Friday, October 17, 2014

CNBC on the "Bumbling Incompetent Government" and an Opportunity for Libertarians

By Robert Wenzel

It is very often at point of a crisis that the incompetence of government is too obvious to ignore. Katrina is one case. But so was the Vietnam War and, now, the blowback from the US attack on Iraq.

On top of this, we have the Ebola "Crisis" and many other obvious cases of government failure.

It is so bad at present that the establishment media outlet CNBC can't even ignore the obvious:
Ebola and CDC: Distrust of White House grows

As the midterm elections grow closer, Americans now have another big fear to add to a growing list and another government agency to distrust.

Ebola is very unlikely to become a major health crisis in the United States but the fact that the deadly disease reached our shores has quite understandably shaken American nerves and left people deeply concerned that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is not up to the job of keeping us safe.

The CDC is just the latest in a line of federal agencies viewed as bumbling and incompetent. First it was the botched rollout of Obamacare by the Department of Health and Human Services and the IRS seemingly targeting conservative groups for extra scrutiny. More recently, the Secret Service came under heavy criticism for allowing a knife-wielding intruder to burst in and run wild inside the White House, among other appalling lapses.

The CDC now is under heavy scrutiny for not moving more swiftly to ensure that Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan did not spread the disease to American nurses and for apparently unclear direction to one of those nurses, Amber Joy Vinson, about whether she could fly after treating Duncan.
These failures should be expected from government. The incentives of government are to serve politics and the cronies behind the scenes, rather than take the concerns of "those it serves" seriously. And, thus, we have failure after failure.

The problem remains, though, that the masses, for the most part, think tinkering with the system and putting in new people is the answer. They don't get that government incentives are skewed against them and that the best answer, always, is to get the government the hell out of the way.

This is why libertarians should stay away from "solutions" within the political system and point out that government itself can never, ever, be the solution. Indeed, with the current cluster of government failures, it is a great time to pound away at the notion that the solution is not to simply attempt to correct things from within the current structure of government, but to shrink government and prevent it from creating more blunders.

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher at and at Target Liberty. He is also author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics

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