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Stealing from Each Other: How the Welfare State Robs Americans of Money and Spirit
by Edgar K. Browning (Praeger, 2008); 226 pages.
In the Sherlock Holmes story “Silver Blaze,” the key to Holmes’s solution of the case rested on something that didn’t happen — the dog that didn’t bark in the night. Few people (such as Dr. Watson in the story) are inclined to think about the importance of things that do not happen, but we can make great mistakes if we fail to do so.
Edgar Browning, professor of economics at Texas A&M University, implores us, in his new book, Stealing from Each Other, to think as Holmes did and as economists do when they contemplate opportunity costs, namely, what we give up when we choose to do X rather than Y. Specifically, he wants us to consider the opportunity costs of our vast federal ...
“Mommy, am I gonna die?”— 4-year-old Ava Ellis after being inadvertently shot in the leg by a police officer who was aiming for the girl’s boxer-terrier dog, Patches
“‘Am I going to get shot again.’”—2-year-old survivor of a police shooting that left his three siblings, ages 1, 4 and 5, with a bullet in the brain, a fractured skull and gun wounds to the face
Children learn what they live.
As family counselor Dorothy Law Nolte wisely observed, “If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn. If children live with hostility, they learn to fight. If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.”
And if children live with terror, trauma and violence—forced to watch helplessly as their loved ones are executed by police officers who shoot first and ask questions later—will they in turn learn to terrorize, traumatize and inflict violence on the world ...