Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Samuel Hammond VS QIRE

Comment on: Voting as a collective action problem by Samuel Hammond

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Prohibition, the Holocaust and every war ever started were "solutions" to collective action "problems".  Same thing with the pyramids and putting a man on the moon.

Voting is only good to the extent that it doesn't violate Quiggin's Implied Rule of Economics (QIRE).  So... when does voting not violate QIRE?  The only way that we could know that voting was not violating QIRE would be if we actually knew people's willingness to pay (WTP) for their preferred option.  But that would require replacing voting with spending.

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Economics teaches two basic truths: people make wise choices when they are forced to weigh benefits against costs; and competition produces good results. - Edward Glaeser, If You Build It…

The correct fix for crowded roads is to charge people for the social costs of their choices. - Edward Glaeser, If You Build It… 

People should pay for the social cost of their flying. The TSA should be paid for by fliers. - Edward Glaeser, The one thing Trump and Clinton agree on is infrastructure.

Until people are made to bear the full costs of their decisions, those decisions are unlikely to be socially sound, in this as in other areas of public policy. - Richard Bird, Charging for Public Services: A New Look at an Old Idea

The people feeling, during the continuance of the war, the complete burden of it, would soon grow weary of it, and government, in order to humour them, would not be under the necessity of carrying it on longer than it was necessary to do so. The foresight of the heavy and unavoidable burdens of war would hinder the people from wantonly calling for it when there was no real or solid interest to fight for. - Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations

Public officials and professionals may have higher preferences for some public goods than the citizens they serve. Thus they may allocate more tax monies to these services than the citizens being served would allocate if they had an effective voice in the process. Under-financing can occur where many of the beneficiaries of a public good are not included in the collective consumption units financing the good. Thus they do not help to finance the provision of that good even though they would be willing to help pay their fair share. - Vincent Ostrom and Elinor Ostrom, Public Goods and Public Choices

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WTP is an incredibly coherent thread in economics (and in the best libertarianism).  Why are you ignoring it?  Do you think it's irrelevant?  Are you not aware of it?

Elsewhere you wrote...

Economists call this Tiebout sorting, a model that inspired a generation of libertarians to a kind of municipal fetishism which vastly overestimated the average person’s willingness to move, and vastly underestimated the potential for localized forms of tyranny.

It seems like you care about a person's willingness to move.  But willingness to move is the same thing as WTP.   So.... clearly, to some extent, you're not entirely unaware of WTP.  The question is... why are you ignoring it when it comes to voting?  Why does it matter when it comes to foot voting but it doesn't matter when it comes to ballot voting?

Giving people the freedom to decide for themselves whether it's truly worth it to throw the alternative uses of their own resources under the bus is the only way to prevent QIRE from being violated.

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