Monday, January 4, 2016

Consumer choice limits the influence of irrational people

Context: The Demand For Defense?


Galloism: This is just a restatement of a number of assertions without proof. We do not see any significant tie between wealth and rationality, and as a result do not support a pragmatarian system. We do not think that resources will be more rationally located, and the exceptions will not disappear ever - but you can nip them in the bud with a 100% estate tax. Do you support a 100% estate tax to limit the number of irrational people with significant wealth?

Xero: The very point of markets is that they do an excellent job of limiting the influence of irrational people. I'm sure that you'd agree that Don Quixote was pretty irrational. He spent considerable time and energy attacking windmills because he thought that they were giants. I have no problem assuming that you wouldn't have voluntarily given your money to Quixote. This choice of yours would have helped to limit Quixote's influence.

Consumer choice limits the influence of irrational people. Right now we don't have consumer choice in the public sector. This is a problem because it gives irrational people more influence over really important things like national defense, environmental protection, education, healthcare and so on. The solution is simply to create a market in the public sector by giving people the freedom to choose where their taxes go.

German taxpayers weren't free to choose where their taxes went. Without this limit on the influence of irrational people... Germany ended up with an extremely influential Quixote... Hitler.

German taxpayers are still not free to choose where their taxes go. Neither are Chinese taxpayers. Or Russian taxpayers. Or American taxpayers. There isn't a single country where taxpayers can choose where their taxes go. In the absence of this limit in any public sector... it's only a matter of time before we end up with another extremely influential Quixote. Just because we beat the last extremely influential Quixote really doesn't guarantee that we'll beat the next one.

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