So, I would think the solution would be smaller government, so the 1% have less they can control. A government that taxes less, spends less, and regulates less, offers fewer opportunities for cronyism. Alas, Stiglitz sees the solution as more government: higher taxes, more effective redistribution programs, and more effective regulation. - Randall Holcombe, Joseph Stiglitz: The Price of Inequality
shrinking government, which thus shrinks the power of politicians is the only way to stop cronyism. - Robert Wenzel, Bleeding Heart Libertarian: Koch, Soros and Adelson are Idiots for Spending Money Buying Politicians
If there were only two options on the table...
A. Larger government
B. Smaller government
...then I would certainly choose smaller government. In other words, in the 2016 presidential elections...if I had to choose between voting for Elizabeth Warren or Rand Paul...then I'd certainly vote for Rand Paul.
On the one hand...everybody wants a free lunch...but on the other hand...consumer choice does have extremely beneficial consequences. So whichever public goods Rand Paul kicked over to the private sector...I'd hope that the gain in quality/results/effectiveness would more than make up for any loss in volume. A small volume of effective private welfare is certainly better than a huge volume of ineffective public welfare.
But it's so strange though when you think about it. Rand Paul would kick certain public goods over to the private sector. Why? Because the invisible hand is better than the visible hand. Except, it wouldn't be the invisible hand deciding which public goods were moved over to the private sector...it would be Rand Paul...the visible hand. If we can trust Rand Paul to pick which public goods should be moved to the private sector...then that sort of defeats the purpose of moving public goods over to the private sector in the first place.
As far as I can tell...it would be far more logical to simply create a market in the public sector. Doing so would allow the invisible hand to clarify the demand for public goods. This means that the invisible hand would allocate resources in both sectors. Therefore, pragmatarianism is economically consistent libertarianism.
Basically...my trust ranking looks something like this...
Elizabeth Warren < Rand Paul < Invisible Hand
Except, that really does not convey the intensity of trust. I trust the invisible hand infinitely more than I would trust Rand Paul.
My question is...how long is it going to take before people acknowledge the existence of a third option?
A. Larger government
B. Smaller government
C. Better government
How many comments do I have to leave on other people's blogs before consumers are no longer forced between a rock and a hard place?
Perhaps one measure of effectiveness is to keep track of how many people make the argument that the government cannot or should not be run like a business. So I'll conclude with a couple relevant passages...
If a government enterprise is funded through tax dollars, it does not face the same market test as a genuinely private business. The problem is all the more severe if the government grants an outright monopoly to the enterprise. The bureaucrats running it have little reason to cut costs or to please their "customers" if they receive a guaranteed level of funding regardless of their outcomes. In an extra twist of perversion, when a government agency botches its job, it often receives more funding. In this view, government officials waste money and offer shoddy output simply because they can. - Robert P. Murphy, Why Government Doesn't—and Can't—Manage Resources Like a Private Business
Government efficiency proponents make the mistake of viewing the cost of government in the same light as the cost of operating a private business. However, government cannot operate like a business because it isn’t a business.
Government is unconcerned with “profit.” The “cost” of government is equal to the taxes extracted from the private sector to pay for government activities, plus the economic damage caused by extracting resources from the private sector. Taxes are involuntarily obtained through compulsion and force. Regardless of the value a citizen assigns to the services provided by government, a citizen must pay for those services, and at a price set by government. The price one pays for government is primarily a function of political factors, which are only indirectly influenced by economic considerations. - Tad DeHaven, ‘Government Efficiency’