• Creating a Risk-Free World

      Politicians pretend they can protect us from risks. But they can't. Often intuitively useful safety rules leave us less safe.

      That's what my syndicated column is about this week:

      Everyone has a different tolerance for risk. One person takes out a second mortgage to start a business. Another thinks that sounds nerve-racking, if not insane. Neither person is wrong. Government cannot know each person's preferences, or odds of success.

      Even if it did, what right does it have to tell them what to do?

      As I document in my new book, "No, They Can't: Why Government Fails -- but Individuals Succeed," when government gets in the business of deciding which risks are acceptable and which aren't, nasty things happen.

      This includes government's attempt to improve life by regulating gambling and the use of medicine, banning recreational drugs and mandating safety devices in cars.

      In what sense are we free if we can't decide such things for ourselves?

      For more on the costs of government protectionism, the rest of my column here.

      Syndicated Column