Why do governments persist in thinking they ought to be in the venture capital business? When private investors place bets on companies, it’s money that’s voluntarily provided, so the gains are private and the losses are private. But when states give money to businesses, they’re placing casino bets with money that’s been taken from other people. The latest example of why it’s a disaster is Rhode Island, which lent $75 million to a game development company headed by a former major league baseball player. What could possibly go wrong? As it turns out, everything has gone wrong — and taxpayers are looking at a huge loss.

  • We reported something similar to this a few months back, but this story provides added detail. Roughly half of all U.S. households receive at least some form of money from the U.S. government. Since governments have no money of their own, that means the money is coming from the other half of the people.
  • It must be a nightmare to live under the totalitarian monsters of North Korea’s government. A new report says that 30 North Korean officials who were involved in talks with South Korean officials have been executed — for the crime of being unsuccessful in negotiating a deal to improve relations between the country, even though the communist government was continuing with its nuclear program that was the source of the actual problems.

  • A new study from the Justice Policy Institute claims that law enforcement is no longer about public safety and has become more of a federally funded jobs program. The study shows that spending on police continues to rise, despite a crime rate that’s at a 30-year low.
  • In Berkeley, Calif., the police chief says there was nothing related to preferential treatment in the fact that 10 officers were assigned to track down a stolen iPhone that belonged to the chief’s son. In fact, he says that any citizen reporting a theft would get the same service. What do you think? Is he lying? (Duh.)
  • What would you do if an extra $69,000 showed up in your bank account? If you’d call the bank and talk about the mistake, you’re way off what a Pennsylvania man did when faced with this ethical dilemma. He bought a car, took a vacation, gave money to friends and family, and bought a $600 dog. He’s in legal trouble now, and he says he knew he “probably” shouldn’t have spent the money.