Saturday, May 7, 2016

Exceptions To Socialism's Shortcomings

Reply to reply: Is Economic Influence Mutually Exclusive?

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Do you want the government to supply donuts? Nope? Why not? Because you believe that impersonal shoppers (government planners (congresspeople)) would get the supply of donuts wrong. Why do you believe that impersonal shoppers would get the supply of donuts wrong? Because you believe that impersonal shoppers couldn't possibly know whether you want more or less donuts at any given time.

Do you want the government to supply defense?  Yup.  Why?  Because you believe that impersonal shoppers will get the supply of defense right.  Why do you believe that  impersonal shoppers will get the supply of defense right?  Because you believe that impersonal shoppers can know whether you want more or less defense at any given time.

Therefore... you believe that impersonal shoppers are partially omniscient.  They can't read your mind when it comes to donuts... but they can read your mind when it comes to defense.

Of course... donuts and defense are different types of goods.  Donuts are a private good while defense is a public good.  Therefore... you believe that impersonal shoppers can't read your mind when it comes to private goods... but they can read your mind when it comes to public goods.

Except... let me guess... as a libertarian you don't want the government to supply ALL public goods... do you?  The standard libertarian response for the proper scope of government is.... defense, courts and police.

Therefore... you believe that impersonal shoppers...

A. can't read your mind when it comes to private goods
B. can't read your mind when it comes to most public goods
C. can read your mind when it comes to defense, courts and police






Coincidentally, this tweet showed up in my feed today...

Humanity did not fall short of the ideals of socialism, socialism fell short of the demands of humanity. - @PeterBoettke

Humanity is never going to fully comprehend or grasp this rule as long as there are people such as yourself who believe that defense, police and courts are exceptions to this rule.

I wonder how much progress could be made in political economy if the best and the brightest among economists, such as Raj Chetty, would take seriously the admonition of Hayek, Buchanan, and Elinor Ostrom that the assumptions of omniscience and benevolence must be rejected if we are going to make progress and develop a robust theory of political economy. - Peter Boettke, AEA Richard T. Ely Lecture --- Raj Chetty, "Behavioral Economics and Public Policy"

2 comments:

  1. … except that courts and police isn't really about finding the 'right' supply. The supply of the police is determined by how much protection the city/country/land needs. The supply of courts is determined by how many criminals you need to bring to trial.

    I can't see how this exactly follows the same rules as supply and demand. I understand that the supply is the justice system and that the demand is the crime, but the criminals aren't directly customers, their victims are.

    In a minarchist society there would be a 'Rechtsstaat' (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rechtsstaat) that would take care of protection, but the protection that is needes is more spontanious. The supply of the protection needed, is the demand of the crime.

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    Replies
    1. Everything is about finding the 'right' supply. Too many or not enough courts is problematic just like too many or not enough police is problematic. Every product/good/service is like an ingredient in a recipe. Too much, or not enough, of any ingredient will result in a dish that does not provide the maximum satisfaction.

      For some specifics... please see... The Economics of Law and Order.

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