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Alex Tabarrok and Tyler Cowen are libertarian professors from George Mason University who post at the very popular Marginal Revolution blog. I often don’t agree with what they write, but its usually well reasoned and grounded in reality. (Unlike, say, what comes up in a number of other libertarian blogs.)

Cowen recently wrote an e-book called The Great Stagnation. I haven’t read it – I’m swamped these days. However, there have been many reviews (and comments by Cowen himself, so I think I can provide a brief summary. Essentially, Cowen notes that in the last few decades (since about the early ’70s), real economic growth in the US has slowed. (That won’t be a surprise if you read Presimetrics.) His thesis is that this has to do with technological development – we’ve eaten the low hanging fruit, and further technological progress (and hence real economic growth) will be slow until we get off the plateau we’re on.

It might seem unrelated, at first, but Cowen’s partner at Marginal Revolution, Alex Tabarrok, recently had a post that received some comment. Tabarrok argues that whether Keynesian economics can work or not (he does not believe it can – presumably he wouldn’t be a libertarian if he did), Keynesian politics has failed, in that it simply hasn’t been tried in this country, not during the two big economic disasters of the last 100 or so years: the Great Depression and the Great Recession.

Tabarrok is wrong – wrong that Keynesian economics hasn’t been tried, and wrong that it hasn’t worked. And Cowen, it turns out, is wrong about exactly the same thing in his book.

The basic Keynesian idea is this: economic downturns (and meltdowns) can occur and/or be prolonged and worsened when the private sector becomes worried and cuts back. In those circumstances, the government should step in and buy things, lots and lots of things, replacing the shrunken private sector demand. Once the economy picks up again, the government should cut back on its spending and start saving up money, first to pay for its recent spending bout and second to have cash in hand to cover its next necessary spending bout.

Put another way – a government thinking along Keynesian lines will tend to run a deficit when real private sector spending falls below some prior highwater mark. It will run a surplus in years real spending exceeds prior real private sector spending. There may, of course, be exceptions in any given year, but a Keynesian government will generally follow that sort of behavior. A government that runs a deficit when real private sector spending is rising, or runs a surplus when real private sector spending is falling, and behaves this way in general is most definitely not operating under Keynesian principles.

Which brings us to data. Surplus and deficit information was computed using current federal gov’t receipts and expenditures from the BEA’s NIPA Table 3.2. Real private sector spending is made up of real “personal consumption expenditures” and real “gross private domestic investment” from BEA’s NIPA Table 1.1.5. Data goes back to 1929, the first year for which the BEA computed data.

The following graph may look a bit odd, since it has no curve on it. But it shows something cool. If I did this correctly, the gray bars show periods when:
1. real private sector spending hit a new high and the government ran a surplus
2. real private sector spending fell below a previous high and the government ran a deficit

Keynesian governments will generally behave in that way. The turquoise bars show non-Keynesian behavior:
1. real private sector spending hit a new high and the government ran a deficit
2. real private sector spending fell below a previous high and the government ran a surplus

Here’s what it looks like:

(Click on the graph to see the picture enlarged. For some reason, if you don’t do that, it doesn’t come out properly on my screen though maybe your experience is different.)

Here’s what I get from this graph… from until some time around the late 60s or early 70s, US governments generally stuck to Keynesian policies and not incidentally, generally produced relatively rapid growth. After that, the US government generally abandoned Keynesian policies and produced Tyler Cowen’s Great Stagnation. I am not prepared on to comment on whether there has been technological stagnation though.

Well, gotta run. As always, if you want my spreadsheet, drop me a line. I’m at my first name (mike) period my last name (one m only in my last name!!!) at gmail period com. And don’t forget which post your writing about. Toodle-oo, folks.

Added, February 18: Perhaps the graph can be improved. Its important not to consider individual years Keynesian or not, but rather overall behavior over a number of years. For instance, the fact that the government ran a deficit during the recession in 1990 – 1991 doesn’t make it Keynesian behavior (though it does appear to have a gray graph) since it had been running a deficit already, even when times were good. Running a deficit when times are bad is only Keynesian if you’re paying down debt (i.e., running a surplus) when times are good. The fact that the government has been running a deficit more or less continuously since the late 1960s (except for a brief period in the 90s) indicates that it definitely wasn’t following Keynesian economic theory – else it would be running surpluses when real private spending was up.

29 Responses to “A Critique of Tyler Cowen’s The Great Stagnation, by way of Alex Tabarrok’s Criticism of Keynesian Politics”

  1. Basil says:

    Though I believe in the power of Keynesian deficits/surpluses myself, I’d say this timeline is a case of correlation not equaling causation. The reason you see all this blue since 1960 is not that, all of a sudden, the US stopped practicing Keynesian economics. Rather, since ~1960, the US has been running a deficit nearly nonstop. That’s why most of the gray bars since JFK (with the exception of the Clinton surplus – which was pure economic luck – and the Obama presidency) coincide with periods of recession.

    • Mike Kimel says:

      Basil,

      “Rather, since ~1960, the US has been running a deficit nearly nonstop.”

      Actually, its since about 1967. And that makes a big difference to the story line.

  2. Mike Kimel says:

    Basil,

    I just added a note to the bottom of the post. The last sentence:

    ” The fact that the government has been running a deficit more or less continuously since the late 1960s (except for a brief period in the 90s) indicates that it definitely wasn’t following Keynesian economic theory – else it would be running surpluses when real private spending was up.”

  3. [...] are to blame for the post-1973 slowdown in the growth of American living standards. At least one blogger has already dealt with this issue, but here are my [...]

  4. Basil says:

    I’m not sure why the 1960 vs. 1967 difference is important, I think the point still stands:

    It’s not that the government stopped practicing Keynesian economics; it’s just that we’ve just been running deficits for the past 45 years.

    • Mike Kimel says:

      1. What Keynes called for was deficits when the private sector cut back, and surpluses at other times. The fact that the government started running non-stop deficits means that by the very definition of Keynesian economics, it wasn’t following Keynesian policies.
      2. 1967 v. 1960 matters if you want to explain Tyler Cowen’s Great Stagnation. A 1960 date doesn’t match his story. A 1967 date does.

  5. jazzbumpa says:

    I’d have to dig into the data and think about it some more, but it’s hard for me to believe that Ike was a Keynesian – at least not deliberately. Or that Bush Sr. was either. Also, The current grey bar is an artifact of economic downturn, rather than targeted deficit spending.

    Still – I think you’re onto something – and it’s something pretty big.

    While the Democratic administrations up through Johnson for sure, and Carter, maybe, practiced a Keynesian approach, since then, I don’t believe it’s ever been a matter of policy.

    Is B. Hoover Obama an accidental Keynesian?

    Do you mind if I post your graph on my blog, too?

    By coincidence, I also just did a post on Cowan, at one step remove.

    Here it is, for your amusement.

    • Mike Kimel says:

      JzB,

      Hi. You’re welcome to post the graph elsewhere.

      The question is not whether a President was a Keynesian but rather whether the gov’t was mostly following policies that could be described as Keynesian (whether on purpose or not) at a given time. That leads to the following responses to your comment:

      1. As I note at the bottom of the post, Bush 1 was not Keynesian based on a single year. Its just that in one year – when there was a recession – the deficit increased. Under “normal circumstances” running a deficit during a recession is Keynesian, but since he ran a deficit at all times too, clearly this wasn’t a reaction (even inadvertent) to the recession. Conclusion – the graph should probably be renamed “Naive Keynesian” or redone to account for behavior in a given year subject to behavior in the prior year or two years or so.
      2. It seems to me that much of the “Keynesian” behavior was inadvertent. I haven’t checked, but I imagine the deficits during downturns came because of reduced tax revenue, not increased gov’t spending. Thus… automatic stabilizer Keynesianism. Post 67 or 70 or 73 or thereabouts (I think 67 but I’m open to persuasion about what date the graph points to) it all fell apart simply because most administrations went to the all deficits all the time school of government. Thus, the automatic stabilizer Keynesianism collapsed.

  6. jazzbumpa says:

    I’d have to dig into the data and think about it some more, but it’s hard for me to believe that Ike was a Keynesian – at least not deliberately. Or that Bush Sr. was either. Also, The current grey bar is an artifact of economic downturn, rather than targeted deficit spending.

    Still – I think you’re onto something – and it’s something pretty big.

    While the Democratic administrations up through Johnson for sure, and Carter, maybe, practiced a Keynesian approach, since then, I don’t believe it’s ever been a matter of policy.

    Is B. Hoover Obama an accidental Keynesian?

    Do you mind if I post your graph on my blog, too?

    By coincidence, I also just did a post on Cowan, at one step remove.

    Here it is, for your amusement.

    • Mike Kimel says:

      JzB,

      Hi. You’re welcome to post the graph elsewhere.

      The question is not whether a President was a Keynesian but rather whether the gov’t was mostly following policies that could be described as Keynesian (whether on purpose or not) at a given time. That leads to the following responses to your comment:

      1. As I note at the bottom of the post, Bush 1 was not Keynesian based on a single year. Its just that in one year – when there was a recession – the deficit increased. Under “normal circumstances” running a deficit during a recession is Keynesian, but since he ran a deficit at all times too, clearly this wasn’t a reaction (even inadvertent) to the recession. Conclusion – the graph should probably be renamed “Naive Keynesian” or redone to account for behavior in a given year subject to behavior in the prior year or two years or so.
      2. It seems to me that much of the “Keynesian” behavior was inadvertent. I haven’t checked, but I imagine the deficits during downturns came because of reduced tax revenue, not increased gov’t spending. Thus… automatic stabilizer Keynesianism. Post 67 or 70 or 73 or thereabouts (I think 67 but I’m open to persuasion about what date the graph points to) it all fell apart simply because most administrations went to the all deficits all the time school of government. Thus, the automatic stabilizer Keynesianism collapsed.

  7. [...] A Critique of Tyler Cowen's The Great Stagnation, by way of Alex … [...]

  8. [...] A Critique of Tyler Cowen's The Great Stagnation, by way of Alex … [...]

  9. [...] week I had a post noting that the US government followed more or less naive Keynesian policies (whether on purpose or [...]

  10. [...] week I had a post noting that the US government followed more or less naive Keynesian policies (whether on purpose or [...]

  11. [...] week I had a post noting that the US government followed more or less naive Keynesian policies (whether on purpose or [...]

  12. [...] week I had a post noting that the US government followed more or less naive Keynesian policies (whether on purpose or [...]

  13. msusanesq says:

    Sorry I didn’t notice this entry earlier. I haven’t read Tyler Cowan’s book, but there is a narrative to the pattern you have noticed. Conservative economist Herbert Stein wrote a book in 1969 called the Fiscal Revolution in America in which he described how American economic policy consciously came to accept Keynes in the 1950s and 60s. In 1969 he clearly thought Keynes was entrenched and triumphant. In 1996 he wrote a long article followup “The Fiscal Revolution Part 2, 1964-1994″ and published it in a collection of essays titled Funding the Modern American State in which he chronicled the unraveling of the Keynesian consensus. I haven’t read either of those for several years and I don’t have them on my shelf so I’m not in a position to give any details. But if you want to investigate this further, that’s a good place to start.

  14. msusanesq says:

    Sorry I didn’t notice this entry earlier. I haven’t read Tyler Cowan’s book, but there is a narrative to the pattern you have noticed. Conservative economist Herbert Stein wrote a book in 1969 called the Fiscal Revolution in America in which he described how American economic policy consciously came to accept Keynes in the 1950s and 60s. In 1969 he clearly thought Keynes was entrenched and triumphant. In 1996 he wrote a long article followup “The Fiscal Revolution Part 2, 1964-1994″ and published it in a collection of essays titled Funding the Modern American State in which he chronicled the unraveling of the Keynesian consensus. I haven’t read either of those for several years and I don’t have them on my shelf so I’m not in a position to give any details. But if you want to investigate this further, that’s a good place to start.

  15. michael mimo says:

    you decided to criticize Cowan’s and did not read the e-book yet? you are just making a case against his conclusion. well in science that is not good enough. you need to dispute his points, which obviously you are unable to do that if you dint read the e-book. you discredit yourself.

  16. Mike Kimel says:

    michael mimo,

    1. Cowan and others have pointed out what his conclusion is a myriad of times, namely that there has been a “Great Stagnation” for the past few decades. (That’s the title of his book – don’t act surprised.)
    2. I pointed out that the Great Stagnation began when Keynesian policies were abandoned. (Easy to show in the graph above. Even more damning here: http://www.presimetrics.com/blog/?p=374)
    3. You don’t have to read Cowen’s book to know that he is a libertarian who views Keynesian policies as detrimental to growth. And yet the abandonment of those policies coincided with the Great Stagnation he mentions. Obviously something key is going to be missing from the book.

    Let’s put it another way: I don’t have to read the latest book by some proponent of creationism to know that I’m going to be misled about evolution.

    Or, as George Bernard Shaw put it more elegantly, you don’t have to eat a whole egg to know that its rotten.

  17. Mike Kimel says:

    michael mimo,

    1. Cowan and others have pointed out what his conclusion is a myriad of times, namely that there has been a “Great Stagnation” for the past few decades. (That’s the title of his book – don’t act surprised.)
    2. I pointed out that the Great Stagnation began when Keynesian policies were abandoned. (Easy to show in the graph above. Even more damning here: http://www.presimetrics.com/blog/?p=374)
    3. You don’t have to read Cowen’s book to know that he is a libertarian who views Keynesian policies as detrimental to growth. And yet the abandonment of those policies coincided with the Great Stagnation he mentions. Obviously something key is going to be missing from the book.

    Let’s put it another way: I don’t have to read the latest book by some proponent of creationism to know that I’m going to be misled about evolution.

    Or, as George Bernard Shaw put it more elegantly, you don’t have to eat a whole egg to know that its rotten.

  18. nn says:

    I am becoming quite worried about the increasing trend of criminalizing everything in the United States and around the world. While many laws are necessary, life is becoming so regulated that almost everything humans do is becoming illegal.

    Americans like to say they love freedom, but there are few freedoms left in the US. The government is tightening the noose to strangle Americans with ever-increasing nanny state laws so much that the US is starting to look like North Korea.

    Most of the following actions have been outlawed just in my lifetime:

    Fast food restaurants have been banned.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/16/us/16fastfood.html

    Feeding homeless people has become a crime.

    http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2011-06-02/news/os-homeless-feedings-arrests-20110601_1_group-feedings-feedings-in-public-parks-orlando-police

    Sex tourism has been outlawed.

    http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2004-02-18-sex-tourists_x.htm

    Sex offenders have been required to register with the police and are forbidden from living near schools and parks.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123500941182818821.html

    Sex offenders can be be held for life under indefinite civil commitment laws even after they complete their original sentences.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/opinion/sunday/sex-offenders-the-last-pariahs.html?pagewanted=all

    Drug users have been banned from receiving welfare or student aid.

    http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/CollegeAndFamily/Advice/WhatIllegalDrugUseCanCostYou.aspx?page=all

    The US Constitution has been overruled by the Patriot Act that has legalized wiretaps without a warrant and allows the government to deport and strip any American of his or her citizenship.

    http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,449497,00.html

    Guantanamo has been used to keep and torture suspected terrorists without trial.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/28/world/meast/guantanamo-former-detainees/index.html

    Domestic violence abusers having been banned from having guns.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/06/us/06guns.html?pagewanted=all

    Mandatory seatbelt use laws have been enacted.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-08-18-seat-belt-rear_N.htm

    Seatbelt checkpoints are being conducted.

    http://wvgazette.com/News/Advisories/201105091168

    DUI and drug checkpoints have been allowed.

    http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/dui-checkpoint-snags-seven-offenders-1.878793#axzz1d8KqudEA

    http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Sheriff-using-checkpoint-warnings-in-drug-fight-2229666.php

    Governments are now allowed to seize the property of suspected prostitution clients, drug users, and drunk drivers.

    http://detnews.com/article/20091112/METRO/911120388/Police-property-seizures-ensnare-even-the-innocent

    “John TV” shows that embarrass and punish people arrested on prostitution charges are now allowed.

    http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19970803&slug=2552909

    The US now has a secret panel “kill list” of Americans who are targeted to be assassinated without a trial.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/05/us-cia-killlist-idUSTRE79475C20111005

    Car owners are now required to have liability insurance.

    http://articles.latimes.com/print/1987-10-27/news/mn-16876_1_mandatory-auto-insurance-law

    Americans are not allowed to travel to Cuba.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/05/travel/bush-administration-showing-willingness-to-enforce-law-on-visiting-cuba.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

    People who owe child support are not allowed to have passports.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oew-welch21aug21,0,123074.story

    People who have defaulted student loans are not allowed to have professional licenses.

    http://www.iowacollegeaid.gov/DefaultPrevention/default.html

    The US is one of the few countries that has the death penalty.

    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0777460.html

    Americans must report any currency that they carry over $10,000.

    http://imperialvalleynews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5859&Itemid=2

    Americans must pay sales taxes on services.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/us/28taxes.html?pagewanted=all

    Americans must now pay sales taxes on mail-order products shipped from other states.

    http://articles.latimes.com/print/2009/jul/03/opinion/ed-tax03

    Americans must pay US taxes on worldwide income.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/26/business/worldbusiness/26iht-tax.html?pagewanted=all

    Americans must also pay income taxes to foreign countries when they work overseas.

    http://www.sars.gov.za/home.asp?pid=44773

    Americans must pay taxes on gifts given and received.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/24/your-money/24iht-nwgift.html?pagewanted=all

    http://www.irs.gov/businesses/article/0%2C%2Cid=200722%2C00.html

    The drinking age has been raised.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1988/07/01/us/wyoming-finally-raises-its-drinking-age.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

    Drunk driving has been outlawed.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1987/03/23/us/drunken-driving-showing-decline.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

    Homeowners cannot rent rooms in their homes.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/22/nyregion/22homeless.html?pagewanted=all

    Debtors with defaulted student loans are forbidden from having driver licenses.

    http://www.doj.mt.gov/driving/driverlicensesanctions.asp

    Child seats are now required in cars with toddlers.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2001/oct/10/news/hw-55349

    Americans cannot have US or foreign bank accounts while living overseas.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/hong-kong/2011/03/10/red-white-and-through/

    Americans who do have overseas bank accounts must report them to the US government every year.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124804796387763807.html

    Adultery is illegal.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-04-26-column26_ST_N.htm

    Foreign workers are forbidden from working in many countries.

    http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2008/9/23/central/2090943&sec=central

    Unmarried couples may not live together.

    http://www.usatoday.com/life/lifestyle/2005-07-17-state-law_x.htm

    Oral sex is illegal.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/us/11bar.html

    Some countries require websites to be licensed by the government.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2005/jun/08/world/fg-chinaweb8

    Panhandling is illegal.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2011-09-25/panhandle-ban-louisville/50541244/1

    Loitering is illegal.

    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20090714/ARTICLES/907149911?p=all&tc=pgall

    Homeowners are legally required to mow their lawns.

    http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Jailed-homeowner-reconsiders-mowing-lawn-1811557.php

    There is now a 5 year lifetime limit on welfare.

    http://articles.latimes.com/print/2002/apr/20/news/mn-39050

    Bankruptcy has been outlawed.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-04-20-bush-bankruptcy_x.htm

    Watering and not watering lawns are both illegal.

    http://articles.latimes.com/print/2007/oct/07/nation/na-drought7

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-09-18-2585115022_x.htm

    Fat taxes are being added to food.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2008/08/alabama-places.html

    Smoking indoors, in parks, at beaches, and on public transportation has been made illegal.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/25/us/more-california-air-space-set-for-no-smoke-zones.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

    Sales of cigarettes to minors has been outlawed.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1992/08/18/nyregion/keeping-teen-agers-smokeless-perth-amboy-moves-combat-cigarette-sales-minors.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

    Airline passengers can now be added to “no-fly” lists, searched, and required to have an ID.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/22/us/22tsa.html

    Driving while using a mobile phone has been banned.

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2010/01/three-more-states-enact-texting-while-driving-bans/1

    Americans are now required by law to have health insurance.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/judicial/2011-06-29-health-care-ruling_n.htm

    Cars are required to have air bags.

    http://money.cnn.com/2007/06/25/autos/airbags/index.htm

    Americans are now required to have a passport to visit Canada and Mexico.

    http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2009/03/14/business/doc49bb9a6967f18615571979.txt?viewmode=fullstory

    The minimum driving age has been raised.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/10/automobiles/how-we-drive-the-young-and-reckless-ready-to-drive.html?pagewanted=all

    Curfews have been enacted.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1990/11/21/us/atlanta-sets-a-curfew-for-youths-prompting-concern-on-race-bias.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

    Homeowners must have a permit from the government to remove trees from their own private property.

    http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20110930/COLUMNIST/110939996?p=all&tc=pgall

    http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2011/jan/25/vero-beach-homeowner-issued-15k-fine-for-tree/

    Homeowners are banned from installing fake grass on their lawns.

    http://articles.glendalenewspress.com/2011-11-15/news/tn-gnp-1116-artificial-turf_1_artificial-turf-fake-turf-fake-grass

    Premarital sex is illegal.

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/print/524859/IDAHO-COUNTY-DUSTS-OFF-FORNICATION-LAW.html

    Teaching about polygamy is illegal.

    http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=6979

    Homeowners are legally required to shovel snow from sidewalks.

    http://articles.boston.com/2011-02-02/news/29341996_1_shovel-citations-complaints

    Sex toys are illegal.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-10-01-2390404063_x.htm

    Selling a toy gun is illegal.

    http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2009/07/state_attorney_general_targets.html

    Background checks are required for gun buyers.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1004884,00.html

    Soft drinks are banned from schools.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/05/business/05junkfood.html?adxnnl=1&pagewanted=all&adxnnlx=1322741106-hCReaBGMgViZUZAYsO/m+w

    Skateboarders, bicyclists, and motorcycle riders must legally wear helmets.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/argus/index.ssf?/base/editorial/1269631274148530.xml&coll=6

    Skateboarding on roads is illegal.

    http://articles.latimes.com/1991-10-31/local/me-878_1_laguna-niguel

    Sleeping on the beach, in parks, on public streets, in alleys, or in a parked car is illegal.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2008/dec/24/local/me-aclu24

    Wearing baggy pants is illegal.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/30/fashion/30baggy.html

    Redlight cameras are being installed at intersections.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/14/nyregion/14red.html

    Speed cameras are being installed at intersections.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-05-13-traffic-cameras_N.htm

    Pick-up trucks are required to be parked inside garages at night.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/06/14/2266463/city-to-start-enforcing-pick-up.html

    Using leaf blowers is illegal.

    http://articles.latimes.com/print/1997/jul/02/news/mn-8967

    Bloggers are required to have business licenses.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghancasserly/2010/08/23/philly-requiring-bloggers-to-pay-for-business-licenses/

    Loud stereos are illegal.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2002/oct/16/autos/hy-wheels16

    Indoor tanning bed use is banned.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/alltherage/2011/10/tanning-bed-ban.html

    Putting indoor furniture outdoors is now illegal.

    http://www.news-gazette.com/news/courts-police-and-fire/2010-06-22/fire-leads-ban-urbana-having-indoor-furniture-outside-home.ht

    Fireworks are illegal.

    http://www.gazette.com/articles/fireworks-120725-city-tents.html

    Plastic bags have been banned.

    http://articles.latimes.com/print/2010/may/31/local/la-me-plastic-bags-20100531

    Children are now required to ride in child safety seats.

    http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/700-new-state-laws-which-one-s-yours-1643340.php

    Enough is enough. America doesn’t sound so free if everything is illegal. If you care about your freedom, write your elected officials. Governments would love to take away all your freedom if they could. Our freedoms are diminishing, not growing. Stand up, fight for your rights, and protect our freedom now!

    http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

    http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html

    http://www.economist.com/node/16636027

    http://www.dumblaws.com/

    http://nannystateliberationfront.net/
    _________________________

    First they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me, but there was no one left to speak for me.

    If only one person is not free, then no one is free.

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

    • admin says:

      I gotta say, its an extensive list and I didn’t go through the whole thing. But I actually agree with some of the things you don’t. I have no problems with sex offenders having to register and being kept away from schools. Its been noted that the Constitution is not a suicide pact, and we should have the right to protect our children from predators. I also have no problems banning drug users from getting welfare. I have no problems with people using drugs, but it doesn’t mean the rest of us should fund the habit or the consequences of the habit.

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