People allocate food to food banks differently than they did before

Interesting. Using markets for a solution in allocating food to food banks.

I found this quote from a quote in it even more interesting (emphasis mine):

Initially, there was plenty of resistance. As one food bank director told Canice Prendergast, an economist advising Feeding America, “I am a socialist. That’s why I run a food bank. I don’t believe in markets. I’m not saying I won’t listen, but I am against this.”

Don’t believe in markets?

It fascinates me how deeply offended some people are by markets. My guess is that they wouldn’t even be able to explain what a market is.

Markets are people making decisions. That’s it. Nothing else. It’s freedom.

I believe they are really saying that freedom does not allow them enough opportunity to override other peoples’ decisions to the extent they would like.

What’s really happening gets lost in words like ‘market’s and ‘socialism’. Let’s consider this food bank example.

Previously, some people decided how to allocate food to food banks. Now, other people do.

Because the first set of people sat at a place called HQ, far removed from where the food will end up without enough information to make the best decisions, we call that socialism, or central-planning.

They changed it so that the people on-site running the local food banks could make that decision. We call that markets.

In both cases, people make decisions. In one case, people with less information about what is needed make the decision. In the other, people with more information about what is needed make it.

When the food bank director says he doesn’t believe in markets, what he is really saying is that he’d rather have the people with less information make the decision.



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