The Descent of Government

Over the past couple weeks I’ve run across two charts, which demonstrate beyond a shadow of doubt, that government meddling just does not change fundamental behavior. Although I only collect two charts here, I was thinking that some bright person with more time might be able to collect more such charts, and present a case exactly the opposite of that shown in the illustrious Ascent of Man documentary. Like the latter half of the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, the Descent of Government would document how government interference is costly, counter-productive, ineffective, and economically ruinous. It would also chronicle the verbiage used by government to support policies and spending programs which have the opposite of their intended effect and the steps of interference and power grabs that governments enact during the decline and the justifications for each move.

First, a chart from Neal McCluskey at Cato. His article, Federal Education Results Prove the Framers Right that the federal government should have no role in education. Remember, the stagnant test scores are in spite of the popular belief that standards have been falling since my parents were in school.

Second, a chart from Matt Groff, who is working on a documentary about the infamous “War on Drugs”. He explains that the $15 trillion is the sum total of “many more costs, including state level costs, prison costs, lost productivity costs due to incarceration and others”. However, because the addiction rate has been stagnant, we can see that all the intrusive activity, the raids, the searches, the threat of imprisonment, have very little effect.

Now. Can we please stop trying to force other people to behave a certain way? For the good of us all, can’t we just cease with the coercion?