20 Years Ago


"In Washington, D.C., and many state capitals, the best you can say is that some of the lawmakers read some of the bills some of the time. The rest rely on staff-written summaries and word-of-mouth descriptions from colleagues and lobbyists. They often don't know what they're doing, and then they can't remember why they did it."
—John J. Pitney Jr., "Don't Vote for Me"

"In other words, protection not only compels consumers to pay more than they should for the products they buy; it deprives future consumers of the main benefit of competitive capitalism: continued product and process innovation."
—Joel Mokyr, "Future Enemies"

"Procedural reforms can do a lot—but we can never be entirely sure what they will do. We can reason out the advantages of not having legislators rooted in Washington for decades, or of not permitting them to spend wildly regardless of revenue. But all we can know for sure is that the results of such reforms will end up surprising everyone."
—Brian Doherty, "Rules Rule"

—June 1996