Daniel Hannan on a bloated state and the legacy of Gordon Brown:
The lugubrious Fifer inherited a Chancellor’s dream scenario: falling expenditure, rising revenues, strong growth and low inflation. For two years, as promised in Labour’s 1997 manifesto, he stuck to Conservative spending plans, and debt was paid off. Then, purposefully and methodically, he started blowing everything away… All subsequent politics have been dominated by that central, dismal fact. […] The national debt now stands at £1,023 billion (66 per cent of GDP), up from £905 billion (60 per cent) twelve months ago. Total public spending, contrary to almost universal belief, has risen over the past year from £605 billion to £617 billion. […] It cannot be repeated too often that ‘the cuts’ are a figment of the BBC’s imagination. Net public expenditure is higher today than it was under the Broon. The government is spending nearly half our GDP. Whatever is causing the downturn, it plainly isn’t some imaginary shrinkage of the state.
Zombie on the Cloward-Piven strategy:
Voters in both France and Greece, two countries ruinously addicted to government entitlements, rejected the “austerity” model of debt-reduction and instead doubled down on unsustainable spending sprees. France elected Socialist François Hollande as president, and in his acceptance speech he promised to increase government benefits and amp up “stimulus” spending programs - the exact things that got France into a metaphorical debtors’ prison in the first place. But exactly as Cloward and Piven surmised, once you get 50+% of the population hooked on “free” government money, there’s no turning back - they will vote for socialists every time.
And – as Sam notes in the comments – then the money runs out.
Roger Kimball on France’s descent into socialism: *
Here’s a question I would like to ask François Hollande: just where does he think money comes from? […] Socialists tend to believe that money comes from “the rich.” Need some dough for your social program? Simple, take it from “the rich” (however you define that elastic category) and give it to someone else via a government bureaucracy you have set up. But what happens when the rich cease to be rich? What then? […] For the capitalist, the purpose of economic activity is the production of wealth; for the socialist, the purpose of economic activity is the redistribution of wealth: how the wealth gets generated is for the socialist a secondary question, a detail.
Heather Mac Donald on race, riots and Rodney King:
Unlike most of the public, the jury that decided the excessive-force charges against the officers saw the full video. They acquitted the officers. By then, the media had disseminated the relentless message that the biggest threat facing blacks in L.A. was the cops, not the hundreds of gangs that murdered blacks every week with zero protest from racial advocates.
And David Boaz on the best way to be a socialist.
Feel free to add your own. [*Added, via Anna.]