The War on Drugs. The War on Poverty. The War on Terror.
You might have noticed that despite the trillions spent, the intrusive bureaucracies created, and the human lives wasted — through imprisonment, dependency or violent death (including much spilling of innocent blood) — those problems still persist. In some respects they’ve worsened.
And, to go back a bit, don’t forget the War to End All Wars.
Not only did that war create the conditions that guaranteed a second, more horrific one, it was like a first domino. A hundred years’ worth of falling dominoes later, and you have a world-circling American military empire embroiled in seemingly permanent war in the Middle East.
Whether you’re talking metaphorical wars or real, shooting ones, the fact that they are politically initiated, planned and prosecuted virtually ensures they will result in bad and unintended consequences. One of those consequences, especially with “wars” started to combat real or alleged social ills, is the flowering of constituencies whose power and financial health depend on not solving the problem.
Now it seems that we — or at least our wallets — are to be drafted into a War on Climate Change, led, again, by politicians whose solution to everything is the blunt force of coercive laws and taxes, plus generous transfers of wealth to friends in favored corporations and “non-profits.” Jerry Brown seems to be jostling to take the baton from Al Gore as America’s unofficial point man on this, since the current U.S. president hasn’t gotten on board with it yet.
Do people never learn?
Wherever you stand on the reality and direness of human-caused global warming … er, climate change … you’re naive, and dare I say unscientific, if you believe the way to solve it is to give more money to politicians and to surrender more of your freedom to them. You might as well try to change the weather by beating tom-toms.
On this, the history is settled.
(I just found this excellent article, “How a Free Society Could Solve Global Warming,” at the Foundation for Economic Education’s website. As its author, Gene Callahan, observes, “Government programs don’t ameliorate world poverty or sickness, and no libertarian would deny that these are serious problems. So even if manmade global warming is a real threat, why should we expect governments to get it right on this issue?”)