Great Society history lesson III

Continuing our look at Great Society: A New History, a book that chronicles the biggest shift since the 1930s in Americans’ relationship to government. (See Great Society history lesson II also.)

The idea of reparations is not a new one…

In 1963 the Urban League’s Whitney M. Young had proposed a Marshall Plan for black Americans, including direct payments to poor families to lift them over the poverty line. Thomas Sowell, a graduate student, was concentrating on his PhD, an essay on the pre-Keynesian economist Jean-Baptiste Say. But Young’s idea irked Sowell so much that he’d written a letter to the New York Times. The reaction to such a Marshall Plan, Sowell wrote, or to any other offer, would be the same from black Americans as it was from whites. “People who have been trying for years to tell others that Negroes are basically no different from anybody else,” Sowell said, “should not themselves lose sight of the fact that Negroes are just like everybody else in wanting something for nothing.”

White people loved higher minimum wages just as much back then as they do now:

Black and white youth unemployment had run about the same until the middle of the 1950s, 8 to 11 percent. But when Congress raised the federal minimum wage by a third in 1956, unemployment rose far higher among black teenagers than among whites, to 25 percent. … the economist Milton Friedman was reaching a conclusion: those who were supposed to benefit from a minimum wage were nearly always actually hurt, as “the intended beneficiaries are not employed at all.” Friedman the following year would slam the minimum wage as “the most anti-Negro law on our statute books.”

Then as now, government handouts ideally are about the same as the median wage:

But the newly generous War on Poverty welfare benefits actually encouraged men not to work, adding to the ranks of unemployed. With the average family welfare check between $ 177 and $ 238 a month, and wages at $ 220, the commission concluded that “the financial incentive to find work may be either negative or non-existent.”

(See “The $600 Unemployment Booster Shot, State by State” (NYT) and “Work Versus Welfare” (CATO, 2013))

Certainly there shouldn’t be a housing shortage in the U.S. at this point…

But the scaling and the speedups were also evident at home, in the new HUD building, and a nationwide building program. For housing, Johnson promised $7.5 billion, more than nine times the poverty program’s annual budget that first year. The American people were, Johnson said, “strong enough to pursue our goals in the rest of the world while still building a Great Society here at home.” In 1966, everything could be, had to be, big. Even before Watts, Washington had made up its collective mind to put its formidable shoulder into a second Great Society drive, housing. Since Watts, that commitment had only hardened. The Administration would supplement, and sometimes steamroller, its flawed program, community action, with construction. Nobody could disapprove of infrastructure improvement, politicians told one another.

And we should have all of the infrastructure that we need too. at least in the cities that Big Government favors:

Johnson laid out his second Great Society in his State of the Union address in January. The president would support construction everywhere. More than $ 2 billion of the funds would go to rebuilding cities. The president would also follow the Reuther plan for Demonstration Cities, “and rebuild completely, on a scale never before attempted, entire central and slum areas.” Working together with private enterprise—this time, Johnson did not emphasize municipal governments—the federal government would rebuild areas of up to 100,000 people. Johnson would add shops, parks, and hospitals around the new housing. In the same speech, the president asked Congress to pass legislation funding rent assistance. Taken together, the results, the president hoped, would be something similar to what his old community action drive had sought: “a flourishing community where our people can come to live the good life.” This whole second project would resemble something like what the United States had done in rebuilding Europe under the Marshall Plan. Eager to make Detroit the star of the new campaign, Reuther rounded up support in Michigan. Reuther wrote to Mayor Cavanagh to encourage him: “Detroit can become an exciting and shining model of a 20th century city in the Great Society.” Reuther promised Cavanagh that they could work together in a new institution, the Detroit Citizens Development Authority.

Without the gold standard, a democracy will always vote itself into insolvency or hyperinflation, according to Alan Greenspan, 1960s version:

Greenspan wrote that American overspending wasn’t strength or a wartime phenomenon; it was predictable. A welfare state, which was what the United States had become, always overcommitted. “The welfare statists,” Greenspan said, were always “quick to recognize that if they wished to retain power, the amount of taxation had to be limited and they had to resort to programs of massive deficit spending, i.e. they had to borrow money, by issuing government bonds. . . . Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists’ antagonism toward the gold standard.”

Not every Black American meekly agrees with white saviors:

On January 18, 1968, the day after the State of the Union, Mrs. Johnson received a reminder that many Americans could not agree. The First Lady hosted a “Women Do-ers” lunch at the White House, with fifty guests. Among them was the black star Eartha Kitt, whom Americans knew as an actress, singer, activist, and star on Batman, where Kitt played Catwoman. Johnson himself entered mid-lunch to address the group. The president spoke about expanding Social Security. Kitt spoke up, too, speaking not about entitlements, but noting that “because taxes are so heavy, both parents have to work.” Johnson was taken aback, and announced he had just seen through the passage of a Social Security bill that allotted millions for day care. A “non sequitur” was how Kitt characterized Johnson’s reply. Kitt so intimidated the president that he fled the room, saying such questions were “something for women to discuss here.”

When Nixon takes over, the machinery put in place by Johnson hums at an accelerated pace.

Despite the historically low unemployment rate, federal welfare payments were exploding. In one of the first of a number of long, careful memos that Moynihan penned to his future boss, he offered New York City as an example. New York’s welfare payments alone amounted to $ 2 billion, double the once huge-sounding initial budget for the War on Poverty. Nationally, spending for the old welfare system had risen by half in just two years, and spending for the disabled was up by 26 percent in the same period.

The Democrats have to top whatever the Republicans promise:

Rather than going along with Nixon, McGovern, perhaps already thinking of the presidential race in 1972, was readying his own plan, payments of $ 600 per child for all families below the middle class, a program that would cost multiples of the Nixon scheme. Hubert Humphrey, momentarily shocked, noted that the McGovern plan would place close to half of the United States on welfare. A new lobby, social workers, also made its objections known. President Kennedy’s and Moynihan’s Executive Order 10988 long ago had transformed once weak public-sector unions into titans. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, one of those newly powerful unions, counted thirty thousand social workers among its members. Now social workers rose up in blunt defense: “This legislation threatens to eliminate the jobs of our people,” said the union spokesman.

The book describes the importance of Goldberg v. Kelly, a case that turned handouts into “entitlements” akin to a property right.

How about three weeks to flatten the curve turning into 16 months of restrictions? Is that new?

Pete Peterson had supported the temporary income tax, but when, later, Connally and Nixon advocated keeping the tax in place through the 1972 election year, Peterson was, by his own description, “aghast.” Doubly infuriating was that Nixon broke a promise, by making something he’d labeled “temporary” seemingly permanent. Herb Stein, the most reflective in the group, wrote several essays about Camp David. “Even now, I am amazed to think of how little we looked ahead during that exciting weekend at Camp David when we (the president, really) made those big decisions,” he wrote in 1996. “We were going to freeze wages and prices for ninety days. What would happen after the ninety days? I don’t remember any discussion of that.” As it turned out, Stein noted, some of the freezes lasted more like a thousand days.

As with a lot of history books, this work is interesting for showing the reader how little has changed. Americans still have the same issues, e.g., some people don’t want to work at all and others have a level of skill that is not high enough to command what we would call a “living wage.” The arguments on all sides are more or less the same as today (remember that universal basic income was tried in 1970; see Long-term effects of short-term free cash (guaranteed minimum income experiments)).

Probably the biggest change from the 1960s is immigration. The architects of our welfare state imagined that the U.S. had a fixed supply of uneducated badly housed poor people. The $billions in tax dollars would lift each of those people out of poverty via education and job training, fresh public housing, new infrastructure, etc. After that had been accomplished, there wouldn’t be any more poor people. It didn’t occur to them that 1 million low-skill people, destined to be poor in an economy for which they lacked the job and language skills, would walk across the border each year. Certainly they didn’t imagine that their creation of the welfare state itself would attract low-skill migrants, for whom the welfare state removes all risk of migration (if employers don’t want a migrant or the migrant does not enjoy working, public housing, health care, food stamps, etc. are all there as an alternative to work).

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What will rural American taxpayers get in return for spending on infrastructure?

In my view, the biggest financial implication of the Biden/Harris victory is the transfer of funds from rural Americans to urban Americans. Big Government spends nearly all of its money in cities so a bigger government accelerates the process of looting from rural Americans to enrich those who live in cities, e.g., with free public housing, improved transportation systems, fancier hospitals, etc.

“Over budget and behind schedule: Why the Bay Area can’t get big transportation projects right” (San Jose Mercury News, June 27, 2021) has some interesting data:

In 1998, Caltrans estimated that a new eastern span of the Bay Bridge would cost $1.4 billion and take four years to build. The actual cost was $6.4 billion; plagued by design controversies, brittle steel rods and more, the project lasted 11 years.

The Transbay Transit Center in downtown San Francisco cost nearly twice as much as its initial budget and opened two years behind schedule — then had to close for another nine months to repair cracked steel beams that were not built to code.

Construction has not yet begun on the project extending BART service through downtown San Jose, but its price tag has risen twice over the last three years, to $6.9 billion, while its projected opening date has slipped by three to four years.

Now, with lawmakers in Washington announcing a deal for a huge increase in federal infrastructure spending, and officials in the Bay Area eyeing the next big round of “mega-projects” — including a second transbay BART tube, the extension of Caltrain service into downtown San Francisco and a long list of other plans that by one estimate could total $100 billion — there is mounting pressure to get our act together.

The high cost of transportation projects is not unique to the Bay Area. It’s a nationwide problem, with the United States frequently spending far more per mile of new subway construction, for instance, than other countries around the world.

Take the six-mile, four-station South Bay BART extension, for instance. The design for its 4.7-mile tunnel beneath downtown San Jose is based on a construction method pioneered in Barcelona that was meant to lower costs and minimize disruptions at street level during construction.

The Spanish project cost less than $250 million per mile, according to SPUR. The BART extension is set to cost well over $1 billion per mile.

The rest of the article isn’t so interesting. After decades of failure, it is obvious that Americans can reorganize government so that we will do everything efficiently going forward. (If it is that easy, why not reorganize ourselves to be able to build integrated circuits with competitive quality and price compared to what the Taiwanese are able to do? Then we wouldn’t have a chip shortage shutting down our car factories.)

I find it fascinating that so many Americans are still so enthusiastic about infrastructure spending when building infrastructure is one of the things that we are worst at. Even when urban dwellers can stick rural Americans with the bill, one would think that they’d prefer instead to loot out the rural Americans in some other way that would deliver greater benefits to city residents.


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Did American love of process doom Champlain Towers South?

Owners at Champlain Towers South were told in 2018 that their building needed structural repairs, but the repairs weren’t scheduled to begin until later this year, i.e., a three-year interval. That’s enough time for the Chinese to build an entire city. I’m wondering if our love of process, which sometimes results in more durable structures, is a double-edged sword. If a structure is discovered not to be durable, a multi-year process before repairs can begin results in multiple years of vulnerability.

How much do we love process? Here’s a recent letter regarding what would have been an in-person meeting tonight. There will be deliberate consideration regarding the installation of a hand rail outside a bathroom:

(On Zoom, of course, because Coronapanic continues.)


  • “Miami-Area Condo Owners Pushed Town for Construction Approvals Days Before Collapse” (WSJ): ‘This is holding us up,’ the Champlain Towers South property manager emailed Surfside officials; town manager said no indication of need for emergency action
  • “Ten Thousand Commandments 2021” (CEI): “An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State … Regulatory costs of $1.9 trillion amount to 9 percent of U.S. gross domestic product… If it were a country, U.S. regulation would be the world’s eighth-largest economy.. If one assumed that all costs of federal regulation flowed all the way down to households, U.S. households would “pay” $14,368 annually on average in a regulatory hidden tax.”
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Reinterpreting MLK’s ideas of freedom for the Age of COVID

Today we celebrate our traitorous rebellion from the legitimate rule of Great Britain, carried out in the name of “freedom.” The rebellion enabled us to continue chattel slavery and stealing land from Native Americans west of the Proclamation Line. Let’s consider our current state of “freedom” as we all take a break from cashing our unemployment checks on this holiday of July 4th.

From Martin Luther King, Jr., whose first book was titled Stride Toward Freedom:

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.

All we say to America is, ‘Be true to what you said on paper.’ If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn’t committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. …

MLK, Jr. was one of our greatest thinkers, but even his mind could not stretch to the idea that people in Massachusetts, California, and New York would actually welcome being locked down for more than a year:

Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself.

(When exactly?)

Reasonable people, of course, would point out that healthy young people in these states were denied what had formerly been considered their rights for only 16 months or so. And maybe this coming fall or winter too, depending on what the public health technocrats recommend.

A right delayed is a right denied.

Let’s see how the ideas of our greatest thinker on the subject of freedom have been reinterpreted during the ongoing coronapanic…. some photos from an April 2021 trip to Atlanta and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park. The “Freedom Hall” was closed “out of an abundance of caution regarding the COVID-19 virus”:

How about the Freedom Walkway? That’s now a “Restricted Area”:

Even before coronapanic, the architect’s original vision for the reflecting pool had been disfigured with plastic barriers, which I was told were essentially permanent fixtures, to keep the public away:

Compare to my photo from the summer of 1994:

What words were important enough to be on MLK, Jr.’s grave?

“Free at last! Free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

At least as of June 16, according to the web site, all of the park buildings remained closed.

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Official business victimhood designations

A form from a university vendor portal, in which one is asked to enter one’s “Diversity Classification”. Here are the federally recognized victimhood categories for a business (including individual proprietors operating on a Schedule C basis):

Wouldn’t almost anyone qualify as “physically challenged”? Compare yourself to these four individuals who were chosen at random:

Wouldn’t you be at least 80 percent disabled compared to any of the above? (in the sense that you wouldn’t be able to do more than 20 percent of what they can do)

Why is checking boxes important?

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Happy Juneteenth for government workers

Juneteenth (June 19) is the latest day off for government workers, a great mid-summer demonstration of why it is stupid to work in the private sector (an Irish small business owner friend: “Government workers have been at home watching daytime TV for 15 months now”; just today: “the Government are still on holidays due to an abundance of caution”). But the paid day off this year falls on a Saturday, so “Most feds off Friday as Biden set to make Juneteenth a federal holiday” (Federal News Network). On the side of the article was the “Fed Photo of the Day”. What’s the most significant thing that this enterprise is doing in exchange for the $6 trillion that Americans will have to earn to fund it? (see “Biden to Propose $6 Trillion Budget to Make U.S. More Competitive” (NYT; the more you spend the more competitive you are)) The soon-to-be-on-vacation government workers are hoisting a rainbow flag:

If you’re a government worker, enjoy your well-deserved extra day of leisure. Hoisting that flag must have been a huge effort!

Everyone else: What are you doing to mark Juneteenth?

A scan of my inbox…

From Carnegie Hall:

Juneteenth commemorates our nation’s true independence—the day when all members of the newly reunited nation were finally declared free after the American Civil War. More than 400 years after the first enslaved African people were brought to the North American colonies, the fight for equality continues. Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes Jr. leads this celebration—along with Tamara Tunie, and special guests Wayne Brady, Martin Luther King III, and Annette Gordon-Reed—to recognize the importance of this historic day and to acknowledge the long road still ahead. In addition to music, dance, and commentary, the evening also recognizes contributions made by prominent African Americans today: Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative; Robert F. Smith, businessman and chairman of Carnegie Hall’s Board of Trustees; and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

A 400-year fight! The Vietnam War and the Iraq/Afghanistan wars were mere blips. (Note that the “event” is just a streaming TV show, not an in-person gathering in Manhattan.)

From the Boston Museum of Fine Arts:

In celebration of Juneteenth, join us for a virtual conversation with BIPOC leaders. Panelists will discuss the need for disruption in their industries, their personal stories of seeking and achieving liberation in their careers, the impact they hope to make with their own positive disruption, and what liberation looks like on individual and collective levels.

From KAYAK, the travel site:

Grab your popcorn! San Francisco Pride will be hosting two socially distanced Pride Movie Nights on June 11th &12th, to celebrate San Francisco’s LGBTQ+ community. They’ll also be hosting a Black Liberation Event in partnership with the AAACC on June 18th, the eve of Juneteenth, to highlight the intersection between LGBTQ+ rights and racial justice.

Separately, how soon before it becomes simpler for the government, rather than list holidays, to write down a list of days when government workers are expected to come into the office and work?

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Memorial for the Paycheck Protection Program

Yesterday was Memorial Day and also the final application deadline for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans (actually grants, since they don’t have to be paid back). Small business owners who relied on this deadline and focused on completing income taxes, complying with various local COVID-19 restrictions, trying to hire staff, and serving customers, however, were denied loans due to funding having run out on May 5 (source with some history).

So the most successful enterprises might turn out to be those who were most plugged into and aggressive about claiming government bailouts.

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Government says employers can require experimental vaccines

“U.S. agency says employers can mandate COVID-19 vaccination” (Reuters):

U.S. companies can mandate that employees in a workplace must be vaccinated against COVID-19, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said on Friday.

The EEOC, in a statement posted on its website explaining its updated guidance, said employees can be required to be vaccinated as long as employers comply with the reasonable accommodation provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws.

In other words, a healthy 25-year-old does not have to agree to take an “investigational” non-FDA-approved vaccine designed to prevent deaths among the unhealthy elderly, but he/she/ze/they will not be receiving a paycheck if he/she/ze/they refuses.

For anyone whose earning potential is near the median, this is another great argument in favor of choosing the welfare lifestyle. The is no vaccine requirement to continue occupying means-tested public housing. There is no vaccine requirement to continue receiving free health insurance via Medicaid. There is no vaccine requirement to continue purchasing food via SNAP/EBT. There is no vaccine requirement to continue chatting on an Obamaphone. Employers can mandate random drug and alcohol tests and transportation-related employers are required to conduct random drug and alcohol tests, but, at least here in Maskachusetts, a resident of public housing can enjoy “essential” alcohol and marijuana every day. In other words, an American with a job is not free to decide what drugs to take and what drugs not to take while an American on welfare is free to choose what drugs and medical treatments to accept and what recreational drugs to consume.

(The American on welfare is, of course, much better situated for avoiding coronavirus infection than the American who goes to work. The American on welfare need not leave his/her/zir/their apartment when variant COVID is raging. The American on welfare need not commute in a bus or subway. The American on welfare need never be in a public indoor environment.)

How about the spending power? From back in 2013, before all of the coronapanic-related enhancements to government programs, The Work versus Welfare Trade-Off (CATO):

Let’s also consider freedom of speech. The First Amendment isn’t useful if your employer disagrees with what you say or write. A recent story from Massachusetts, “An Elementary School Teacher’s Secret Life As A White Nationalist Writer” (HuffPost):

But “Sinclair Jenkins,” HuffPost has now confirmed, is really a pseudonym for Benjamin Welton, a 33-year-old Boston University history PhD candidate who, until this week, taught English, social studies and computer science at Star Academy, an elementary school in Massachusetts. When HuffPost contacted the school for comment, Welton was put on leave, and was fired shortly before this article was published.

Like many conservatives, Welton has expressed anger about the teaching of “critical race theory” in American schools. Last August, shortly before he began teaching at the Star Academy, he tweeted under a pseudonym that a return to American greatness “requires defunding critical race theory.” It’s clear from his pseudonymous writings where his real objection lies: criticism of white people.

A group of anti-fascist researchers, the Anonymous Comrades Collective, figured out Welton’s double life and shared the details with HuffPost.

Regardless of the content of his thought, speech, and writing, Mr. Welton (unlikely to become “Dr. Welton” given that his Ph.D. program at Boston University is right next to a Center for Antiracist Research) would have enjoyed a secure spending power and standard of living if he’d chosen welfare rather than work.


  • “Child Support Litigation without a Marriage” (Real World Divorce); the American who has sex with two already-married dentists and harvests the resulting child support can enjoy the same spending power as a dentist without the need to accept non-FDA-approved pharmaceuticals, interact with the COVID-plagued public, or worry about the reaction to what is said or written (alimony also works since family court profits are not conditional on medical decisions or thought/speech/writing content, but collecting alimony requires persuading a future divorce lawsuit defendant to agree to get married rather than a future slam-dunk child support lawsuit defendant to agree to have sex for one night or one hour (see Hunter Biden, for example))
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Irrational for Americans to work unless above-median income can be earned

As we celebrate Tax Day (updated date for coronapanic) and you add up what you’re paying to the Feds and states, it might cheer you up to look back to this 2019 article from a former Senator and a former top executive at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a Wall Street Journal article on income inequality:

Official measures of income inequality, the numbers being debated, are profoundly distorted by what the Census Bureau chooses to count as household income.

The published census data for 2017 portray the top quintile of households as having almost 17 times as much income as the bottom quintile. But this picture is false. The measure fails to account for the one-third of all household income paid in federal, state and local taxes. Since households in the top income quintile pay almost two-thirds of all taxes, ignoring the earned income lost to taxes substantially overstates inequality.

The Census Bureau also fails to count $1.9 trillion in annual public transfer payments to American households. The bureau ignores transfer payments from some 95 federal programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps, which make up more than 40% of federal spending, along with dozens of state and local programs. Government transfers provide 89% of all resources available to the bottom income quintile of households and more than half of the total resources available to the second quintile.

Today government redistributes sufficient resources to elevate the average household in the bottom quintile to a net income, after transfers and taxes, of $50,901—well within the range of American middle-class earnings. The average household in the second quintile is only slightly better off than the average bottom-quintile household. The average second-quintile household receives only 9.4% more, even though it earns more than six times as much income, it has more than twice the proportion of its prime working-age individuals employed, and they work twice as many hours a week on average. The average middle-income household is only 32% better off than the average bottom-quintile households despite earning more than 13 times as much, having 2.5 times as many of prime working-age individuals employed and working more than twice as many hours a week.

Condensed version of the above: Your spending power will be roughly the same if you don’t work at all (and therefore don’t have to file tax returns, extensions, estimated tax, etc.) than if you work full time, unless you are a high-skill worker who can command a wage that is well above the median. The article includes a chart from 2017, before all of the Coronawelfare was ladled on top:

Note the flat shape of the “Net income” (i.e., spending power) curve until one is in the top 20 percent. The old sourpusses who wrote the article conclude with a scolding tone:

America already redistributes enough income to compress the income difference between the top and bottom quintiles from 60 to 1 in earned income down to 3.8 to 1 in income received. If 3.8 to 1 is too large an income differential, those who favor more redistribution need to explain to the bottom 60% of income-earning households why they should keep working when they could get almost as much from riding in the wagon as they get now from pulling it.

But, as Cicero noted more than 2000 years ago, “The cash that comes from selling your labour is vulgar and unacceptable for a gentleman … for wages are effectively the bonds of slavery.” Maybe the fact that we’ve created the world’s largest group of humans who don’t work is a feature, not a bug?

(Separately, I don’t see how the above calculation can be done accurately. Many of our brothers, sisters, and binary resisters who receive free housing and/or reduced rent are in private-sector apartment buildings that have been ordered by local governments to provide free or reduced rent. The rent subsidy is reflected in higher rents paid by market-rate tenants, not in a local government’s budget.)


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Kristi Noem and support for small business

Kristi Noem, famous or notorious (depending on your perspective regarding governor-ordered masks and shutdown) for saying that people who didn’t want to get COVID-19 should stay home and not rely on the government, a bandana, or a 3-cent paper surgical mask to protect them from a respiratory virus, is being talked about as someone who might enter national politics.

A recent CATO analysis of the small business environment in the 50 states has Ms. Noem’s South Dakota at #2 for business freedom:

Note that New Jersey, which if it were its own country would have the world’s highest COVID-19 death rate (ranking), is almost dead last! Also, states that you might expect to be free, e.g., Montana, aren’t. It is interesting to look at correlations with how easy it is to make money via pregnancy and child support. Georgia, where the government wants you to set up a business, has a soft cap on child support profits (so does South Dakota). Connecticut, on the other hand, is the nation’s most difficult state in which to start a business, but is a paradise for alimony plaintiffs and also offers unlimited child support.

Readers: Now that the Republican Party draws its support primarily from those who operate small business (everyone else is on the government gravy train either through welfare at the low end and crony capitalism at the high end), is Kristi Noem a likely future presidential candidate?


  • states ranked by COVID-19-tagged death rate (unfortunately not adjusted for percentage of population over 65), in which we see #Science-following Maskachusetts right near the top and give-the-finger-to-the-virus South Dakota at around #10.
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