Monday 18 March 2013

And we're the irrational ones?

If just about any deviation from blackboard rationality is enough to declare market failure and say we need be subject to state control by rational bureaucrats, what are we to make of this?

One bunch of state bureaucrats tries to ban or limit sugar intake.

Another bunch of state bureaucrats advance loans to sugar processors and then have to buy a pile of US sugar to prop up prices to avoid those processors' defaulting on the loans. I suppose you could view the "pushing prices up" part as consistent with limiting consumption. But the initial loans wouldn't have been. And what are they going to do with the 400,000 tons of sugar they're planning on buying? More ethanol?

And doesn't the state try to stop people smoking while subsidising tobacco growers?

It's not unreasonable to view individual decision-making as being the outcome of warring homunculi within the brain. It's never been clear to me why even a rational unitary state might think itself in a position to overturn the outcome of that conflict, never mind a state that has battling-homunculi issues of its own.

No comments:

Post a Comment