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