Past and Future

The worst shame of Bush – worse than the spending, the new agencies, the torture, or the wars – is that he used so much pro-liberty and pro-free-market rhetoric in the very process of destroying those institutions. That makes his actions ten times worse than if an avowed socialist had done the same thing. People will blame the full suite of disasters Bush caused on the free market simply because Bush constantly said he believed in it.

And he’s left OBAMA! with a fantastic starting point for what I expect to be even greater intrusions into your life and finances. Eventually, the Bush era will look like The Good Old Days. But only in the way that the Romans looked back with nostalgia on Tiberius and Claudius after they got Caligula. And then Nero. And then the first of many imperial coups and civil wars.

via Casey Research | Library | Articles.

This analysis of the Bush administration is a little over the top, but it makes an interesting point: the cost of many Bush-era initiatives far exceeded the benefits. The cost I refer to is not just the monetary cost: violation of principle causes costs that multiply through the years. So many of our problems today come from decisions made decades ago, decisions that seemed sensible and pragmatic, but that violated important principles. Sadly, I know of no historical case where societies, having started down the wrong road, were able to reverse course. Our best hope may be to keep things from getting too bad too quickly – and that’s challenging enough!

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