Easy Test

By Vladimir Brezina

In their article Do We Really Need a National Weather Service?, Iain Murray and David Bier of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (“Free Markets and Limited Government”) advocate abolishing the National Weather Service. They have an unanswerable argument:

The NWS claims that it supports industries like aviation and shipping, but if they provide a valuable contribution to business, it stands to reason business would willingly support their services. If that is the case, the Service is just corporate welfare. If they would not, it is just a waste.

And yet…  When in 640 A.D. the Arabs conquered Alexandria, the question arose what to do with the Great Library, the repository of the learning of the ancient world. Caliph Omar (allegedly) decided:

The contents of those books are in conformity with the Koran, or they are not. If they are, they are superfluous; if they are not, they are pernicious. Let them, therefore, be destroyed.

And so they were.

2 responses to “Easy Test

  1. I think along with getting the Government out of the Weather Business, we need to get them out of the Airports, Schools (at the Federal Level, at the very least), and a variety of other areas. Sad, that in reality, if we followed our Constitution, our Nation would still be thriving. Our Federal Government has wandered way out of bounds in all directions. Corporate Welfare, indeed!


  2. Johna Till Johnson

    Hi Orples,

    I totally agree with your last two sentences, and am also quite worried about the Feds encroaching in areas they shouldn’t.

    But I have to say that the Fed does serve a good purpose in many areas. My personal thinking, as someone who relies on the national weather service on a daily basis: I’m *glad* they’re in the business of providing this service!

    It’s useful for all citizens, including hunters, farmers, and recreational kayakers. Not to mention ordinary citizens who’d like to know whether or not to pack an umbrella that morning!

    And I would not trust a private company to provide better data (possibly equally good, but not better—and then accessible only to a few).

    I say this as a small business owner and someone who, in other contexts, worries quite a bit about the encroaching powers of the Feds and the emergence of a “nanny state”. (Or as I like to call it, the “Santa Claus” theory of government–you make your wishes and the Government magically fulfills them… what is wrong with this picture???)

    Anyway, thanks for commenting, and again, agree very much with your last two sentences!


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