Thursday, June 24, 2010

State shoe-shops?

Sometimes Libertarians use the example of supermarket shopping and the inherent freedom of choice when the government isn't involved, to ask why we put up with the state dictating (largely) the education and health markets. Food is after all as essential as health and education. I liked the following excerpt which similarly lays out how purchasing a pair of shoes would look if the state was in charge of fitting out our feet;

"Imagine, if you will, that you have acquired, honestly and voluntarily, the means to purchase a new pair of shoes (either by rendering a useful service to another or by selling to him a property to which you have previously earned the entitlement and which he is now more eager than you to possess).

Now picture yourself in a world where you yourself cannot go directly to the retailer, but where you are obliged instead to give your money to a government-appointed commissary who will enter you in a queue for a standardized piece of footwear, with little or no say over the style or quality — and possibly not even any over the size — being accorded you personally.

Worse still, this bureaucrat may decide that someone else “deserves” the shoes more than you do, at present, That “someone else” may be a person whose vote it is, for the moment, expedient to cultivate, or someone whose fallen circumstances or designated “victimhood” currently complies with our masters' personal, pseudo-compassionate prejudices. It will certainly not be someone tainted, like you, with the suspicion that, by dint of your own self-reliance, you might be altogether oblivious to the social usefulness of the functionary himself and even more dangerously indifferent to the whims of his power-hungry political bosses."



Oswald Bastable said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oswald Bastable said...

Leading to the inevitable Shoe Event Horizon.

Shane Pleasance said...

I think a disruption in the supply of shoes would be a serious vote winner for Libz. Would work for my wife anyway... ;-)

Lucy said...

Although I am familiar with this type of scenario it still gives me shivers down the spine when I read it.
However now that there is a Fabian Socialist heading up a Labour Government over the ditch the Aussies just might beat us to "State shoe-shops"

Anonymous said...

Although I am familiar with this type of scenario it still gives me shivers down the spine when I read it.

Well you would be wouldn't you.

After all it describes something like 75% of the Kiwi economy - health, education, welfare, transport, power generation, telecommunications, tv, radio, food, and on and on and on

are all supplied by the government

or so heavily regulated that they might as well be.

But because you have a choice of shoes

It distracts you from almost everything important that you don't have a choice about

The only way to end welfare dependency is to end welfare.

The only way to get the state out of NZ is to close the whole lot down as quickly as possible.