Don Boudreaux asks some good questions

Don Boudreaux, of Cafe Hayek and George Mason University, asks some great questions in his column, And the answer is?, in today’s Pittsburgh Tribune.

Here are a few:

Why do so many conservatives distrust Uncle Sam when it meddles at home, but trust it when it meddles abroad?

Why do so many “progressives” who preen publicly about their magnanimity toward the poor want to prevent foreign workers — most of whom are farpoorer than is any American — from bettering their lots by competing freely against relatively rich American workers?

Why are “progressives” madly obsessed with inequality of incomes but not with inequality of work effort, risk taking, prudence, courage, honesty, integrity, ambition and dedication? Monetary incomes, after all, are largely a result of the application of these qualities: Those who apply more of these qualities to their lives and careers generally earn higher incomes than are earned by those who apply fewer of these qualities to their lives and careers.

Why is it considered bad form today to point out that personal character plays a large role in determining one’s fate in life — including one’s income?

If the current American model for supplying K-12 education is desirable, why do we not also supply college and post-graduate education in the same way? That is, why not fund state colleges with tax dollars, charge zero tuition and assign each post-secondary student to that college in his or her geographic district? Going to a public college outside of the district would be prohibited. Does anyone believe that implementing this model of supplying college education would improve post-secondary education?
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New Threads – Questions for Politicians and Questions for Managers

I’ve seen enough clueless elected officials and business managers in my day to make me wonder what questions were asked of these people before they got their jobs.  I thought it would be a good idea to add categories to this blog to list questions to ask political candidates and managers along with answers that I would like to see.  Hopefully some reporters or board members will find these questions valuable and ask them.

Here’s an example of how these categories will work.

Question for Political Candidate for President

If elected President you will take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.  Can you briefly explain what that means to you?

An acceptable answer for me to this question would be something like:

The Constitution of the United States defines the powers of each branch of government to maintain checks and balances on power.    The authors of the Constitution were concerned about government power becoming concentrated at the expense of the liberty of our citizens.  As colonists, they saw firsthand the ill effects on liberty of unchecked power by the arbitrary decisions made by the King of England.

To me, protecting and defending the Constitution means ensuring that the powers I exercise as President are those that are specifically defined in Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution and I will use those powers to ensure that other branches of government only exercise authority in which they are empowered by the respective sections of the Constitution.

Protecting and defending the Constitution means that when my replacement assumes power through the peaceful election process, as defined in the Constitution, that the source of the power of government will still be the consent of the governed and nothing else.