- Consumers are willing to pay for better options
- Producers want money
If we want to ensure a consistent supply of better public goods...then we have to allow consumer choice in the public sector.
Context: Dear Rothbard, The Government Isn't Beyond Repair
Do I look like Alex Ebert from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros? It's his site not mine. I link to it because I support the general idea. Clearly Ebert's specific idea is different from my own.
When I first thought of people choosing where their taxes go...I figured they'd simply fill out a form when they paid their taxes. But when I spent more time thinking about it...I realized that if it makes sense for the public sector...then why doesn't it also make sense for the private sector? Except, it really doesn't make any sense for the private sector...which means that it really doesn't make any sense for the public sector.
If you perceive that there's a problem with the environment...then waiting until the end of the year to support the EPA makes as little sense as waiting until the end of the year to go to the grocery store. Markets work because people can address shortages whenever they valuate it worth it to do so. Would it make any sense for Home Depot to be open only one day of the month? Nope.
So, my specific idea is that people could shop in the public sector whenever they wanted to. You would simply go directly to the government organization's website and make a contribution. They'd give you a receipt and you'd submit all your receipts to the IRS by April 15.
And if you weren't happy with the tax rate...then you wouldn't go directly to congress's website and you wouldn't make a contribution to congress. If enough other people also boycotted congress...then congress would either change the tax rate or go out of business. Same thing if you weren't happy with the IRS. Same thing if you weren't happy with the DoD. Same thing if you weren't happy with the DMV. Same thing if you weren't happy with NASA. Shall I continue or do you get the idea?
Markets mean that producers cater to the preferences of consumers. Why? Because producers want our money. So creating a market in the public sector would mean that congress would want our tax dollars. So would the IRS. So would every other government organization. Therefore, it would behoove them to discern our preferences. If they fail to discern our preferences...then we will let them know by not given them our tax dollars. This would effectively communicate to them that they need to improve how they are using society's limited resources.
Would you be happy with the selection of items on the shelves in the public store? Of course not. It's a given that you would want better options. We always want better options. It's a fact that you would be willing to pay for better options. And it's a fact that producers want more money. What happens when we put these two facts together? We learn why consumer choice ensures a consistent supply of better options.
If you know this...if you understand this...then you should love the idea of creating a market in the public sector as much as I do. You would start a blog to help spread the idea. Doing so would help create a larger net...and with a larger net we would catch more fish. So are you going to start a blog? If not, then you don't love pragmatarianism as much as I do. If this is the case then let me know which part of consumer choice in the public sector you don't know/understand/appreciate.