Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Waffle House, Free Markes, and Government

Here, Doug French offers up a fascinating contrast between government solutions and free market solutions.

It's really all about human nature and incentives.  Voluntary exchange leads people to serve each other out of self interest.  Adam Smith writing in Wealth of Nations,  and   Bernard Mandeville wrting in Fable of the Bees even earlier explained it long ago.

It's simple, really.  I can't get what I want unless I figure out a way to give you what you want in return --- that is, unless I am able and willing to coerce you.  Government is more than happy to coerce us.  Sadly enough, government is also ever more empowered to coerce us day by day.

Raising the federal debt ceiling a few days further empowered the federal government to coerce you.  It did so by ensuring that the 545 could continue paying for the ability to coerce you, whether you agreed to give them additional taxes or not.

I know, that last paragraph was something of a non sequitur, but I mentioned the debt ceiling to demonstrate how it is that government is able to compel us. 

If  Waffle House doesn't offer people what they want, people can walk away.  If government doesn't offer us what we want, we are told to vote for someone else in the next election.  What a deal!  How has that voting thing been working out for you?

I like the opportunity to vote for or against Waffle House with my dollars day by day.  How about you?

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