloodstreams. End the failed War on Drugs, with legalizing marijuana the simplest first step. Vice will continue, as it always has. But it’s another kind of vice to think that force, policing and imprisoning folks, will “solve” the problem. Much less even reduce the availability of drugs.
For Democrats: this could be the year to give up on government as micromanager of markets — and people’s marketplace choices. Face it: folks will make decisions that liberals don’t like. They’ll eat at McDonalds and buy large sodas — and the wrong stocks. And guns! But adding to the mass of regulations doesn’t make consumers choose better, it makes stuff more expensive and business less open to competition. Indeed, almost all the regulations designed to help “the little guy” backfire, helping big business by hobbling their upstart competitors.
Our leaders, at present, cannot even balance budgets. They are addicted to debt. To pretend we must have more and more government to prevent our addictions or save us from personal debt is ludicrous.
Can we resolve to stop pretending that bigger government is always the solution?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.