Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Government should open market

Government should open market

(My Clovis News Journal column for November 2, 2012.)

I will probably never understand those who feel that the solution to any problem is to get the government to do something about it, either by popular vote or government edict.

Very few things should ever be subject to a vote, and nothing that would violate the rights of the losing side should ever be put to a vote- nor imposed by law.

I recently watched an online video that told the story of how the Dutch got their bicycle paths. Instead of having those who thought it was a good idea join together in voluntary cooperation, the advocates instead joined forces to have government impose the plan on everyone. I'd agree with them that good bicycle paths are a great idea, and I'd enjoy having them, but if I force others to finance them I have taken something wonderful and turned it into something ugly. I have spat in the soup.

Why do you have to use coercion and "law" to effect changes that you think are a good idea? Is your plan not good enough that people would voluntarily support it? And is it so expensive that you can't allow those who are opposed, for whatever reason, to opt out of helping you pay for it? Nothing is that important.

The same applies to any government service.

I have no problem paying for what I use, or using what I am forced to pay for. The problem is being forced to pay for things that I neither want, nor use. Most coercively-financed things fall into this category.

In a free market situation I could choose the services that suit me best, at a price that is more appropriate for me, just by being allowed to spend my money as I see fit, rather than as some "majority" or "authority" demands.

I'm not saying force the government to stop offering its version of any service, just open the market to competition. If the government option is the best, people will support it. Voluntarily. With their own money, instead of with their neighbor's money.

The whole situation reminds me of the rich people who demand that the government raise their taxes. Nothing is stopping them from signing a bank account over to The State. The secret is, they know this already- they just want to force others to do the same thing. It is no different if the advocate of the government "solution" is poor. You can't be generous with other people's money. That is called "theft". It spoils the best of intentions.


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