An unfortunately perennial story that always gets traction here on the Right goes something like this: precocious youngsters, hoping to engage in some earnest enterprise, start selling lemonade or the like from a roadside stand. The kids are doing well and making good money (for kids), until an overzealous local health board official sends in the cops to bust up the lemonade stand. Like Treasury Department revenuers smashing up a yokel’s still, these local officials destroy children’s dreams—and sometimes slap them with a fine.
It’s a story that guarantees outrage, and highlights the clueless, stringent rule-following of bureaucracies. Yes, yes—technically you’re not supposed to sell lemonade and hot dogs without some kind of license, and the health department is supposed make sure your establishment is clean. But these are kids, selling stuff on the side of the road. Why bother? Let them have fun and make a little money.
Unbeknownst to the girls—but beknownst to some overweening Karen, no doubt—a local ordinance prohibits the selling of eggs, though it permits the raising of chickens on one’s property. That’s asinine. Why can’t people sell eggs in a small town in Texas?
There’s been a lot of discussion of UBI—Universal Basic Income—over the last few years, especially with the presidential primary run of Andrew Yang. The concept is seductive in its simplicity: gut the welfare state and its behemoth apparatus of bureaucratic pencil pushers and middlemen, and just cut every adult citizen a monthly check.
For fiscal conservatives, it’s a particularly toothsome Devil’s Bargain: streamline an inefficient and wasteful bureaucracy and simply direct deposit a grand every month into Americans’ checking accounts. Of course, it’s a siren song: we’d just get the payments and still suffer with an entrenched bureaucracy, claiming $1000 a month isn’t enough to meet the specialized needs of whatever community they pretend to support.
Even if the deal were struck and every redundant welfare program were eliminated, there UBI would still be a bad idea. Besides the absurdity of merely paying people to exist, it’s inherently inflationary: if you give everyone $1000 a month, prices are going to go up. Just as college tuition has soared because universities realized they could jack up the price and federal loans would expand to cover the costs, UBI would cause a similar rise in prices. Sure, it’d be great at first, but the inflationary effects would kick in quickly.
The demands of daily blogging being what they are, the spiteful company’s short history also made for easy blog fodder. Now that Hogg has withdrawn from the company, it seemed like a good time to compile my three posts on the subject in one place:
“Hoggin’ the Pillows” – The beginning of Hogg’s misadventure in the world of business. I expressed hope that he would come to his senses about the world as he tackled business; of course, that was naïve.
“More Pillow Hoggin’” – About five or six weeks after the announcement that the company was starting, Hogg and his business partner settled on a name—and neglected to register the trademark, allowing a clever troll to register it first. D’oh! Things were not looking good for Good Pillow.
“Pillows Smothered Hogg” – Now David Hogg has pulled out of Good Pillow, citing school conflicts and his desire to dedicate more time to activism. Heaven help us; I’d rather he be wasting time working on a pillow that will never be made.
Well, that’s it for this (slightly spiteful) edition of Lazy Sunday. Here’s hoping you all sleep comfortably on your MyPillow for your Sunday nap.
Hogg is so clueless that he failed to register the trademark “Good Pillow,” the ultimate name of the company; a clever individual from North Carolina snagged it the day after the Newsweek piece was published on 10 February 2021.
Ah, 2019—when the disaster of the 2020 presidential theft was a distant possibility, and long before Lord COVID descended from his Chinese chemical lab to sow destruction upon us all. Back, then, our greatest concern was incompetent government bureaucrats running us over, then ticketing us for the pleasure.
That’s the story behind this post, which discusses Jim Treacher’s near-death encounter with a federal SUV, and the efforts of the feds to shift the blame to Teacher, rather than the federal agent who mowed him down.
Well, they can flatten our dreams, our economic prospects, and our freedom, but they can never flatten our hope. Here is 23 March 2019’s “Out of Control Feds“:
Limbaugh—who fans affectionately called Rush (or “El Rushbo”)—pioneered the conservative talk-radio format. After the lifting of the FCC’s Fairness Doctrine in 1987, radio and television no longer were required to present both or all sides of an issue being debated. That made it possible for entire programs to be dedicated to commentary tilted towards one political worldview or another.
Into that new media environment stepped Rush. He was the first of many to seize upon the idea of delivering withering attacks on the Left and Democrats through the format of a three-hour radio program.