Sunday, March 19, 2006

Protest / Complex Solutions for a Complex World

You all have to watch this video from the show "Boston Legal" linked at onegoodmove. It is a great piece of work. Too bad it's fictional.

Cafe Hayek discusses the complaints from statists that the free market is a "simplistic solution". His point is that it is government which is a simplistic solution, not the free market :

I admit that my proposed solution for many public-policy problems is to say "Let the market handle it." But this response is neither naive nor lazy. It's realistic. It reflects my understanding that almost any problem you name -- rebuilding the Katrina-ravaged Gulf Coast, providing excellent education for children, reducing traffic congestion on highways -- is most likely to be dealt with efficiently, fairly and effectively by the market rather than by government.

Saying "Let the market handle it" is to reject a one-size-fits-all, centralized rule of experts. It is to endorse an unfathomably complex arrangement for dealing with the issue at hand. Recommending the market over government intervention is to recognize that neither he who recommends the market nor anyone else possesses sufficient information and knowledge to determine, or even to foresee, what particular methods are best for dealing with the problem.

To this I would add that if statists had to describe their government solution in any detail at all, they would completely sink themselves. It is their own shorthand "government does this... government helps that" which completely ignores moral issues, such as who steals the resources from whom. Just like saying "God did it", it is a statement which actually says nothing at all.

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