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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

If you read one thing today: Ghostbusters: greatest movie ever made about small-government economic policy

Go read the whole thing at Quartz.  Excerpts:

The death yesterday of Harold Ramis, the co-writer and co-star of Ghostbusters, has prompted encomiums for the iconic 1980's film.

Ghostbusters is a favorite of mine as well. But I just can’t believe how few people recognize the movie—which was released 30 years ago this June—for what it is: a Reaganite carnival of ideological triumph.

Ghostbusters isn’t about ghosts. (Well, it kind of is.) But it’s also about the power of the US private sector and the magic of market discipline to transform anyone—even effete, over-educated academics—into heroes. Just watch.

Even the most obtuse Ghostbusters fanboy has to concede one thing. The real villain in Ghostbusters isn’t Gozer the Gozerian. It’s a bureaucrat from the Environmental Protection Agency. Seriously, it’s the government—specifically the federal government. Dangerously ignorant of what it takes to run a small business, Peck—played by William Atherton, the Laurence Olivier of prickish ’80s movie antagonists (see Die Hard)—cuts the power supply to the containment unit where Aykroyd & Company store their busted specters. The politics of this scene couldn’t be more clear.

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