Monday, July 23, 2012

Where I Buy my Tomatoes Makes Me Feel Nifty

Some people yell about smaller government, that government is evil and Ayn Rand was right, private sector can handle everything and they will gladly do so in exchange for profit.  In the other camp, we have the team who yells exactly the opposite; that profit is an unnecessary byproduct and is not a true motivator of innovation and progress.

The error is in believing that either position is universally true or universally false.

Maybe the private v. public conversation is taking our eyes off the ball.  Maybe it’s the large v. small, the global v. local.  Maybe we need huge government to counterbalance the presence of huge corporations.  Maybe we wouldn’t need excessive regulation if there weren’t any corporate farms or mega-banks.  Maybe innovation would actually increase if profit were removed from the equation and maybe social wellbeing would erupt if regulation were no longer necessary.

Of course, the operative word is “maybe”.  We don’t know if such a bold new plan would or wouldn’t have positive outcomes, and that makes attempting a change risky.  Our systems incent those in power to stick with what we know doesn’t work to avoid the risk of losing what we have if the new plan doesn’t work.  I suppose that makes us all conservatives, doesn’t it?

Where I buy our tomatoes is not enough.

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