More and more I'm coming across articles like this one, "Laissez-Faire Earthquake Lessons".
Let’s hear it for building codes, health and safety regulations, mandatory standards for public education, and all sorts of helpful government intervention that would make Professor Friedman spin in his grave . . . and the Tea Party be damned.
Leave aside the excellent reply that without the vast wealth created by mostly free markets, those building codes would be worth quite little.
No, what's so objectionable about articles like this is that the author, having identified one government regulation or program that may have been beneficial, declares that this undermines conservative economics. Look: the Federal Register is running tens of thousands of pages per year. This year, governments in the U.S. are expected to spend around 6.16 trillion dollars. Any sane person knows that somewhere, someone, must be benefiting at least a little from government. A demonstration of that very obvious fact does absolutely nothing to refute Milton Friedman and conservative economics.
But hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Here's a story about how terribly corrupt the California public employee pension fund (CalPERS) has been:
In a scathing report, a former chief executive of the California public employee pension fund was accused of pressuring subordinates to invest billions of dollars of pension money with politically connected firms.
A 17-month investigation also found that Federico Buenrostro Jr. — along with former pension fund board members Charles Valdes and Kurato Shimada — strong-armed a benefits firm to pay more than $4 million in fees to consultant Alfred J.R. Villalobos, who later hired Buenrostro.
So, all government pension funds must be corrupt! And thus do I refute publically funded pensions!