David Henderson introduces Richard McKenzie’s new EconLib essay – one that exposes the errors that can be caused by presuming that the task of understanding reality involves little more than sticking with pedestrian observations and prejudices.
History is full of examples of privately supplied roads and education, not to mention more difficult cases. The existence of a collective-action problem is not a sufficient argument for government intervention. To believe otherwise is to ignore the creative and imaginative capacities of individuals engaging in private collective action to overcome collective-action problems.
John Taylor, writing in the Wall Street Journal, explains that the problem is extreme policies rather than extreme people. And Taylor here ably counters Paul Krugman’s disagreement with crucial parts of Taylor’s essay.
Private individuals, households, and firms could never get away with behavior so wasteful and perverse as that which government routinely gets away with. Maxim Lott has more.