- Neighborhood Effects - http://neighborhoodeffects.mercatus.org -

President calls for an end to government-granted privilege

As expected, there were a number of beautiful words [1] in the President’s Second Inaugural. In my view, the most-beautiful were:

The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges [2] of a few, or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a republic, a government of, and by, and for the people.

(Okay, so the POTUS didn’t provide a hyperlink to my Mercatus paper on government-granted privilege, but maybe the Government Printing Office will one day add one).

cronyism [3]In any case, one can only hope that this is a signal that the president has decided that the time has come to abandon government-granted privileges. No more bailouts of particular firms like GM (or, more accurately, certain of GM’s creditors [4] but not others). No more expected bailouts [5] that allow firms like Fannie Mae to borrow at significantly lower interest rates than their competitors. No more subsidies to farmers [6]. No more regulations that require [7] consumers to buy certain products such as health insurance. No more tax breaks for manufacturers [8] just because they make things rather than provide services. No more loan guarantees for certain energy firms [9] because they make politically correct products. No more monopoly status for the USPS. No more price supports for sugar producers or tariffs that benefit domestic makers of solar panels [10].

Hopefully, this signals a new era of non-discriminatory democracy. I won’t hold my breath.