Wednesday, August 27, 2008

So Happy "Together"

Pardon the chain of attributions, but Jim Geraghty has today quoted Governor Deval Patrick quoting U.S. Representative Barney Frank as saying:

"Government is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together."

This is a logical fallacy. Government is one of the things we choose to do together, but not everything that we choose to do together is government. America has long been known as a nation that does a lot of non-government things together: everything from churches to Boys and Girls Clubs to bowling leagues are things we do together that are not "government." For that matter, when you or I engage in a market exchange, it is not something we are doing something by ourselves. When I bought a rug online, it isn't as though the rug sprang fully formed out of some primitive goo. There was a seller, and we both thought we were better off because of that exchange.

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