The competition for a place on the dishonor roll of bad ideas, past and present, is fierce. But here goes:
1. Eugenics, the theory and awful practice of improving humanity the way experts in animal husbandry might produce a new breed of cattle or kind of chicken. Yet eugenics was championed by such distinguished figures in American history as
2. Food as fuel. Using corn to run our engines is a waste of perfectly good food. And a perfect example of misplaced priorities. But it's another way for the government to subsidize farmers. And for politicians to appeal to the farm vote. And extend government's long reach into still another industry, this time agriculture.
3. Obamacare, a tax disguised as a social-welfare program. Space limitations do not allow a detailed look at its various mantraps, many of which have yet to be noticed. But they will be -- as sure as the annual increase in your health-insurance premiums will come to your attention when it's time to pay the bills. So let's give Obamacare the blue ribbon for false advertising. It's certainly earned it. Stay well, friend. It's the best kind of health insurance.
4. Diversity -- the whole industry, racket and fraud. Complete with racial, sexual and class quotas. Plus its deans of diversity who draw down big salaries at our more prestigious colleges and universities doing anything and everything except teach students the arts and sciences. How quaint that would be! At best, all these supernumeraries aren't needed, and at worst they represent a clear and present danger to education, the real thing and not the inflated fraud that may go under its name.
5. Educanto. Which seems to have replaced classical education on college campus after college campus. As surely as Latin and Greek have become "dead" languages, educanto is alive and well. Indeed, mastering its gobbledygook has become something of a requirement for promotion in academe. Departments of classical languages may still be kept around for ornamental purposes. Otherwise, they're taken about as seriously as this administration does the Constitution of
Yet more dishonorable ideas:
• Inflation. An oldie but a baddie. Whenever governments find themselves in trouble, they tend to take refuge in two time-tested and time-failed policies: Inflate the currency, and then declare war. See the history of
• Crony capitalism. Solyndra is just one example of how a government with the power to choose the winners and losers in the economy chooses the losers. In a free market, the people make that choice every day in just about every way, from picking a can of beans off the shelf at a grocery store to an offering on the stock market. Their sheer numbers make them better at it.
• Isolationism. The belief that this country can safely retreat from the world. Or as
• Trusts. Where is an old trust-buster like
• False gods. As in a-whoring after. Worshipping false gods is an ancient practice. It dates back at least to Baal and Ashtoroth, who were going to assure their worshippers of success in exchange for just a few human sacrifices. The appeal of that bitch goddess Success never seems to wane. Whatever she's called, her cult remains just as much a swindle and profanation.
Stay tuned. It's going to be, uh, interesting.