13 March 2009

Irrationality All Around

Allow Me to throw some now-connected quotes at you, carefully chosen to not only make My point unassailable, but also make a case for anarchy.

(Yes, I wrote anarchy. Some days I just feel like that...)

"The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies is a 2007 book written by Bryan Caplan challenging the notion that voters are reasonable people that society can trust to make laws. Rather, Caplan contends that voters are irrational in the political sphere and have systematically bad ideas concerning economics."

Welcome to Puerto Rico. Please clear the platform in order to accomodate further mass stupidity. Thank you.

"Caplan refers to the make-work bias as a “tendency to underestimate the economic benefits from conserving labor.” (p. 40) People tend to equate economic growth with job creation, even if those jobs are wasteful or outright detrimental to growth. Economists argue that this is precisely wrong: growth comes from increases from the productivity of labor. The resulting increase in productivity, (other things being equal), causes people to be fired and allows them to accomplish other things."

How do We get 24% of Our workforce jammed like wretched sardines in a rancid thimble called government? Yeah-huh.

"Caplan refers to the anti-market bias as a “tendency to underestimate the benefits of the market mechanism.” (p. 30) The populace tends to view themselves as victims of the market, rather than participants of it. Corporations, and even small-scale suppliers, are greedy monopolists that prey on the consumer. Economists argue that all trade is a two-way street. A company will only sell someone a product if that person buys it from them. Cheating people is bad for business and the existence of multiple firms offering similar products demonstrates there is competition, not monopoly power."

Market competition in Puerto Rico is viewed as a "We are weak and need protection" keening whine rather than an "I can sell to My people better than any outsider" rise to the challenge. 

"Conventional public choice either emphasizes the efficiency of democracy... or, more commonly, democratic failure due to self-interested politicians, bureaucrats, and other rent seekers... Caplan, however, emphasizes that (a) democratic failure does exist and (b) it’s the public’s fault."

Oh, rats. And here We are blaming Fools of every stripe.  You know, those politicians, bureaucrats and...

"Rent seeking generally implies the extraction of uncompensated value from others without making any contribution to productivity, such as by gaining control of land and other pre-existing natural resources, or by imposing burdensome regulations or other government decisions that may affect consumers or businesses."

Oh-ho! Bryan Caplan, meet the Fools of Puerto Rico! Here's the useless ideal commonwealth party, the idiotic wannabes of the statehood party, the craven sell-outs of the independence party and the limp-wristed lackwits of the latest party to go down flaming--I mean, in flames. And over here We have Banco Popular, El Nuevo Día, Cemex, Verizon...

"Most studies of rent seeking focus on efforts to capture special monopoly privileges, such as government regulation of free enterprise competition, though the term itself is derived from the far older and more established practice of appropriating a portion of production by gaining ownership or control of land. The term "monopoly privilege rent seeking" is an often-used label for the former type of rent seeking. Often-cited examples include a farm lobby that seeks tariff protection or an entertainment lobby that seeks expansion of the scope of copyright. Other rent seeking is held to be associated with efforts to cause a redistribution of wealth by, for example, shifting the government tax burden or government spending allocation."

In the absence of Our own economy, dependent little trolls that We be, and incapable of mustering the will, imagination and vigor to create Our own, I can confidently say that We didn't invent rent seeking, but by Jove's left butt cheek, We damn well perfected it!

"The concept of rent seeking has been applied to corruption by bureaucrats who solicit and extract ‘bribe’ or ‘rent’ for applying their legal but discretionary authority for awarding legitimate or illegitimate benefits to clients."

I love how My observations are proven so quickly...

My point? We are responsible for Our own situation, whether We look at being irrational voters or We look at Our vice-addled, self-serving "leaders."

Why the appeal to anarchy? We already have it, so why not crank it up to 11 and see what shakes out? Can it really be worse than We have? Or will continue to have?

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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