Monday, November 18, 2013

If not A, then B

Given two options, one enlisting market forces and another enlisting government oversight, one is urged to choose the best one. However, when decisions regarding this topic affect large scale environments, i.e. countries, they get tougher to make and become less frequent. If a system is being employed and is not providing optimal efficiency, then it would be nice to suggest a change. Unfortunately, as is often the case, change is somewhat rare, especially when the current system is not necessarily failing to the point of detrimental disaster. I believe that this idea of grandness and large-scale influence is one of the main reasons why world suck levels are generally quite high. There exists this [somewhat false] notion that since failures existed in the market process and since the market method of providing public goods resulted in efficiencies, then government oversight must be better. But this conclusion is not the result of theory or evidence or backed inferences. Rather, it is a jumped assumption based on the simple presence of failures and inefficiencies in the market process. I think that it is possible that if the government based system were to have been scrutinized first, then the same assumption would simply be reversed.

In general, there will always exist inefficiencies in a process; I am not a staunch believer in the idea of something being for the most art efficient. In the instance of public goods, though, numerous examples have demonstrated that the market process can provide nonexclusionary and nonrival goods (radio broadcasts; lighthouses). While there do exist examples where such goods are not provided through the market process (insert a decent example of your own here) and can instead be provided by the government, I do not feel we should bully the market just because it has a couple flaws that might have subsided if we just let it be. So basically, boo government, yay market, and just because one is not always amazing does not mean the other will be.

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