Saturday, February 12, 2005

Core competence

One of the things that makes Robert Higgs' Against Leviathan so enjoyable is that Bob's anger is rooted in his erudition. Our liberties and our wealth are regularly expropriated under the cover of law and due process. Under the U.S. Constitution, we should do much better.

The sorts of episodes that Higgs notes are, of course, part of an open-ended book. Today's LA Times includes "City OKs Hotel Subsidy Deal". The LA City Council voted 14-0 to throw $177 million at a Anshutz Entertainment Group to build a hotel near the white-elephant LA Convention Center. No mention in the story that there is a hotel industry that has long avoided making an investment like this. Or that the LA Convention Center (as well as billions of dollars spent on LA's downtown over the years) have been nothing but waste and graft.

The story right below the one about the hotel deal notes that the same City Council had voted against hiring extra police just the day before the hotel vote. The Council (and their LA Times acolytes) also regularly moan about not enough cash flow to fund all sorts of "needed" city services.

Governments do not waste time developing core competencies. Driving LA's deteriorating pavements these days takes its toll on eveyone's autos -- including womens' and minorities'.