Sunday, March 10, 2019

Market always superior to government

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for February 6, 2019)

Last week a local business delivered to my home-- even though I didn't ask and it wasn't expected. Just to be nice and to make a good impression. And it worked!

This reminded me of the difference between market services and government "services" and why I always prefer the market.

With a market business, if I don't like their service I can choose to not use them. I can use a competitor or do without. They know you have a choice, so If they want to stay in business they can't poison their customers.

If I don't shop at a particular store, they won't send armed employees to my door to force themselves on me. I'm not forced to send them money regularly whether or not I shop with them. I can even go into competition with them. They can't do anything about it unless-- through cronyism-- they use the violence of government against me. If they take that path, they are no longer part of the market, but have joined forces with the coercive sector: the State.

With government "services" there is no real choice. No matter how bad they are, I am forced to pay-- even if I never use them. When you end up facing a surly, incompetent, entitled bureaucrat you're forced to pay this employee regardless. Often I am compelled to use a "service" I don't want. If I try to opt out I will be attacked by armed government employees-- maybe not right away, but if I fail to comply with their escalating threats it will happen. Their employees know this and it shows.

Sometimes you'll get a caring government employee-- more common in the less coercive branches-- but niceness can't make up for the lack of choice.

Occasionally you'll be allowed to choose a non-government alternative, but you are still forced to pay for the unwanted government option. You can use a private school, but the government will claim this doesn't mean you can stop funding the "public" school you neither need nor want. You will pay twice.

A business in the voluntary market can't treat customers the way government services can. Not if it wants to survive.

The market will always be superior. The only reason people believe they need government police but not government grocery stores is that-- so far-- groceries aren't distributed by government. If something as critical as food can be handled by the market, lesser jobs like policing would be a snap.

Thank you for helping support

When I don't take my own advice

Less than 24 hours after saying how I try to be considerate, I did something inconsiderate. And I don't even really feel bad about it.

Yes, I have room for improvement.

In the middle of listening to someone complaining to a captive audience about "Mexicans" (and the unwillingness of the local mayor to kick them out of a house in the neighborhood), I piped up and explained to his audience "He hates Mexicans".

He said "No I don't, I just..." and went on explaining how he only doesn't like them when they live in a house near him, and there are "too many" of them in that house. So I said "Oh, he only hates them when they leave Mexico and come here". This was met with another denial and more justification.

I pointed out that the people he was complaining about have never done anything to harm him in any way. They are polite, don't cause trouble, and are hard workers. He countered that their being there a few months out of the year hurts his property value-- all the property values in the area, for that matter. I asked if he was planning to try to sell his house. "No."

I said then "lowered property values helps you by lowering the property taxes". He went on and on about how it doesn't, describing how people had paid "too much" for a nearby house several years ago, and thus raised everyone's property values and propped up the "tax" rates. I pointed out that in that case, it obviously hadn't hurt his property value any.

I've mentioned the problems I have with a few specific Hispanics/Mexicans. But only those who are violating my property rights. Others aren't violating me and I have no problem with them-- and the point of them being Hispanic/Mexican is really irrelevant (I just mentioned that because of the fact it makes me feel racist to dislike them and their violations while noticing their cultural roots) because I would dislike anyone doing the same. I know for certain he wouldn't feel the same if the house was occasionally occupied by "whites" rather than "Mexicans".

So, yeah, I was probably a jerk. But I've listened to this too many times, and I'm tired of it. But, I'll try to do better next time.


Reminder: It's probably inconsiderate of me to mention it, but I could really use some help.

Writing is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.