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.