"The crippling cost of doing business in California"

An Orange County Register editorial:

CNBC’s annual state-by-state “business climate” study is out. No surprise, we’re dead last — No. 50 — among the states for “cost of doing business.” Here’s an area where you don’t want to say, “As California goes, so goes the nation.”

Almost all of California’s business-climate problems are self-inflicted, as lawmakers try to balance conflicting interests.

"Why Libertarians Distrust Political Power"

Steve Horwitz has posted a wonderfully concise, beautifully exposited argument for why reasonable people should be suspicious of big government. It also serves as a very necessary rebuttal to the assertion that I'm, sadly, hearing more frequently from conservatives: big government is fine as long as it is guided by "conservative" principles.

(And Professor Horwitz's argument is nicely consistent with the case made numerous times on this blog that government has problems relative to the market in two areas: information and incentives.)

"What Noah Smith Gets Wrong about Poverty"

Kevin Williamson destroys some sloppy thinking about poverty. Ends with this powerful statement:

There are people who are poor because they have terrible disabilities and no family support; there are people who are poor because they drink two liters of bourbon a day; there are people who are poor because they simply will not work; there are people who are poor who are willing to work but cannot or will not relocate to places where there are opportunities; there are people who are poor because the education system has failed them; there are people who are poor for all sorts of other reasons. We have to sort those out, not because we want to elevate the “deserving” and abandon the “undeserving” but because those are fundamentally different problems that demand fundamentally different solutions.

We could try to do that. Or we could blame “the capitalist system.”

"No budget. On the brink of default. It’s a hell of a way to run a country."

I agree.

The clearest threat above all is our deteriorating political system. Our daily partisan warfare and the associated checking out of large segments of the public who are increasingly distrustful of our leaders and institutions are distracting us from focusing attention on these critical issues while our growing debt makes them ever more challenging to fix.