Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Ideologues gone wild

A post at National Review's The Corner encapsulates the loony right on a small scale --

Privatize Eastern Market [John J. Miller]

Over the weekend, a fire gutted Eastern Market—an old and famous Capitol Hill building that's sort of a cross between a farmer's market and a food court ... The DC government owns Eastern Market and there are calls to spend federal money to rebuild it. A better idea: Privatize it, and let the businesses within compete for customers just as they would if they were opening stores on Pennsylvania Ave. a couple of blocks away.

This is the same privatization mentality that worked out so well for New Orleans and Iraq. It's also not clear that Miller understands what went on inside Eastern Market before it burned down, where private businesses did indeed compete for customers. Is he confusing local government ownership of the building with private operation of the stalls inside?

His only supporting evidence is a link to someone whining that the Federal government should have no obligation to provide funds to help rebuild it. Other than the fact that the Federal government gives all kinds of grants all the time, Washington DC is the federal city.

A final irony is that there is a case to be made that government ownership of the building hobbled its management, but it's one that he couldn't be bothered making, with yelling about privatization and an "on yer bike" mentality substituting for rational discussion.

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