OT - I don't _hate_ McMansions

Andy Bradford amb-plug at bradfords.org
Thu Jun 26 22:47:43 MDT 2008

Thus said Stuart Jansen on Thu, 26 Jun 2008 12:22:55 MDT:

> Government is also useful to make hidden costs apparent. Laissez-faire
> capitalism alone  does nothing  to account for  the cost  of pollution
> because it  unfairly offloads to cost  to third parties that  have not
> chosen to "willingly particpate in it".

Actually, this is wrong. Government does not make hidden costs apparent,
and indeed  actually hides costs. There  are ample examples of  cases in
which the government didn't recognize property rights and ruled in favor
of socializing  pollution. If  it had instead  recognized the  rights of
those who  were being  polluted there would  actually be  less pollution
because  then companies  would know  they cannot  get away  with harming
someone's life.  Instead, they are  subsidized and the  costs socialized
where the costs truly become hidden.

> It is  the roll of  government to  institute taxes and  make companies
> consider the societal costs of their decisions.

This already happens in a  free market; it self-regulates. Companies who
serve their  customers best  thrive. Those who  ignore or  don't provide
what their  customers want  fail. In  the cases  where customers  (or in
other  words society)  are harmed,  those companies  go out  of business
pretty quick without any help  from the government. Failed companies get
liquidated  and their  assets divided  among other  businesses who  will
better meet the needs  of people and society. The market  place can be a
much quicker punisher of foul play  than any government. I don't know of
any company that wants to harm their customers.

> Along  a similar  line, laissez-faire  does nothing  to unlock  the
> full  benefits  of  high   quality  communication  and  transportation
> infrastructure.

Hogwash. It wasn't until communication  was turned over to entrepreneurs
that it became high quality and useful.

> The Internet is  following the same course. Were they  created by "the
> market"? No. They  were both created by the government  as part of our
> defense infrastructure.  It took government  to create them,  and "the
> market" to  take full advantage of  them. You can't separate  one from
> the other.

So,   you  truly   believe  that   communication  mechanisms   like  the
``Internet''  would  have  never  come  about  without  the  omniscient,
omnipotent government?  Imagine how much innovation  and discovery could
be made  by people, people with  incentive to meet the  needs of others,
had we  not wasted billions,  if not  trillions of dollars  on countless
governmental programs,  military spending,  empire building,  etc... Its
not surprising that  government comes up with things,  they drain people
of the very thing that allows entrepreneurs and businessmen to innovate:
savings and money. I'm sure if I had billions extorted from the people I
could do many good things with it too.

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