First things first, I am proud to announce that I have received confirmation that I have passed my Microeconomics prelim. That’s two for two, and no looking back.
On to other topics, Gordon Tullock and I went butted heads on the issue of collective action in thsi morning’s class on Public Choice. The original queston which professor Tullock posed to me was in reference to aiding the currnet New Orleans catastrophe. He asked whether I thought “we should go in and help them out.” By “we” he meant action resulting from national policy. I answered no, and tried my best to explain how, though I find it noble and commendable for people to spend their own time, effort, and money in helping the poor, the hurt, and the sick, I did not see it as an appropriate avenue of collective action forced by state intervention. In fact few to no scenariosare in my view. Tullock took qualm with this and persisted in presenting anarcho-capitalist sollutions as not sollutions at all and essentially deemed my stance as a do-nothing attitude.
The remainder of this post I intend to address this accusation for I don’t think it is a reasonable attack against laissez faire societal structure. The point I think most worth making is the nature of social problems under a polycentric societal structure. Under polycentric governance people possess a greater cpaacity to provide for themselves and the necessities of their environments. Either we accept that markets provide the needs of society better than states do, or they don’t. I take the former position over the latter. Pete Boettke recently posted, “The bottom line — markets if allowed to operate are amazingly quick at adapting to the changes in the underlying conditions and satisfying the demands of consumers.” I fail to see why the logistical dynamics of the Mississippi should be any different. Yes, it’s a big river but there are far more complex systems in a market economy that don’t require state control to dictate ownerhsip and control priveledges.
Action under the auspices of freedom takes place on the margin. I don’t think such catastrophic events would be as catastrohpic in the first place under a polycentric governance. So to take issue against Anarcho-capitalism as saying that it is incapable of handling state created problems seems silly to me. But then again according to Tullock I must be a crack-pot. I ddin’t take such accusations personally as I’ve been told they’re really signs of endearment.