Sunday, October 16, 2011

Quote of the day

Jonah Goldberg on status quo bias:
If everyone had always gotten their shoes from the government, writes [Murray] Rothbard, the proponent of shoe privatization would be greeted as a kind of lunatic. "How could you?" defenders of the status quo would squeal. "You are opposed to the public, and to poor people, wearing shoes! And who would supply shoes … if the government got out of the business? Tell us that! Be constructive! It's easy to be negative and smart-alecky about government; but tell us who would supply shoes? Which people? How many shoe stores would be available in each city and town? … What material would they use? … Suppose a poor person didn't have the money to buy a pair?"
Opposition to limiting the scope of government seems to be rooted in a failure of imagination as much as anything. It's very easy to see what one will be losing (in this example, the government provision of shoes), but much more difficult to envision that which will be gained (a more dynamic private sector with all manner of shoe styles and prices). 

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