I'm the underachiever in my family. My parents also produced Harvard Medical School research director Thomas Stossel. Mom called him the one who had "a real job."
For years, my brother annoyed me by not embracing the libertarianism that changed my life. It bored him. He was comfortable in his Harvard cocoon.
But then he realized that the anti-capitalist activists who fight with me on my TV show are also the people who make life more difficult for doctors, and for patients who want cures.
The numbers are small for a large country like this, but the alarm is big over the influx of Central American children coming over the southern border. People are merging this special case involving about 57,000 children with generalized anxiety about a broken immigration system that has resulted in an estimated 11 million illegal residents. At bottom are fears that the United States is incapable of managing an orderly immigration program
The surge of solitary children is especially disturbing because the arrivals are so pitiful. The public knows that they are innocents escaping war-like conditions and grinding poverty. But the public also knows that vast stretches of this troubled planet are soaked in misery. If fleeing war, violence and destitution is reason enough to be granted the right to stay in the United States, distressed souls in the hundreds of millions would qualify.
"Pare down the parasitic fringe" of government. "Favor a gospel of work" instead of aristocratic entitlement. "Rationalize finance" and "reverse the Parkinson's law of bureaucracy."
All that sounds like rhetoric from the Tea Party or reform conservatives who assail what they call crony capitalism.
But it's not a contemporary criticism. Those are phrases from a long essay, written more than half a century ago, by the British historian H. R. Trevor-Roper, titled "The General Crisis of the Seventeenth Century."
Michael Barone, senior political analyst at the Washington Examiner, (www.washingtonexaminer.com), where this article first appeared, is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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When Louis Brandeis wrote in 1932 that a "single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country," he was suggesting that state innovations might advance reform on the federal level. The progressive Supreme Court justice surely wasn't imagining anything quite like Brownbackistan.
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