The Justice Department Monday announced that it is resuming a controversial practice that allows local police departments to funnel a large portion of assets seized from citizens into their own coffers under federal law....
Daily Archive: March 30, 2016
While there are a lot of things on the parties’ agendas that primarily benefit the educated, there are very few that primarily benefit people who aren’t like us. The implicit assumption of elites in both parties is that the solution for the rest of the country is to become more like us, either through education or entrepreneurship. Rarely does anyone discuss how we might build an economy that works for people who aren’t like us and don’t want to turn into us.
Whatever your position on minimum wages in general, it shouldn’t be controversial to acknowledge that those minimums affect different regions in different ways. Rich urban areas whose economies are driven by high-margin professional and knowledge businesses will fare better than poorer regions, or those whose economies depend on nationally or globally competitive manufacturing and agriculture.
Unfortunately some of those poorer regions are at the mercy of urban policy makers. Big states like California and New York combine a large and politically powerful urban population with a much poorer rural population that cannot afford the kinds of government interventions that the urban voters want. Policy gets made for the big, powerful urban populations, who don’t know, or necessarily much care, whether that smothers the local economy of their rural counterparts.
If we’re going to try these sorts of experiments, we should try them slowly, with ample time to evaluate their effects, and with an understanding that the results in some places may not generalize well to others. Instead, legislators increasingly seem to be opting for quick blanket solutions that may deal crippling blows to local economies that can ill afford them.
Because of neglect of the role of the broader role of citizenship, Americans can blame themselves for the unenlightened bitterness and abject stagnation of politics. We can do better, but it will require a renewed interest in achieving common things instead of individual victories. It will require taking our job as participants in a democracy more seriously.