Ignorance May Not Be So Blissful

This piece originally appeared in The Washington Post and at WashingtonPost.com Wednesday, 1 January 2014, under the byline of George Will.

 

George Will

It was naughty of Winston Churchill to say, if he really did, that “the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” Nevertheless, many voters’ paucity of information about politics and government, although arguably rational, raises awkward questions about concepts central to democratic theory, including consent, representation, public opinion, electoral mandates and officials’ accountability.

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Calvin Coolidge and the Moral Case for Economy

by Amity Shlaes
Author, Coolidge

The following is adapted from a talk given at Hillsdale College on January 27, 2013, during a conference on “The Federal Income Tax: A Centenary Consideration,” co-sponsored by the Center for Constructive Alternatives and the Ludwig von Mises Lecture Series

Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College.

Ronald ReaganWith the federal debt spiraling out of control, many Americans sense an urgent need to find a political leader who is able to say “no” to spending. Yet they fear that finding such a leader is impossible. Conservatives long for another Ronald Reagan. But is Reagan the right model? He was of course a tax cutter, reducing the top marginal rate from 70 to 28 percent. But his tax cuts — which vindicated supply-side economics by vastly increasing federal revenue — were bought partly through a bargain with Democrats who were eager to spend that revenue. Reagan was no budget cutter — indeed, the federal budget rose by over a third during his administration.

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