Today, I read a couple articles that started very well, but then slipped into non-sequitur conclusions that markets don’t work. The first, which I do not have permission to reprint, argued the US Postal Service would be faring well as a business were it not that the government is requiring it to fund pensions seventy-five years out. That means it must cover retirement plans for people it has not yet hired. That is strange, since the federal government won’t fund its own liabilities, and requires this of no other organization. Even the private sector is not so stupid as to be so protective of the future at the expense of the present. In other regulatory maneuvers, the federal government has banned the USPS from diversifying or even offering competitive bids for services. After saying all that, the author seemed to conclude the Cato Institute, because it was founded by one of the Koch brothers, was messed up about thinking the postal service should be privatized. I’m not sure I followed the logic.

In the second circumstance, an editorial in the Mountain Xpress provided a brilliant description of Asheville. I highly recommend reading it. The author tells of the ridiculous, snooty, haughty-taughty culture that is supposedly driving the economy, and the working paeons who have to live in substandard conditions to support it. Before proceeding, I will define a simplistic solution to be one in which the author presumes to comprehend all pertinent variables, and all other factors are held equal. This is not to mean the author is simple. That said, of all the simplistic solutions conceivable, the intelligent and insightful author chose to advocate for a minimum wage and unionism. It is reminiscent of all those scientific articles where the author belabors the obvious only to jump hastily to an outrageous conclusion.

In a similar vein, I was thinking this morning about applying for a government grant to stimulate the economy. If I could get a few cool million dollars, I could hire a manicurist (1 job), a pedicurist (2 jobs), a hair stylist (3 jobs), a masseuse (4 jobs), a chef (5 jobs), a maid (6 jobs), a butler (7 jobs), a gardener (8 jobs), a fumigator (9 jobs), a band of court musicians (15 jobs), roadies for them (25 jobs), Michaelangelo (26 jobs), a lobbyist team (30 jobs), a chauffeur (31 jobs), an attorney (32 jobs), and accountant (33 jobs) – Man, I could fix this economy!