by George Leef
H. L Mencken saw clearly what so many people cannot when it comes to government — that the people in charge have their own agendas that have little or nothing to do with “the public interest.” Here’s a letter of Don’s to the Wall Street Journal apropos of the guy Obama wants to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Editor, The Wall Street Journal
1211 6th Ave.
New York, NY 10036
You worry that, if approved as Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Ron Binz will expand that agency’s reach well beyond its narrow mandate by conscripting it to fight “the climate wars” (“The Friends of Ron Binz,” August 26).
Your concern is justified. As H.L. Mencken observed 80 years ago, “The bureaucrat begins, perhaps, by doing only what he conceives to be his sworn duty, but unless there are very efficient four-wheel brakes upon him he soon adds a multitude of inventions of his own, all of them born of his professional virtuosity and designed to lather and caress his sense of power.”*
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030
* H.L. Mencken, On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1996 ), pp. 278-279.