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The Ratepayer’s Prayer (Brother Clarkson, petitioner and parishioner)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- August 23, 2013

The familiar complaint of market failure by critics of decentralized (nongovernmental) decision-making must be coupled with realistic discussion about any government “solution.” This is why market failure must be considered alongside two other failures:

  • Analytic failure, which¬†can range¬† anywhere from intellectual error to the fatal conceit to emotional bias, and
  • Government failure, the gap between theory and practice, wishes and result.

Intellectuals, practitioners, regulators, and the public far too often resort to see-a-problem, pass-a-law rather than:

  1. Making sure what is seen as a problem is really negative;
  2. Making sure that the undesired situation did not result form prior government involvement in whole or part; and
  3. Assessing whether the (coercive) solution is greater than the problem, which would leave civil society (media, foundations, public opinion) to right the wrongs.