Friday, April 17, 2015

Worst Idea Ever

Reply to: Tax Choice Discussion Thread

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Let me tell you the worst idea ever. Are you ready? The worst idea ever is the idea that some ideas are so good that people shouldn't be allowed to boycott them.

You think my idea is bad and you want to boycott it? Great! But if you can truly understand why your valuation of my idea matters... then you really wouldn't want to boycott it.

Right now you're choosing not to put pragmatarianism in your shopping cart. But what's pragmatarianism? It's the idea that you should be free to choose what you put in your shopping cart.

I want you to be able to shop for yourself in the public sector. Why? Because I want to subject the government to your scrutiny. It's a given that the government will be better with your scrutiny. Your scrutiny is so good. The absence of it from the public sector is no good.

Right now you can go to the mall and pick up, poke, prod and compare a gazillion frivolous products. You study the products for defects. You look for holes, nicks, scratches, dings, tears and problems. You actively search for errors. You pull up your vast mental database of past experiences and try and foresee potential complications. You're incentivized to closely examine and inspect the products because you don't want to flush your hard-earned money down the toilet.

Do I benefit from your active debugging of private goods? How could I not? For sure I'll benefit when you help fund a better vacuum cleaner. But I'd benefit a lot more from better healthcare, education and environment. Which is why I really want you to have the option to debug public goods.

I want to unleash you on the government. And if you choose to allocate your taxes rather than have congress allocate them for you... then evidently congress did not stand up to your scrutiny. And if you want to predict that congress isn't going to stand up to nearly everybody's scrutiny... then you might want to think twice about not putting pragmatarianism in your shopping cart.

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