AEIdeas

The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

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Discussion: (18 comments)

  1. Dan in Philly

    “Government” is not a person, but those in goverment are, and they are the greedy ones. The more power you give to “government” the more abuse by those in goverment to enrich themselves and their kin.

  2. MP: I’d add “civil forfeiture laws” and the government’s ongoing assaults on private property as more examples of “government greed.”

    Exhibit A: The Drug Enforcement Agency wants to use a $37 sale of weeds to seize a law-abiding couple’s $1.5 million retirement-investment office building in California.

    An excellent posting Mark.

  3. Che is dead

    “To be a masterful politician you have to have a lot of brass. It takes an incredible amount of brass for Bill Clinton, who was the biggest factor in creating the housing boom that led to the bust that brought down the whole economy, [to blame Republicans for that crisis]. It was during the Clinton administration that the federal government forced lenders to change their lending standards, which had been in place for decades and had made real estate one of the safest investments around, to bring those standards down in order that they could get the numbers that they wanted for low income, minority mortgage applicants. Attorney General Janet Reno, under Clinton, threatened lenders with legal action from the Justice Department if their numbers – in terms of minority groups and income levels of people who were approved – didn’t fit her preconceptions. The Housing and Urban Development programme, under Clinton, made law suits against lenders, charging them with racial discrimination based solely upon statistics. The government was forcing people to lower the lending standards that had existed for years, and [afterwards] they said, “Well, the problem was greed.” You don’t satisfy greed by lending to people who can’t pay you back.”Thomas Sowell

    1. That is what all governments do; meddle in the economy and force people to do what they would not have chosen to do voluntarily. Which is why you need at most minimal government and at best, a voluntary society.

  4. Che is dead

    “Politicians never accuse you of ‘greed’ for wanting other people’s money – only for wanting to keep your own money.” — Joseph Sobran

  5. I’d add the way states behave in the face of Medicaid’s matching formula: http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisconover/2013/02/12/should-states-expand-medicaid-the-moral-calculus-part-ii/

  6. Jon Murphy

    I never understood why the idea of government greed is so controversial. All Public Choice theory is is an application of widely accepted and agreed-upon economic principles (the crude version: everyone wants to make a buck) and applying them to politics.

    There is no reason to think that just because someone is elected/appointed, they suddenly transcend above us mere morals and no longer care about their well-being or are no longer susceptible to sin. After all, CEOs are voted upon, yet they are still seen as “greedy.”

    1. Exactly. People are all the same whether in business or government, yet those in government are assumed to “Do the right thing”.

  7. Citizen B.

    Where is this $37.00 medical-marijuana property seizure taking place?

    Anaheim, home to …

    Kush Expo, the “WORLD\’S BIGGEST Medical Marijuana Mega Show”.

    1. Jon Murphy

      Just want to point out: medical marijuana is legal in California.

      1. Citizen B.

        Yes, but is it not ironic that local authorities provide the investigation, upon which federal authorities pursue a seizure case, in the same jurisdiction as Kush Expo?

        1. Jon Murphy

          Extremely ironic.

      2. Of course it is. Just ask Angel Raich about that.

    2. Cit B.

      The difference, of course, is that Anaheim PD doesn’t stand to gain financially by the oddly cannibalistic act of aiding in the seizure of the city owned convention center, in fact I’m sure heads would roll.

      On the other hand, a $1.5 commercial building owned by people with no political clout is easy pickings.

      See the Caswell Motel post for a similar story.

  8. In addition to civil forfeiture, add civil tort immunity laws, placing them above everyone else when they commit acts of negligence.

  9. PeakTrader

    The couple make a good deterrent for others.

    1. PeakTrader

      Some people want to promote drugs and some people want to deter drugs.

  10. Benjamin Cole

    I am sure there is no greed in the $1 trillion a year we spend on national “security.”

    Add up the budgets of Defense, VA Homeland Security and something called “Defense-Civilian.”

    You get $1 trillion.

    I am not even adding on interest on war debts or agency outlays financed by borrowing….

    Hey, no greed, then no need—for the $1 trillion that is….

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