The title of this column is taken from Larry Elder's superb book Ten Things You Can't Say In America, even though we don't cover much of the same ground. Hopefully, Larry won't mind because imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery.
1) The U.S. military should be far less concerned about civilian casualties. We've gotten to the point where the United States is now regularly getting into conflicts with enemy nations that have far less regard for the lives of civilians in their countries than we do. We hold off on hitting high value targets because civilians are in the area and straitjacket our troops with rules of engagement that make it more likely they'll be killed. Meanwhile, the people we're fighting wear no uniforms and deliberately place military assets in areas full of civilians in order to use them as human shields. Yet, who gets blamed if the civilians are killed? Our troops, instead of the people who deliberately put innocents in danger.
Moreover, although we shouldn't be cavalier about taking the lives of civilians, safeguarding the lives of our soldiers and winning the wars we fight are more important than the civilian bodycount. It's better to lose foreign civilians than our soldiers and it's better to kill large numbers of civilians than lose a war. That's how we looked at it in World War II and it's how we should look at it today.
2) We would be better off if fewer people voted. We have fetishized voting in this country to the point where we've actually had serious proposals to make the vote into a lottery, where one lucky person will win a million dollars just for voting.
But the truth is, we'd be better off as a country if less people voted. For example, why in the world would we want to give felons or illegal immigrants the right to vote in elections (and yes, they do get to vote in parts of the country)?
On a different note, a Pew Research Poll in April of this month found that only 69% of Americans know that Dick Cheney is the sitting Vice-President. Honestly, if you don't even know who the Veep is, you're too uninformed to be voting.
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