July 1, 2009

GONNA NEED A BIGGER GULAG:

TAP Talks to P.J. O'Rourke: In his new collection of essays, the libertarian political satirist skewers all things government. TAP Online sat down with him to talk about being an avowed ring-winger in the Age of Obama. (Asawin Suebsaeng | July 1, 2009, American Prospect)

Considering the recent takeover of General Motors, at what point, if ever, do you see an imperative for government intervention in the private sector? I once heard you say that you were ready to nationalize the airline industry.

That was just an excuse to see all those executives sent to the Gulag. I really didn't expect any improvement in the airline industry. I just wanted the executives of the airlines sent to a prison camp for giving me one $15 package of peanuts. The airlines have been doing everything they can to destroy America's faith in free enterprise.

Is there any situation involving the economy, transportation, or even cars that warrants more significant government regulation?

Well, sure. Regulation's another matter entirely. It's a fundamental paradox of freedom: Freedom functions only within a structure of law. I mean, anyone who tells me they're anarchist, I tell them, "Go to Somalia." Any sort of Ron Paul, super-anti-government people. Timothy McVeigh, I wouldn't have executed him; I would have sent him to Mogadishu. The effect would have been the same.

You have to have a structure of law, and that includes a structure of regulatory law as well. You want to keep that regulatory law minimal and transparent, which is something I don't think the Democrats understand at all. What may be more important from a business and business-planning point of view is you want to keep it predictable. Probably the biggest sin the Democrats commit from a regulatory point of view is that they're always changing the regulations.



Posted by Orrin Judd at July 1, 2009 7:11 AM
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