Monday, March 12, 2007

Quick hitters

While I was busy watching 300 on Friday, the Justice Department released a report accusing the F.B.I. of mis-using the Patriot Act to spy on U.S. citizens who have no connections to terrorism. If only someone had the foresight to see this coming...if only someone had warned us!

Another report shows that the poor have more leisure time than the rich. I don't really care...class jealousy is pointless in a society that offers the freedom to move between classes...but the author of this article makes an excellent point at the end, which is worth repeating:

Second, a certain class of pundits and politicians are quick to see any increase in income inequality as a problem that needs fixing—usually through some form of redistributive taxation. Applying the same philosophy to leisure, you could conclude that something must be done to reverse the trends of the past 40 years—say, by rounding up all those folks with extra time on their hands and putting them to (unpaid) work in the kitchens of their "less fortunate" neighbors. If you think it's OK to redistribute income but repellent to redistribute leisure, you might want to ask yourself what—if anything—is the fundamental difference.


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