It’s people

Here I wrote about these two observations:

1. Markets fail. Use government.

2. Markets fail. Use markets.

Whether you agree with the first or the second, there’s something that is important to recognize about these words.

The words markets and government describe the interactions of groups of human beings, usually the very same human beings.

We all buy stuff and sell stuff (even the most anti-capitalist of those out there). That’s when you interact with others through markets.

We all get a chance to vote on a number of things at many different levels — Federal, state, county, city, school board, homeowners associations, churches, corporations, clubs and so forth.  That’s when we interact with each other through government.

What people don’t seem to think about often is what makes one preferable to the other in some situations and why.

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