Arnold Kling  

Market Failure and Government Failure

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Democratic Fundamentalism and ... Stimulus Without Multipliers...

That is the topic of a self-recommending podcast in which Russ Roberts interviews Clifford Winston. Actually, although I have not had time to listen (I am on travel), reading over the notes on the podcast highlights this looks like one of the top podcasts in Roberts' series.

One point I would make is that when markets produce bad outcomes, we typically rely on them less. When governments produce bad outcomes, we typically rely on them more. So, the more that airplane security based on harassing all passengers is a failure, the more harassment we can expect.


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COMMENTS (4 to date)
Marcus writes:

" When governments produce bad outcomes, we typically rely on them more."

Government is the only institution which expands on failure. Every failure is rationalized as proof that more spending is needed.

when markets produce bad outcomes, we typically rely on them less. When governments produce bad outcomes, we typically rely on them more.

Maybe. This is a pretty fuzzy claim. What do you mean "rely on them"? Does that mean that actors expect less from them? That actors are less likely to voluntarily deal with them?

Also, the boundaries of "government" and "market" are fuzzy and matter much here. Doesn't immigration provide a counterexample to this claim? There have been massive waves of immigration over the course of history. Immigrants are relying less on at least one government.

rhhardin writes:

The airline security stuff is a roust, not an attempt to improve anything.

A roust is a police-imposed inconvenience to give the appearance of action when nothing effective can in fact be done.

tom in Mass writes:

Nothing more than another reason to create a more effective police state in the US. To date 95% of the terrorist's are males between 20-40 with one religious belief. Maybe we should start discriminating.

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