Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Highest Cost Producer

Starting with an article at Marginal Revolution, I read the earlier referenced article, and ended up reading this guy's article, which contained this comment:
Now what needs to be brought into the picture here is that the federal government is not like a big corporation. Governments don't go out of business. Governments don't experience unexpected new competition for their customers. Corporations can't just generate new revenues by taking a vote. And of course corporate managers are supposed to have a different attitude vis-à-vis their employees than elected representatives have vis-à-vis their constituents.
I'm struck by how the author of the comment thinks that all of these things actually support leaving social security as it is. Meanwhile, I see them as an argument for changing social security. Of course, I start from a basic distrust of any government program, mainly because they usually result in the highest costs of production.

Governments not going out of business and not experiencing new competition means that there's no incentive for a government to improve. Corporations not being able to generate new revenues by taking a vote means that they have to come by their revenues by efficiently making things that people actually want. And corporate managers view of their employees is generally better than the governments view of its constituents. Employees are the engine that makes production and profit possible. Citizens are the suckers from whom taxes are forcibly extracted. In other words there is more stability in entrusting investments to a diversity of corporations than entrusting it to a governments guaranteed inefficiency.

How are this guy's points at all useful to support the Social Security status quo?

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