Saturday , January 22 2022
Home / Tim Worstall /We agree with The Guardian entirely here

We agree with The Guardian entirely here

Summary:
It is true that folks, we humans, value agency. We prefer to have what we decide we’d like to have rather than what some other person thinks we should have that is:Giving people cash rather than food parcels would empower themWell, yes:Which would you prefer: a shopping bag of items you didn’t choose, or the money to buy what you need?Quite so.We do praise food banks often enough but that’s not because they are a perfect solution. Rather, the British government is so staffed with those Rolls Royce minds that it is incapable of handing out free money in a timely and useful manner. The major reason for the use of food banks is, after all, that the benefits haven’t turned up.This proof that we live in a second best world doesn’t change that value of agency though. As the Census Bureau over in

Topics:
Tim Worstall considers the following as important:

This could be interesting, too:

Don Boudreaux writes Let’s Separate School and State

Don Boudreaux writes Bonus Quotation of the Day…

Don Boudreaux writes Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: “Middle-class stagnation?”

Don Boudreaux writes Some Covid Links

It is true that folks, we humans, value agency. We prefer to have what we decide we’d like to have rather than what some other person thinks we should have that is:

Giving people cash rather than food parcels would empower them

Well, yes:

Which would you prefer: a shopping bag of items you didn’t choose, or the money to buy what you need?

Quite so.

We do praise food banks often enough but that’s not because they are a perfect solution. Rather, the British government is so staffed with those Rolls Royce minds that it is incapable of handing out free money in a timely and useful manner. The major reason for the use of food banks is, after all, that the benefits haven’t turned up.

This proof that we live in a second best world doesn’t change that value of agency though. As the Census Bureau over in the US has been pointing out for decades much of the American welfare state is valued, by the recipients, at less than it costs to provide. The system of food stamps for example, leads to a black market (of arguable size). The standard rates being $1 of restricted money on a debit card being worth 50 cents of unrestricted money that can be spent upon anything. The major purchase, or at least the modal, with the 50 cents being diapers (nappies to us Brits).

This is also why supermarkets work better than ration shops, why the car is more highly desired than the integrated public transport system and so on. Humans like choice because, as is the great insistence of the liberal idea, we all have slightly different ideas about what constitutes the good life.

In fact, we agree with The Guardian so much here that we insist this should be expanded across all of life. There should be no council housing nor social - pay housing benefit instead so the poor can choose their own housing. The NHS must be entirely reformed in the sense of abolished. The access should be to the medical treatment of our choice, not what someone thinks we should get. Schooling needs to be, at the very least, a voucher system so that again it is we out here who make the choices.

For, as is said, agency has value. So, the entire system must be reformed so as to maximise that value, that agency. Government might well end up financing things for some to all of the population but it shouldn’t be providing any of it. Because, as with food, agency has value.

That this isn’t what The Guardian means at all doesn’t change the basic point now, does it?

Media enquiries: 07584 778207 (Call only, 24 hour)

Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *