Arnold Kling  

George McGovern, Libertarian

Feldstein's Lender Bailout Pro... Free Lunch at SXSW?...

While Martin Feldstein is proposing more government meddling in mortgage markets, George McGovern writes,

There's no question, however, that delinquency and default rates are far too high. But some of this is due to bad investment decisions by real-estate speculators. These losses are not unlike the risks taken every day in the stock market.

...Health-care paternalism creates another problem that's rarely mentioned: Many people can't afford the gold-plated health plans that are the only options available in their states.

Buying health insurance on the Internet and across state lines, where less expensive plans may be available, is prohibited by many state insurance commissions. Despite being able to buy car or home insurance with a mouse click, some state governments require their approved plans for purchase or none at all. It's as if states dictated that you had to buy a Mercedes or no car at all.

...Economic paternalism takes its newest form with the campaign against short-term small loans, commonly known as "payday lending."

...Anguished at the fact that payday lending isn't perfect, some people would outlaw the service entirely, or cap fees at such low levels that no lender will provide the service. Anyone who's familiar with the law of unintended consequences should be able to guess what happens next.

Researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York went one step further and laid the data out: Payday lending bans simply push low-income borrowers into less pleasant options, including increased rates of bankruptcy. Net result: After a lending ban, the consumer has the same amount of debt but fewer ways to manage it.

America, come home!*

(*)That was Senator McGovern's slogan when he ran for President against Richard Nixon in 1972.

Comments and Sharing

COMMENTS (9 to date)
fordwestvt writes:

My first presidential vote was for George McGovern in 1972. I agreed with him then and I agree with him now. People change.

Robin Hanson writes:

How libertarian was he long ago? If he changed, when and why?

Michael writes:

I had to double check to make sure this was written by THE George McGovern. From what I understand he actually opened a business sometime after leaving political office and got a dose of reality about dealing with Big Gov.

Brad Hutchings writes:

If the tub is more baby than bathwater, we should think twice about dumping everything out.

He has a very nuanced position on abortion, to say the least.

Count DeMoney writes:

George McGovern did open a business, a hotel or bed and breakfast I believe, and discovered that government often got in the way of business. He said something to the effect that had he known as a politician what he discovered as a businessman, he would have changed his positions on a number of issues.

He also told Larry King in January of 2007 that he voted for Republican Gerald Ford over Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1976

Floccina writes:

Did George get more Libertarian or did everyone else get more paternalistic?

RL writes:

OK. He's got my vote for President this year...Let's start producing those "McGovern in '08" bumper stickers...

Gary Rogers writes:

Thanks for the comment. After reading Martin Feldstein's article on the same page of the Wall Street Journal and not liking what I read, I totally skipped George McGovern's article thinking there would be nothing worth reading. I was wrong. I especially liked the last paragraph about responsibility and preserving choice. I would only add the obvious, that Washington is taking our money and making worse economic choices than those from which they are pretending to protect us.

Crazy Politico writes:

George proves the theory that most conservatives are former liberals who were mugged,either by a crook or the government. It was the Government in George's case.

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