Social Choice Part II

There is something else I want to append to the ideas described in my previous post. I’d like to expand a little bit on the process society goes through in choosing whether the man lives or dies.

The reason Krugman was reframing the binary choice in such an unrepresentative way is because he believes people are incapable of organizing unless forced to through the violent power of the law. So, he feels that in the libertarian framework, the choice would most likely be that the man dies, whereas having a law would make it so the man would most likely live. However, in thinking about the issue in this way, Krugman is completely ignoring the process it takes to actually create a functional law with the desired result.

Sure, the process of voluntary organization to solve this particular societal problem in a liberty-based system requires the efforts of thousands of people who have no mandatory obligation to actually do their part to organize a solution. It requires the support of millions of people to give such a solution the wings it needs to get off the ground. Sounds difficult, right? And yet passage of a law has nearly identical requirements!

So if Krugman wants to examine the difficulties associated with Society voluntarily and freely developing a solution, then fine, but let’s take the honest approach and compare that to the political battles and sausage-making that it takes to generate a solution through government. If instead he wants to focus on the finished product, then fine, let’s compare the efficiency, sustainability, and effectiveness of the finished products that would come out of the two systems. I’m confident that libertarians can win on both the “generation of solutions” front and the “quality of solutions” front when fought separately.

But to take the finished product of one system and compare it to the struggle to get there of the other system is just plain dishonest. And it’s that aspect of his arguments which leads me to so vehemently despise Paul Krugman.


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