Wednesday, March 29, 2017

“If you abolished the government, would America be more or less equal?”

Angus Deaton:
Someone asked me the other day when I was giving a talk a really interesting question. They said, “If you abolished the government, would America be more or less equal?” Because there’s all the equality that comes from redistribution but there’s all the inequality that comes from rent-seeking. And it’s not clear to me which one.

But when you abolish government, governments arise.

In Europe:
The fall of the Roman Empire plunged Europe into the Dark Ages and decentralized the region. The Imperial system in Rome was replaced with a loose-knit group of kings and princes throughout Europe.

In Great Britain:
By convention, the Heptarchy lasted from the end of Roman rule in Britain in the 5th century, until most of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms came under the overlordship of Egbert of Wessex in 829...

If you abolish government, governments arise, but not necessarily better ones. Myself, I think we should keep the government that was designed and built in the Age of Reason. Instead of throwing away the good stuff, we should sit down and think about the thing that went bad: Think about the economy. Because, obviously, the fix we've been using for the last forty years has not worked. Obviously there is something wrong with our plan.

Dump the bath water. Keep the baby.

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