Monday, September 6, 2010

Federal Government: What is it Good For?

John Miller, a man so smart he proved that the Rock and the Roll is conservative, forwards a bleg from some other super genius.
Martin Morse Wooster (mmwooster at yahoo dot com) asks:
I am trying to find the original source for this quotation: “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’s be a shortage of sand.” This is commonly attributed to Milton Friedman BUT the oldest article I have found with this quote (from 1982) attributes it to William Rusher. I need to know the original source for this quote with a citation if possible.
It seems that the pithy remark was one of the many Soviet era jokes about the misery of the communist state and the general hopelessness of socialism.[1]  As this comment applies to America, if you leave aside WWII, the Berlin Air Lift, the A-Bomb, the Internets, the Eisenhower's national highways, the Moon, Mars, Space Stations, disease control. pre-Reagan public education,   and other related whatnotery, they've got a point.

[1] My favorite:
What's the difference between capitalist hell and socialist hell.
In capitalist hell, the damned must lie on a bed of nails while a steam roller drives over them. In socialist hell, it is exactly the same, except sometimes there are no nails, sometimes the steam roller is broken and sometimes the driver is too drunk to work.

There are multiple version of this.

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