Skepticism of the state is healthy. But it was happening long before Ferguson.
Here are 6 big lies the government has told us.
1. We know what we’re doing
Last week, the Washington Post reported that TSA agents will be taught that Washington, DC issues driver’s licenses. Why is this necessary? Well, TSA agents have repeatedly hassled travelers because the agents apparently don’t know what the District of Columbia is.
This story of government incompetence is just the tip of the iceberg:
- There’s the White House cybersecurity chief who bragged a couple days ago that he has no knowledge of cybersecurity.
- The EPA is using 20-year-old data to make regulations which decrease employment.
- The government’s transparency website, USASpending.gov, is wrong more than 90% of the time.
- In Iraq, both sides of the conflict are armed with weapons supplied by the U.S. government.
- The Patent Office has knowingly paid employees $80,000+ salaries to sit at home and watch TV.
These are not stories of an organization that knows what it’s doing.
2. This nanny state is for your own good
Well—also like Prohibition—it doesn’t.
When liquor was banned, violent crime spiked and alcohol consumption didn’t substantially decrease. The repeal of Prohibition is what actually made America safer.
The drug war works the same way. Since marijuana was legalized in Colorado, for instance, there has been a notable decrease in violent crime; and police can reroute their time and as much as $40 million annually to dealing with real criminals instead of people who buy pot. In Portugal, where all drug use was decriminalized more than a decade ago, drug use and addiction rates are way, way down.
3. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear
If any lie on this list is in the running to win “most obvious,” it’s this one—given what we know about the insane, illegal, and invasive things the NSA does.
Mass surveillance suppresses dissent and breeds conformity. It’s unconstitutional and more intrusive than we know. And even if you think you don’t have anything to hide, you do: The average American unknowingly commits three felonies a day because we’re so over-regulated. In short, it’s pretty clear we all have something to fear: our government.
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