Actions and Consequences

21 Jul

As the dust begins to settle on the financial and health care reform bills and the recession, or the dust is kick differently as we move closer to the November elections, I predict we will hear a growing number of calls to make government “more efficient,” “more businesslike,” or equipped with “more resources.” The claim, in it’s most rudimentary form, is the following: “I acknowledge things are going poorly. It is because we don’t have the right people running things. I am the right person.” Never mind questions about the fundamental structure and incentives for government – the problem is, unsurprisingly, the fault of others. I also predict that people will be surprised and upset when their politician of choice does not deliver. If they are not either of these things, they are uninformed. Some links:

Gary Becker on the five major defects of the financial reform bill.

Bryan Caplan on the capital punishment of drug dealers in Singapore and the censorship of reporters.

Why politics can never be like a market – Art Carden.

And here is Thomas Sowell on the deception of politicians on the people and each other.

With respect to the last link, is it possible for markets to behave this way? What would it mean? What would it look like? And are the solutions to the problem about “getting the right person to do the job”?


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