The Corner

Lessons Learned and Unlearned

For the last three days, we’ve published my “Up with Kevin” series, i.e., notes on our man Kevin Williamson and his new book, The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome. (The third and final installment is here.) Each day, I’ve been publishing some mail on these notes. Let me finish with two samples.

A reader writes,

Jay,

What you said about LBJ’s War on Poverty jumped out at me. I was a child of Ann Arbor and carried my University of Michigan-sponsored indoctrination with me well into my 30s. But the turning point came when I learned about the net results of this “war.” I think that’s true of many of us former Democrats.

I was particularly interested in the marriage and legitimacy rates found in inner cities: the contrast between later ones and earlier ones. The truth is, families were making their way out and were largely intact. Then we stepped in to help.

Another reader, on a different topic, writes,

You said there was one place where they cared “not a fig” about the Austrian school of economics, and had barely heard of it: Austria. I have a story you’ll like.

I was over there, talking with some journalists, and I said that the best insights into entrepreneurship and the state came from Austrians such as Mises, Hayek, and Schumpeter. One of these charming journalists sniffed, “We were wise to get rid of Hayek by exporting him.”

At first, I was taken aback by this woman. Then, as politely as I could, I made reference to prophets without honor in their own lands. She was not impressed.

C’est la vie? Das tut mir leid?

Yeah.

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