Critical Section

too much reason

Wednesday,  02/11/09  08:26 AM

Reason Magazine - March 2009A little while ago I ended up with a subscription to Reason Magazine; I'm not exactly sure how, I believe it was because some other magazine (Business 2.0?) went out of business, and they transferred their subscribers.  Anyway there it is, "free minds and free markets", sitting in my pile of things to be read while shaving.  And I must tell you, there is just too much reason in there for me early in the morning.  Every article is a well-reasoned exposition of government incompetence, corruption, or misguided action.  The "citations" section is particularly overwhelming; little articles describing government madness, one after the other.  It leaves me just shaking my head sadly.

For an example, consider Dissatisfaction Guaranteed, an article by Veronique de Rugy about why government loan guarantees are bad - and just how bad they've been.  Consider this:

Historically, loans guaranteed by the government have a very high default rate. The Congressional Budget Office has calculated that the risk of default on the Department of Energy’s nuclear loan guarantee program, for example, is well above 50 percent. The Small Business Administration (SBA), according to its own Inspector General’s Office, has a long-term default rate of roughly 17 percent. This compares to 4.3 percent for credit cards and 1.5 percent for bank loans guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Wow.  How could anyone defend guaranteeing loans when the default rate is 50 percent?  Isn't anyone paying attention?

And this is the background for our fabulous new $800B spendulous plan.  It reeks of impending disaster.  I'm afraid this is just too much Reason.  I have to go back to reading Wired, or the New Yorker...

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