Another Effective Visual

A typical forearm crutch

Image via Wikipedia

A Harry Browne quote from JohnK, commenting on this post at Cafe Hayek:

Government is good at one thing: It knows how to break your legs, hand you a crutch, and say, “See, if it weren’t for the government, you wouldn’t be able to walk.”

–Harry Browne

Recently, a big company played the economic incentive game with my state’s legislators.  The legislators come out looking like the heroes by passing tax breaks for the business to “keep jobs here.”

Taxes are breaking the legs.  Passing tax breaks is giving out the crutches.  Most people see the later and ignore the former.

The thing I find odd about the scenario of passing tax breaks to keep jobs is how it is sold.  “We’ll keep more jobs here, which means better economic activity and more taxes in the long-run.”

If that’s true, why wouldn’t we give the same tax breaks to all?

Why some folks don’t like markets

Commenting on this enjoyable post by Don Boudreaux of Cafe Hayek about the realities of health care, JohnK, originator of the 8 word Constitution writes of the “believers in socialized medicine”:

Markets deny them the ability to arbitrarily deny access to people because they don’t like them.

I suggest that this is a corollary of a broader distrust of markets:

Markets deny believers in collective decision-making the ability to arbitrarily tell others what to do.