All linky, no thinky

Jacob Sullum writes eloquently on the idea that mass-transit advocates should eat their own dogfood:

He starts out well…

I have met more than three folks, in and out of the establishment media, who speak with authority about mass transportation yet somehow can never get around to using it in the heat of their daily struggles. Judging by this storiedOnion headline, I’m guessing others have met such people as well.

But how frequently, really, are we getting our fix of transit-solution bloviation from people with no practical experience of the “systems” they’re diagnosing and claiming to cure?

…and ends masterfully.

To the owner of a taxi medallion or a member of the Transport Workers Union, minibuses, gypsy cabs, rolling chairs and pedicabs are all redundant, because you’re already providing all the service a customer could legitimately need. If some abuelita is stuck in the rain for 45 minutes waiting to make one of your smart connections, well, that just shows you need more money so the system can be more efficiently planned.

If more people traveled on mass transit more frequently, this would be obvious. Transit doesn’t suck because it lacks central planning. It sucks because it’s artificially scarce.


Not to be outdone, Radley Balko hops on the good-for-the-goose, great-for-the-gander train:

He notes that his new favourite politician, Indiana state rep. Ryan Dvorak, took a piece of “welfare recipients should be pee-tested” legislation and upped the ante:

Apparently running with the notion that taxpayer dollars shouldn’t go to abusers of drugs and alcohol, Rep. Dvorak’s amendment requires legislators to submit to drug tests and a random breathalyzer test. They would have to reimburse the legislative council for the costs of these tests. If the legislator refused or failed the test, he or she would be subject to discipline or an assessed penalty by his or her chamber.

And it passed!

Brilliant.  I could really warm up to the idea that people who spend public funds should be subject to random drug and breathalyzer tests, with urgency, frequency, and strictness — and, regrettably, intrusiveness — increasing in proportion to the number of zeroes under their command.  If you’re getting two hundred bucks worth of food stamps every month, we might maybe get around to you eventually, but if you’re voting on federal budgets you should expect to blow into a tube and have blood drawn every half an hour.


Tyler Cowen points out that the “Buffett Rule” might have some unintended consequences:

Tax incidence is a hell of a concept.


Up on this side of the 49th, Frances Woolley notes that entitlement reform is very much like death and taxes:


Finally, Aretae writes about feedback loops in education:


2 Responses to “All linky, no thinky”

  1. 1 perlhaqr
    January 29, 2012 at 07:25

    The reason public transit advocates don’t ride public transit is less a desire not to eat their own dogfood, but rather a deisre to avoid having to eat their own dogshit.

  2. July 1, 2013 at 15:10

    Hello all, here every one is sharing these kinds of knowledge,
    thus it’s fastidious to read this blog, and I used to visit this web site daily.

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