Lice Guys Finish First

by Russ Roberts on August 22, 2006

in Markets in Everything

Hayek made the essential point in The Fatal Conceit that family life and market life require us to be schizophrenic:

Part of our present difficulty is that we must
constantly adjust our lives, our thoughts and our emotions, in order to
live simultaneously within the different kinds of orders according to
different rules.  If we were to apply the unmodified, uncurbed, rules
of the micro-cosmos (i.e. of the small band or troop, or of, say, our
families) to the macro-cosmos (our wider civilisation), as our
instincts and sentimental yearnings often make us wish to do, we would destroy it.  Yet if we were always to apply the rules of the extended order to our more intimate groupings, we would crush them.  So we must learn to live in two sorts of world at once.

We continue to blur those lines as this report from the San Francisco Chronicle makes clear:

These days, it’s possible to outsource nearly every part of parenting  – 
except maybe the hugs  –  as a burgeoning industry springs up in the Bay Area
and major cities around the country to help busy, well-financed moms and dads
who lack either the time or the self-confidence to do what past generations of
parents did by themselves.

This new growth industry also includes potty trainers, party planners who
specialize in the under-10 set and lice removal experts. Yes, Bay Area parents
can even hire someone to come to their house and pick the nits out of their
loved ones’ locks.

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{ 4 comments }

save_the_rustbelt August 22, 2006 at 4:14 pm

Pity those children.

Keith August 23, 2006 at 8:27 am

Its a natural dichotomy visible to all who will see. Tiny "cells" of socialism within the market. Look at nature. Increasing entropy is a law of physics. Yet all around there are these little "cells" of anti-entropy we call life.

In the end its a struggle between "us" and "them". The difference between socialists and libertarians is where they draw the line between "us" and "them".

David August 23, 2006 at 9:17 am

Perhaps we should call this It Takes a Paid Village to Raise a Child.

Trevor August 24, 2006 at 12:04 pm

@ Keith
"In the end its a struggle between "us" and "them". The difference between socialists and libertarians is where they draw the line between "us" and "them"."

'Us' is anyone for whom my hand goes in my wallet, voluntarily and uncoerced; 'them' is every other time there's hand in there.

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