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Cato Policy Report, January/February 2000
Vol. 22, No. 1

To Be Governed...

A collection of newspaper clips that speak for themselves

What is the opposite of "law"?

A group of plaintiffs’ lawyers who earned millions suing the cigarette industry are readying a new onslaught of lawsuits against another unpopular target: health maintenance organizations.

In the coming weeks, an Atlanta-based affiliation of lawyers from the tobacco wars will file class-action lawsuits based on a variety of innovative legal arguments.

Washington Post, Oct. 1, 1999

God bless the U.S.A.

Clover is OK, ditto for Buttercup. But Suzie or Elsie are definite no-nos.

Daisy is borderline, and would probably require executive approval before it could be bestowed on a cow—at least at Canada’s Central Experimental Farm, a federal agricultural museum and research center in Ottawa. . . .

Bureaucrats have ordered the center to cease the custom of giving "human female names" to cows because such names might give offense to women.

Boston Globe, Oct. 13, 1999

Government consumer-affairs officials [in Britain] have proposed making it illegal for a pub to pour a glass of beer with more than 5% froth. Pub owners would face fines of nearly $8,000, and those who repeatedly served too much froth could lose their licenses.

Wall Street Journal, Oct. 13, 1999

Nationalize everything

President Clinton and half the nation’s governors gathered today for a third educa-tion summit with none of the eight educa-tion goals set in 1989 within reach. . . .

Clinton explained the failure to reach the goals in part by saying that progress has been slowed by a decentralized school system that divides responsibility among the federal, state and local governments.

Washington Post, Oct. 1, 1999

He also endorses campaign finance reform

Top aides to Vice President Gore met with Cabinet officials this week to urge them to schedule "official" events next spring that will enable the Democratic presidential candidate to travel the country at government expense at a time when his campaign bank account will be depleted. . . .

His new plan, outlined in two meetings with Cabinet secretaries and their deputies, calls for Gore to fly coast-to-coast handing out federal grants, giving speeches and posing at photo opportunities—all paid for by the government.

Washington Post, Nov. 19, 1999

Communism can work. Just make it capitalist

Manfred and Brigitte Voigt . . . had been drearily eking out a living at a communist retail cooperative in Plauen [East Ger-many]. . . . They were in charge of managing the administration and invento-ry for all the state-owned shops in town and—most trying of all—motivating a work force that had long abandoned enthusiasm for the proletarian revolution. . . .

[Given an opportunity to open the first East German McDonald’s,] they poked around at a McDonald’s in Nuremberg. One day, Mr. Voigt spent six hours frying french fries. "The team philosophy was very impressive," he said, still marveling at the revelation. "Everyone was friendly, every-thing worked. It was like a chain reaction." It was how they had always been exhorting their colleagues in the communist coop-erative to work, wasting their breath much of the time.

Wall Street Journal, Nov. 8, 1999

Governor, Governor, make me a match

Arkansas’s governor has declared a marital emergency, calling for a 50 percent reduction in the divorce rate. Oklahoma is trying to reduce failed marriages by one-third. . . .

Now, Wisconsin is taking an even more active role in the lives of couples. It has just created the nation’s first government-funded marriage guru—a state employee who would work with clergy in interested communities, establishing requirements that couples would have to meet before being wed in a church.

Christian Science Monitor, Nov. 16, 1999

Coincidence?

Vice President Gore and Democratic rival Bill Bradley have already made campaign promises that would spend every penny of the available federal budget surplus for the next 10 years, and possibly more, calculations show.

Washington Post, Oct. 9, 1999

Vice President Gore collected the support of the nation’s largest teachers union and a key federal union yesterday.

Washington Post, Oct. 9, 1999

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2000 edition of Cato Policy Report.