Let’s add this to the curriculum

(HT: The Last Embassy)

I wish this video of the Tommy Lee Jones look-alike would have been part of the curriculum when I was in high school.

Markets vs. Committee

Box office receipts tell us which movies the public, in general, preferred.  The Oscars tells us which movies a small group of people preferred.

As people who follow the Oscar’s each year should know, these two sets of preferences don’t often line up.

When we hand over large swaths of our markets to committees, we may satisfy the preferences of the committees, but not the everyone else.

Imagine a world where only the Oscar-worthy movies were made.  Consider which of your favorite movies wouldn’t exist.

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.