Ron Wolff: I can’t tell you that my life has been saved by the efforts of government to reduce air pollution. But living in an area highly susceptible to the accumulation of dangerous particulates and ozone, I can tell you that I notice a distinct improvement in air quality over the last 15 years. And that has probably added several years to my life expectancy. Yes, government has saved my life. Maybe it has saved yours too. Is this worth paying for? I guess that depends on whether you want to pay your fair share of taxes to support these worthwhile endeavors.
Ron Wolff: OK, it’s a fund-raising letter. I didn’t expect it to be scholarly. But neither did I expect an organization that claims to be a “think tank” to utilize the linguistic legerdemain (yes, I made that phrase up, and I’m mighty proud of it) that is the quintessential opposite of critical thinking.
Ron Wolff: Appointed judges, intellectual and political elites, mainstream journalists, bureaucrats, and Europeans — the customary targets of conservatives — fall victim to his keyboard. He almost equates property rights to the means of pursuing happiness, totally ignoring reams of evidence to the contrary. (As we know from last week’s article, nobody expects a correlation any more between belief systems and evidence.)
Lucky me! Although I’m a registered Democrat, I received in last Wednesday’s mail a fund-raising appeal for the Republican National Committee signed by none other than Chairman Michael Steele. Now, nobody expects this type of mailer to be profound or scholarly. It has one purpose only, and that is to motivate people to write checks. [...]