Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Thomas Sowell on Prices and Politics

The other Craig Newmark points to an excellent series of short essays by Thomas Sowell on how to ration. As he points out, most complex political programs will wind up favouring those who are NOT poor, and cost more than simply giving money to the poor, and that they are far less sensible than simply pricing resources according to a relatively natural demand (yeah, yeah, nothing is 'natural', but those San Francisco golf courses are utterly typical of government programs to support the privileged (like low university tuition, etc.)).
Money quote from Sowell, and it should be the basis of all policy:
But the amount of money required to bring every poor person in the country above the official poverty line is a fraction of what is spent by government on the welfare state.

Maenwhile I watch my local mayor trying to dodge responsibility for his unwillingness to buy votes in a way I can see, by passing costs to other levels of government, and, worse, run a major advertising campaign to justify his behaviour! To think I once voted for this jerk.


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