Let the Government Drive Your Car?

“Leave the driving to us!”

Automobile and traffic experts recently told the government to slow way, way down in its push to put us all into driverless, computer-guided cars ( http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SELF_DRIVING_CARS_CAUTION?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-04-08-15-37-19 ).

Granted, there are an awful lot of people who shouldn’t be allowed even to touch a steering wheel. But as always the government favors a one-size-fits-all approach. For the sake of the ninnies who are a menace on the highway, they want all the cars to be “self-driving.”

Because that way they can hook your car up with Big Brother and then they can control it instead of you.

The experts warned the National Highway Safety Administration that the robo-cars are not anywhere near as safe as the government thinks they are: there are still a lot of bugs in the system.

Do you think our beloved leaders care if the cars are safe or not? The very idea of exerting that much control over ordinary people’s ordinary lives is, to them, pure ecstasy.

Tell you what. Let’s save tons of time and effort, and ask our beloved rulers just to list the things they don’t want to control.

You could probably fit it onto the back of a fortune cookie slip.

Terrible TV… and Public Policy

Over the years, there has been a lot of really awful television. Here’s an example of one of the many lists on the Internet devoted to “the 50 worst TV shows of all time,” http://itscoolweb.blogspot.com/2008/10/real-50-worst-tv-shows-of-all-time.html .

I’ve never had cable TV, so I missed a lot of the shows on the list. But some are too notorious ever to be forgotten. Mrs. Columbo… Cop Rock… Manimal… My Mother the Car… Celebrity Boxing… and many others. I never saw Cop Rock, but this 1990 debacle is described as “a police drama presented as a musical.” Yeeeh–it lasted for 11 episodes.

Now, nobody in Hollywood sets out purposely to fail. It costs a lot of money. Before any of these horrible shows was launched, people who supposedly knew what they were doing held conferences, consulted potential sponsors, discussed writing and casting, and produced some preliminary writing and footage that they could all look at to see if they were on the right track. And yet, with all that preparation, they could still come up with something like Mrs. Columbo, described by several reviewers as “putrid” and “unwatchable,” which went through three or four changes of the title, which started out as a blatant Columbo rip-off but then abandoned every pretense of having anything to do with the original Columbo character–all this in the mere 13 weeks of the show’s existence.

Now please think about this. If it’s that hard to create a successful TV show, and that easy to create a bomb, with professional television people calling all the shots–how hard must it be to create successful public policy?

If the bunch we’ve got running our country now were running a TV studio, they’d be cranking out  Mrs. Columbo.

Of course, it’s easy to avoid a bad TV show. But how can anyone avoid bad public policy? My Mother the Car only hurt those who produced and sponsored it. Obamacare hurts the whole country.

Setting aside for the moment the inborn depravity of man, and his perpetual vulnerability to all kinds of temptation, the history of TV bombs should be enough, in and of itself, to warn us off giving great, unchecked power to anyone.

Bad TV gets canceled.

Bad public policy goes on forever.

Generous Cheapskates

This week the good people of New Jersey voted to automatically increase the minimum wage every year.

Now, why did they do this? Don’t they know that when the minimum wage is high, minimum wage jobs become scarce? It’s a fact: minimum wage increases depress the job market. Were Jersey voters trying to do that on purpose?

No–the explanation’s simpler than that.

The voters simply couldn’t resist the temptation to do something that seemed to be generous and which, if they did it, would make them feel good about themselves. “I am generous! What a nice guy I am–I raised the minimum wage!” Nothing makes an American feel more self-righteous than to give away something that he doesn’t own and which he thinks costs him nothing.

What happens after 20 years or so of automatic minimum wage increases? Hmmm… gonna be kinda high, ain’t it? I mean, would you pay some teenager $30 an hour to pick up litter from your parking lot? And if the minimum wage is that high, then “standard” wages will be even higher–to say nothing of a “good” wage.

Either our money will be so debased by then that $30 an hour won’t be enough to live on, or wages in New Jersey will be so high that no one will be able to afford to hire anybody to do anything.

But it’s nice to be generous.

More Global Warming Mischief

While everyone was occupied with the boiling disaster that is Obamacare, the Worst President Ever issued yet another executive order on Friday, Nov. 1. This peach is entitled, “Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change.”

And the way we do that, boys and girls, is… can you guess?… to give the federal government more power! Because if the schmendricks in Washington get enough power, they’ll control the weather and protect us from Global Warming. (See the report from GOP USA, Nov. 4, on Free Republic.)

They will Save the Planet by setting up a special “climate change task force” of progs and ninnies, and by giving the federal government more control of land use and resource policies. By “federal government” they mean the President, especially.

Seeing the terrific job they’re doing, controlling health care, we don’t see why they shouldn’t be allowed to control the weather, too.

Can you imagine the “climate policy” equivalent of Obamacare?

They should’ve run this out for Halloween! It would’ve given everybody a damned good scare.