Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said that a good catch phrase could stop thinking for 50 years. One of the often-repeated catch phrases of our time — "It's the economy, stupid!" — has already stopped thinking in some quarters for a couple of decades.
Not long ago, factions on both sides of the political aisle — from Republican Senator Charles Grassley in 1994, to liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer in 2008 — viewed allegations of massive prying by government agencies, which purportedly tracked the personal information and activities of private citizens, as lunatic-fringe alarmism. But in the aftermath of United States v. Jones last week, even former skeptics are worried that the proverbial boat has sailed.
“Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder,” said British historian Arnold Toynbee.
We’re seeing exactly that today in Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Ireland. In all those cases, the ineptness of government and the mismanagement of domestic economic policy have turned once-great nations into beggar states.
One of the biggest mistakes taxpayers made in this country is permitting government employees to unionize. They created a real Frankenstein: unions that can hold the taxpayers hostage in order to get all of the benefits they feel entitled to. Governor Walker in Wisconsin was successful in curtailing the bargaining power of the government employee unions, but now that the unions have won in Ohio, they are determined to unseat Governor Walker and restore the benefits they lost. Will the taxpayers of Wisconsin allow that to happen? We shall see.