Division of Labor Gone Awry

by Don Boudreaux on December 30, 2009

in Frenetic Fiddling, Hubris and humility, Reality Is Not Optional, Terrorism

Here’s a letter that I sent today to the New York Times:

Two celebrated advocates of active and expansive government – President Obama and yourself – admit, quite accurately, that the security breach on Northwest Flight 253 represents a momentous failure of government (“The System Failed,” Dec. 30).

Ponder this fact carefully.  Government’s core function is to protect citizens from violence.  If Uncle Sam fails at this central, all-important task, what reason have we to trust that it will succeed at delivering less-costly and higher-quality health-care?  Or at productively restructuring financial markets?

Surely, before government directs energy and resources to these and the countless other tasks that it now tries to do, it should first master its most fundamental duty.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

If the gardener isn’t up to the task of keeping the flowers properly watered, then it’s especially foolish to assign to him the additional task of mastering plant genetics.

UPDATE: Perhaps better is — If the gardener isn’t up to the task of keeping the flowers free of insects, then it’s especially foolish to assign to him the additional task of mastering plant genetics.

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