Economics

"Is Market Failure a Sufficient Condition for Government Intervention?"

Terrific answer--and the answer is "No!"--by Art Carden and the late Steven Horwitz. This, for example, is exactly on target:

Implicit in negative-externality arguments for intervention is the claim that the political process will actually do what economists say it should do. That is, politicians will impose the blackboard solution. However, the public choice5 revolution that began in the 1960s has challenged that assumption by showing how governments also fail. Politicians’ self-interest, combined with the limits to their knowledge, mean that they likely will not and cannot produce the ideal outcome. We are left to ponder which of two imperfect systems will serve us better: the “failed” market or the “failed” political process. We have many reasons to think that markets will outperform government in this regard, even in less-than-perfect conditions. One approach sees every “market failure” as an opportunity for entrepreneurs to solve a problem and discover, through profit and loss, how well they have done. Political processes do not have the requisite incentives and knowledge-conveying processes to do as well.


"How an Equal Pay Law in Colorado Is Backfiring"

"The situation provides a perfect example of how government meddling can backfire. Measures sold as easy fixes to social problems, economic discrepancies, or other situations where central planners think it would be better if they—not employers—get to call the shots can end up leading to unintended consequences that set back the very folks they sought to help."