“Markets fail. Use markets.”

May 23, 2009

Thanks to Cafe Hayek for posting a link to this piece from Arnold Kling. 

This is an interesting paragraph:

Most economists favor the free market, with reservations. Masonomics rejects the reservations. If John and Mary are free individuals, and John trades with Mary, then John and Mary both are better off. End of story.

This is exceptional:

Most other economists believe in the need for government intervention. Like many non-economists, they talk about government policy in terms of we. We must, we have to, we need, we should, etc.

Once upon a time, “We, the people” was the preamble to a charter that reminded those in government of the limitations on the power granted to them. In today’s political discourse, “we” is more often the preamble to something like a call for an involuntary collective health system.

If you want to be a Masonomist, you have to lose the we. When people use we in today’s politics , they are doing two things.

1.  Appealing to a moral entity that stands apart from and above John, Mary, or any other individual

2.  Treating government as the embodiment of that higher moral entity

People often tell me what”we” ought to do.  These people speak as if they represent “we” and “we”‘s will is all that’s important.  Mine isn’t.

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