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03/14/2007 Archived Entry: "Wendy McElroy on the transaction costs of life (and border crossings)"

"THE TRANSACTION COSTS OF LIFE ARE SOARING." This is one of the best -- and certainly scariest -- pieces from Wendy McElroy in a long time.

She's right; thanks to government, many things that were once quite simple -- walking into a federal building, getting a drivers license, crossing into Canada, running a business (to mix my own examples with hers) -- are now becoming so difficult that we must either spend excruciating efforts to do them or resign ourselves to not doing them at all. This imposition of vast bureaucracy into ordinary activity is the very definition of Everyday Stalinism. Freedom of choice and movement are slowly ground away -- destroyed not by tyrannical edict, but by a steady carborundum effect of bureaucracy, "security," and excess legalistic intrusion into daily life.

Wendy's essay was inspired by a friend's sudden difficulty doing something he'd done many times before -- attempting to visit family in Canada. This above all scares the pants off me. How long will it be before the bars of our cage are complete? Before only those favored and given permission by government are "allowed" to escape the growing tyranny?

Posted by Claire @ 09:24 AM CST

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