On Why We Are Told that We Are the Government and the Government Is Us

Read Kevin Vallier on the subject, as he responds to Barack Obama's claims that "the government is us," and makes a host of interesting points in response, including the following: To vindicate the idea that the government “is us” in some interesting fashion requires a lot of heavy philosophical lifting. You have to do all of the following: …

Want More Affordable Housing to Help the Working Poor?

You may not want to wait for government to help you out: Rob Justus isn’t waiting for somebody at City Hall to pat him on the back, but he is wondering why nobody has. Housing officials have noted Portland is about 12,000 units shy of low-income housing, and the lack of low-rent living spaces is …

When Regulations Attack . . . and Small Government Advocates Are Responsible

I understand that certain regulations are necessary to prevent fraud, or to ensure that a certain class of individuals aren't made eligible for a certain class of benefits. But I am with Will Baude and Jacob Levy, who criticize the fact that in the latest farm bill, small-government advocates (Republicans, specifically) have helped ensure the existence …

The Nanny State at Work

Was this really necessary? The cupcake empire Chloe Stirling built out of her home kitchen has come crumbling down after Illinois health officials said the sixth-grader wasn't in compliance with local laws. Chloe, 11, said she was told by health officials in Madison County, Ill., that if she wants to continue selling cupcakes she will …

George Will Urges Us to Read Ilya Somin

A good idea: It was naughty of Winston Churchill to say, if he really did, that “the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” Nevertheless, many voters’ paucity of information about politics and government, although arguably rational, raises awkward questions about concepts central to democratic theory, including consent, representation, public …

The Very Meddlesome Robert Reich

Kevin Williamson reads Robert Reich so that the rest of us don't have to, and discovers that Reich has decided that he is in the very best position possible to tell people how to make charitable donations. Reich's stance seems to herald something of a new development in the port-side creed; evidently, not only should the …

Your Government at Work

The next time someone tells you that a larger, more intrusive federal bureaucracy is just what the doctor ordered, refer that someone to this: Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Director George Cohen is resigning only days after learning he is a target of a congressional inquiry spurred by a Washington Examiner series. The Examiner series reported that FMCS employees spent …

I’ll Know that We Live In a Small Government World . . .

When the federal government doesn't arbitrarily move to destroy businesses like 23andMe. Incidentally, I find the following to be a very good question: Is it relevant that governments themselves, through their law enforcement agencies, run elaborate saliva-, blood- and DNA-collection operations that are hedged with few of the protections of voluntariness, privacy and openness that one finds with 23andMe? You can, of course, …

Yes Virginia, Regulatory Uncertainty Is Very Real

Remember the controversy over whether businesses would suffer as a consequence of regulatory uncertainty? Those in favor of large government assured us that regulatory uncertainty was like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster; it just was not real, so we could regulate to our hearts' content. The Obama administration denied that regulatory uncertainty existed, as did …