LinkSwarm for January 9, 2012

Like a squirrel hording nuts for winter, I’ve set aside a few tasty links for you to chew on:

  • George Will offers up a masterful column on why big government actually increases, rather than decreases, inequality.

    Liberals have a rendezvous with regret. Their largest achievement is today’s redistributionist government. But such government is inherently regressive: It tends to distribute power and money to the strong, including itself.

    Government becomes big by having big ambitions for supplanting markets as society’s primary allocator of wealth and opportunity. Therefore it becomes a magnet for factions muscular enough, in money or numbers or both, to bend government to their advantage.

    Not only does redistributionist government direct wealth upward; in asserting a right to do so, it siphons power into itself. A puzzling aspect of our politically contentious era is how little contention there is about the ethics of coercive redistribution by progressive taxation and other government “corrections” of social outcomes it considers unethical or unaesthetic.

    This reticence, in an age in which political reticence is rare, reflects the difficulty of articulating principled defenses of these practices. They go undefended because they are generally popular with a public that misunderstands their net effects and because the practices are the political class’s vocation today. The big winners from these practices are that class and the interests adept at collaborating with it.

    Government uses redistribution to correct social outcomes that offend it. But government rarely explains, or perhaps even recognizes, the reasoning by which it decides why particular outcomes of consensual market activities are incorrect. When taxes are levied not to efficiently fund government but to impose this or that notion of distributive justice, remember: Taxes are always coerced contributions to government, which is always the first, and often the principal, beneficiary of them.

    Call it The Dennis Moore Effect. “He steals from the poor, and gives to the rich…”

  • Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindel makes the case for Rick Perry:

  • Mark Styen on the left’s idea of empathy: “In 2008, the Left gleefully mocked Sarah Palin’s live baby. It was only a matter of time before they moved on to a dead one.”
  • Speaking of Steyn, here are his wishes for a Happy New Year in his usual gloomy, depressing, acerbic way.
  • And speaking still further of Steyn, he once noted that China will get old before it gets rich. And just what is it like to be old in China now? It really sucks. It turns out Communism’s claims of taking better care of the helpless was just as big a lie as all communism’s other claims…
  • “Detroit is Ground Zero for the breakdown of the Blue Social Model.
  • There are at least 28 different drug cartels the Mexican government is fighting. (Hat tip: Bruce Sterling)
  • How Clinton’s FBI tried to entrap Newt Gingrich. (Hat tip: Sipsey Street.
  • A fuller list of speakers for Saddle Up Texas. Dick Armey and some of the U.S. reps certainly add some luster to the proceedings. I still don’t see anyone ponying up $20,000 to be a top-level sponsor. Or $1,000 for a booth.
  • Hat tips: Real Clear Politics, Insta, Ace.

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