Sunday, February 27, 2011

A few thoughts

The point is raised in this chapter that if the State becomes the sole employer of the people, he would possess the unlimited power to coerce the individual. My question is if the state is made up by the people, would be their incentive to exploit themselves? It’s not that I don’t agree with Hayek, it is equally beneficial to all involved to have competition not only in the employee pool, but the possible employer pool. Competition is good for the advancement of society, although we might not like the aspect of completion because it means that we have to work harder.

My favorite quote of this book yet is on page 125, “though the limitations of the market provide a legitimate argument for some kinds of government action, they certainly do not justify the argument that only the state should be able to provide such services” I like this quote for two reasons. 1.) THE MARKET IS NOT INFALLIBLE. The question was raised recently why the market produces things like the dog snuggie, while illnesses like Polio and Leprosy still exist in third world countries… according to the free market at this point in time we value superficial blanket coats for our dogs, more than having a healthy global community, maybe this is not a free market failure, or maybe it is… feel free to shred this argument apart if you find fault in it. And 2.) Hayek poses the concept of the government and private sector competing against each other, which I think is a wonderful thing.


  1. Excellent point Lacey. I too, find many flaws with a system where the government holds a monopoly on a specific service or good, but I think that many would agree that there are certain services in society that simply cannot be surrendered to the private sector. I'm personally inclined to believe that having a for profit health care system is no different than a for hire military or police force; it's dangerous and irresponsible.

    I do however, rather respect the idea of having the government work with corporations in providing services to the public in some sectors. I could see the potential benefits of having the private sector, under government regulation, offer nonessential medical services (vain cosmetic surgery, etc) along with necessities, while still having the government available to assist those that might not have access to a private health provider. I believe Switzerland employs a system akin to this, and it works terrifyingly well I've gathered. Where do you think the line should be drawn with the government cooperating/competing with private corporations in the free market?

  2. "if the state is made up by the people, would be their incentive to exploit themselves"

    The state would only have no incentive to exploit it's people if they where total homogeneous. I do mean absolutely homogeneous, same age, sex gender, etc. If this is not the case all the needs to be done is one group, a majority or a minority, to take power. As soon as one group has power it will exploit the others to its own advantage. See Nazi Germany or the USSR for more extreme cases. However look no further than city hall and you can see this in action.