Comment 30434

By Z Jones (registered) | Posted April 23, 2009 at 22:43:11

Can RTH start up a fund to raise money so we can send A Smith on a REAL economics course so his knowledge of economics isn't limited to some random neoliberal website? Markets are not a magic bullet.

"Whether it's free health care, free roads or free landfills, if the government charged people for the services they used, demand would go down and supply would increase."

Demand for health care would go down because lots of people would no longer be able to afford it. Which people? Only the ones who need health care the most. In America health care costs are the #1 cause of personal bankruptcy.

"In the case of garbage, people would begin looking for goods with as little packaging as possible and the government could use the increased revenue to invest in technology to store waste as efficiently as possible."

No they wouldn't. Garbage is a spillover (literally AND figuratively) - a cost that neither the sellers nor the buyers have to absorb personally. If people had to pay market prices to have their garbage taken care of, they would just dump it and the city would be filthy.

Go back and research what cities were like during the 19th century - they were filthy cesspools of human and animal waste and garbage. Municipal services like water, sewage treatment and garbage collection were started because markets failed to deal with them and cities were horrible places to live as a result.

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