October 8 2013
Two Americas: One Works; One Doesn't
Quote of the Day:
There are two Americas, all right. There's one that works -- where new and creative things happen, where mistakes are corrected, and where excellence is rewarded. Then there's Washington, where everything is pretty much the opposite. That has been particularly evident over the past week or so. One America can launch rockets. The other America can't even launch a website.
--Glenn Reynolds in USA Today
In today's must-read column, Reynolds contrasts the scientific, entrepreneurial U.S., where people are creating new technologies and businesses to Washington, which doesn’t work—in more ways than one.
A main difference between Washington and the other America is that in the outside the Beltway U.S., failure is penalized. If a website doesn’t work in the America beyond Washington, somebody gets fired. One America furloughs “non-essential” workers, while the America knows that employing unproductive or unnecessary people is the kiss of death for a business.
Unfortunately, the productive America can’t just ignore Washington. Washington keeps growing and taking resources from the productive America. Washington takes resources from the productive America in the form of taxes and distributes the spoils to constituents.
I have one quibble: Reynolds seems to lump all Washington together into one big mess. Despite their disarray, the Republicans do deserve credit for fighting to keep Washington from gobbling up even more resources from the productive America. I do wish they were able to make their points better.