Thomas Sowell

Anyone with any knowledge or understanding of the kinds of people who predominate in the educational establishment -- including the largest teachers' union, the National Educational Association -- knows that they are utterly opposed to the traditional morality which conservatives want them to promote. Moreover, there is no way for Congress or anybody else to monitor what they are actually doing in the classroom, much less do anything about it, given the iron-clad tenure of teachers.

Feel-good laws and policies are behind many of the disasters of our time. People in California have been feeling good for years blocking the building of electricity-generating facilities and blocking the use, extraction or even exploration for the fuels like oil or natural gas needed to power such facilities. The consequences have been either ignored -- until the lights started going out -- or else waved aside with claims that all we need is "conservation" and some windmills and solar panels.

This is in a state with a growing population and with a huge computer industry that requires electricity, not only for the computers themselves, but also for the air-conditioning necessary to keep the computers from being ruined by summer heat.

All over the country, people who are against "over-crowding" feel good when they support "open space" laws to put much land off limits for building anything. It never seems to occur to them that the more land is off limits to building, the more crowded we are going to be on the remaining land. But why should they think things through that far? If the purpose is to feel good, that purpose has been accomplished and the consequences can be left for others to deal with.

Unfortunately, that is the way too many of our laws are made.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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