The history of tamales offers a powerful historical lesson about humility: most of the time, we don’t understand why rules are good, and we certainly should doubt our ability to choose reforms that will be better.
Anti-discrimination law interrupts important information flows that enable buyers to make rational decisions, supporting values of which they approve and denying funds to people with values of which they disapprove. These laws thereby interrupt the feedback mechanism that makes market democracy work. It also takes away the incentive for people to adapt their own value system in ways that are most consistent with a pluralistic society.
We rely on competitive markets to supply us with “correct” quantities of goods and services ranging in importance from chewing gum to industrial chemicals, and from pedicures to petroleum. So why do we not rely on competitive markets to supply us with the “correct” quantity of money?
Find any biological trait, posit it as a collective interest, set that trait against all other traits, and then struggle for power and privilege; your outlook comes to be characterized by loathing and resentment against the collective guilt of everyone but yourself.
When government regulates and legislates, it is not causing some imagined form of social uplift for the masses toiling under the terrible demands of freedom. It is instead making more criminals out of people who just want to live a better life.
Instead of striving for a theoretical ideal of perfection, markets are supercomputers of epic proportions, leveraging the information and motivation of every individual to make sure the right resources get to the right places at the right time.
Plenty of terrible things happened this year but some great things too!
Gas can regulations began in 2000, with the idea of preventing spillage. The notion began in California, spread, and was picked up by the EPA, which is always looking for new and innovative ways to mandate as much human misery as possible.
Professor Stiglitz is confident that humanity can be made better; just collect the data, organize and catalog it, and reduce all to a series of statistical indices, and heaven will be a little closer on earth once the right policies are implemented.
Inconsistencies are visible when politicians claim that war is the best way to peace, and when they admit that prohibition of alcohol failed in the 1930s even as they insist that the prohibition of drugs today will somehow work.
It’s one of the most puzzling claims of the pro-regulation ideology: food makers and sellers have a weak incentive to make sure their food is safe for consumption. The briefest look at the dynamics of this food panic reveals the opposite.
What is needed is a much smaller government so that free individuals can be freer to make more of their own decisions in guiding their own lives rather than a big government with an “imperial” president arrogantly attempting to command and control them.
But despite the campaigners’ enthusiasm for the idea, smokers are known for not smoking fewer cigarettes when prices rise. Instead, they either ignore the hikes or find different ways to get their hands on nicotine products — and that includes resorting to the black market.