Thursday, July 7, 2016

Hillary Clinton May Have Impressive Power to Avoid the Law But She Can't Avoid Economic Reality

Here’s a Don Boudreaux letter to the Wall Street Journal:
The language of reporting often masks more than it reveals.  Consider your report that “Hillary Clinton is expanding her college plan to offer free tuition to millions of families” (“Hillary Clinton Expanding College Plan to Offer Free Tuition to Millions,” July 6).  As stated, Ms. Clinton’s plan seems so innocent; indeed, it almost seems as if she’ll use her own funds to pay the tuition bills of millions of families.
Of course, such innocence is an illusion created by the habit of reporting on government expenditures as if the only people involved are the grateful recipients of the expenditures and the magnanimous politicians who arrange the expenditures.
Yet despite Ms. Clinton’s impressive power to avoid the law, even she has no power to avoid economic reality.  Therefore, a more accurate report would read “Hillary Clinton is expanding her plan to force some Americans to pay all the tuition expenses of other Americans.”
In addition to being more clear, this statement has the merit both of, first, avoiding the mistaken impression that collegiate instruction can be made free merely by relieving students or their families of the obligation to pay their tuition directly, and, second, reminding readers that ‘plans’ (What a sweet word!) such as Ms. Clinton’s involve extracting money from other people using threats of violence.
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
The above originally appeared at Cafe Hayek.

1 comment:

  1. Hillary Clinton Could Get Away With Murder – Defining Deviance Down

    The FBI’s announcement that it won’t recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton is not only a stunning repudiation of the rule of law, it’s a coronation of American royalty. The FBI told us that Hillary broke the law, but that it’s of no consequence because she, like a queen (or king), is above the law.

    You don’t need to look beyond the four corners of the very FBI announcement that exonerates Clinton to see that she committed a crime carrying up to a 10-years sentence in prison. The FBI’s internal inconsistency—concluding that Clinton is above the very law that the FBI just finished showing that Clinton violated—is a glaring rejection of the rule of law, and a formal adoption of a legal system premised on royalty.

    What’s so noteworthy is how far the FBI went out of its way to make it clear that while Hillary Clinton is above the law, the rest of us remain very much at its mercy (like serfs in a kingdom).

    Before showing as much, let’s be clear about what the rule of law is, and about its mortal enemy, the rule of kings. When it comes to governance, there are two and only two systems. They are mutually exclusive. Either the law is reigns supreme over the land, or men do. It’s one or the other.

    Since its inception, the U.S. has self-identified as a nation of laws, not of men. The U.S., of course, has never lived up to this impossibly perfect ideal, but there is no dispute whatsoever that the rule of law is the reigning ideal against which justice is measured. The negation of the rule of law is the reign of a king (or queen).

    The American implementation of the rule of law has several corollaries, including:

    Without rule of law is it even possible to have capitalism and free markets???