Talk radio update

Got back late Saturday from a big week in Missoula, visiting my daughter and seeing Steve Martin in concert with the Steep Canyon Rangers. Great show, great time. But now I’m behind on everything.

I figured the talk gurus would be all over Obama’s “They didn’t build that” remark on Thursday, and they were, but not as intensely as I had anticipated. Is it possible that they considered the whole affair too trivial and inconsequential even for them? Nah.

Hannity had a caller who swore that she and her husband built their agricultural business — not clear exactly what sort of business — from scratch and sent their kids to college, all without a nickel of government help. Dunno. She said they drove around a lot on business, so I’m not not sure how they avoided using government-built roads. And it sounded as if the business wasn’t hugely successful, so I’m not sure how they sent all those kids to private schools that get no government funds or government-backed loans. Quite an achievement.

The most entertaining pitch was from Glenn Beck, who was willing to acknowledge that businesses need infrastructure, such as roads, to be successful. And he even acknowledged that roads are built with tax dollars. But he couldn’t quite bring himself to take the next step and acknowledge that in most cases it is the government’s job to assess and collect those taxes, plan and design those roads and then build them or award contracts to build them. He couldn’t give the government an inch of credit for any of that.

I guess if you are as invested as Glenn Beck is in the belief that government never does anything right, then it’s hard to grant that maybe government really does do some useful things, and that in some cases the whole system actually works pretty well. Hang on, Glenn. You will figure it out one day.


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