Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The public sector is the forbidden fruit

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. -  Genesis 2: 16-17

My version...

And the Government commanded the taxpayer, saying, Of every place in the world thou mayest freely shop: 
But in the public sector thou shalt not shop: for in the day that thou shoppeth therein thou shalt surely die.

I guess that would make me the serpent?  

Now Xero was more subtil than any human which the Government had encountered.
And he said unto the taxpayer, Yea, hath the Government said, Ye shall not shop in the public sector?
And the taxpayer said unto Xero, We may shop anywhere in the world:
But in the public sector, the Government hath said, Ye shall not shop in it, or consider doing so, lest ye die. 
And Xero said unto the taxpayer, Ye shall not surely die: 
For the Government doth know that in the day ye shop therein, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as the Government, knowing necessary and unnecessary.   
And when the taxpayer saw that the public sector was good for shopping, and that there was much to buy, and a place to be desired to make one wise, he told everyone to shop with him in the public sector. 
And the eyes of everyone were opened, and they knew that they weren't adequately covered; and they shopped to better protect themselves.  

Inspired by my reply to a reply: The Demand For Defense?

*************************************************

But here's exactly what you say to your farmer... "Hey farmer Frank! Please grow some more of these awesome artichokes.... but please don't shop for yourself in the public sector!"

It's like the public sector is the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden. You give farmer Frank the freedom to shop for himself anywhere in the world... except for the public sector. You give Frank the farmer the freedom to buy tractors from Germany, fertilizer from Brazil and artichoke seeds from Israel. You give Frank the farmer the freedom to shop in Home Depot, Walmart, Best Buy and Target. You trust farmer Frank to correctly gauge the necessity of every single good in the world... except for the goods in the public sector. You trust farmer Frank to correctly gauge that silkworms, horses, clowns, hot-air balloons, jet skis and hula hoops aren't necessary for growing artichokes... but you're concerned that he'll incorrectly gauge whether roads, bridges, healthcare, education and defense are necessary for growing artichokes.

The fact of the matter is that you don't need to worry about Frank the farmer incorrectly gauging the necessity of any goods because he's the one who has the most to lose if he does so. If Frank the farmer incorrectly gauges the necessity of roads... then consumers will buy less of his artichokes and more of Bob the farmer's artichokes. Bob lives in a different county or state or country... and he correctly gauged the necessity of roads. This results in big profits for Bob and huge losses for Frank. Therefore, Frank has the most to lose by incorrectly gauging the necessity of things just like Bob has the most to gain by correctly gauging the necessity of things.

Incentives really matter if you want the necessity of things to be correctly gauged. Compared to congresspeople... taxpayers have far more incentive and ability to correctly gauge the necessity of things. Therefore, we should give taxpayers the option to shop for themselves in the public sector.

No comments:

Post a Comment