Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Replacing The Visible Hand With The Invisible Hand

There are six search results for "Replacing The Visible Hand With The Invisible Hand".  All the results are mine.

Reply to GovtIsASuperstition: What Should The Government Do?

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In a pragmatarian system, taxpayers will be able to choose which government organizations they give their taxes to.  Congress is a government organization, therefore...taxpayers will be able to choose how much money they give to it.  If you're not happy with the tax rate that congress has chosen...how many tax dollars are you going to give to them?  A lot?  Some?  None?
If you want to make govt like a business, then you should probably stop insisting that consumers be forced to pay the business. - GovtIsASuperstition
Nobody would force you to pay congress.  If you're critiquing a system that would force you to give any amount of your tax dollars to congress...then you're really not critiquing pragmatarianism.

Right now you're saying, "oh no, poor taxpayers, they really hate shopping in the public store...they detest being ripped off..." but you're entirely missing the part where taxpayers are the ones who decide exactly how much money congress, the government organization in charge of the tax rate, receives.

If you want to effectively critique pragmatarianism, then you can't ignore this detail...because it's really not just a minor detail.  So please incorporate this fact into your analysis.  And if I'm failing to adequately explain this fact to you...then please tell me.

This blog entry of mine...preference revelation problem...provides a relatively concise overview of the problem/solution.

As you can tell from that overview...another fact that you've neglected entirely is one of our opponents' strongest arguments for government.  If you scroll down a bit...haqshenas does a pretty decent job of sharing the argument.  Please read it.  It's the free-rider problem.  This argument is applicable to libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism...but it's not applicable to pragmatarianism.

Right now you're attacking government...but you're not going to make much progress because you're not listening to the people who are defending it.  If you actually want people to have more freedom...then please do us all a favor and familiarize yourself with the very best economic defense of government.  And by "best" I mean most widely cited.  Please carefully read...Incentivizing Honest Preference Revelation for Public Goods.

Another deficiency in your analysis is that clearly you haven't thoroughly read, or understood Israel Kirzner.  Which one is it?
In buying the resources needed to produce any one good, an entrepreneur has succeeded in competing away these resources from other possible uses.  When a producer, not enjoying protection against competitive entry, finds himself as sole producer he still has to worry about the activities of competing entrepreneurs. They are channeling their energies and their alertness into producing other products, which are competing for consumers' attention also.  Inter-product competition will not guarantee horizontal demand curves facing each producer. But it offers assurance that errors made in the identification of the most urgently needed consumer products (and/or of the most easily accessible resources) will tend rapidly to be noticed and exploited by alert, competing entrepreneurs. - Israel M. Kirzner, How Markets Work
You asked me about David Friedman...not sure if you noticed but my blog links to his.  As awesome as he is...pragmatarianism is far superior to his anarcho-capitalism.  Just like Rothbard, who wasn't quite as awesome, Friedman doesn't recognize that taxation and individual valuation are not mutually exclusive.  Unlike with Rothbard though...you can ask Friedman to explain why he prefers anarcho-capitalism over pragmatarianism.  I've asked him directly and indirectly numerous times and this is all I've got in return...
I don't think that letting taxpayers allocate their taxes among options provided by the government solves the fundamental problems of government. - David Friedman
What are the fundamental problems of government?  There's only one...the visible hand.  That's the only problem with government.  Pragmatarianism would replace the visible hand with the invisible hand.

Except, here you are telling me that you're really not that enthusiastic about the consequences of replacing the visible hand with the invisible hand.  You're like "meh".  That's what you're like.  Why?

Right now we have the invisible hand in the private sector.  What if we replaced it with the visible hand?  Would the consequences be insignificant?  Maybe you'd also be like "meh"?

Perhaps you need me to help you understand what the consequences would be...

Private goods...
  1. Variety?  Plummet
  2. Quality?  Plummet
  3. Cost?  Skyrocket
"meh" "meh" "meh"?

Maybe, from your perspective, those consequences aren't very significant?  Perhaps this is why you're not very enthusiastic about replacing the public sector's visible hand with the invisible hand?
 
Public goods...
  1. Variety?  Skyrocket
  2. Quality?  Skyrocket
  3. Cost?  Plummet
"meh" "meh" "meh"?

Please go ask David Friedman to explain what the fundamental problems of government are that wouldn't be solved by replacing the visible hand with the invisible hand.  Let me know what he says.

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