The Locker Room

Rent seekers update: Mayors get in the game, too

Posted by Jon Sanders at 2:56 PM

Look at all the people spending time and money going to Washington, hiring lobbyists to go to Washington, and doing everything they can in Washington to capture some of this "free money" that President Bush, Congress, and President-elect Obama have made available to everyone to (stifle gag) "save the economy": bankers, auto representatives, other industry representatives, smut distributors, governors and state legislators (not to be confused with smut distributors), even local officials and mayors (the News & Observer headline about nine NC mayors joining the game is unintentionally funny: "Mayors: We'll spend stimulus wisely").

This is rent-seeking gone mad. Everyone is hoping to get a piece of the action. All they have to do, apparently, is call their wants by the euphemism of the year, "shovel ready" (and by shovel referring not to John Edwards' posin' shovel, but to projects about which we are supposed to believe that poor suffering workers are standing there with foot on shovel just waiting desperately in growing poverty for someone, somewhere to give them the money to get started, which only government can do).

Remember the Winners' Free Lunch Law? You're going to hear plenty of examples of it in the coming weeks.

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