Sometimes individuals are accustomed to governmental policies that don’t realize they could be harmful to society, some people think they might be beneficial even though the results of these policies show the contrary. The economist, Daniel Klein explains why this is still a common problem in civilization.
Klein lists some of the reasons why certain policies prevail, such as agricultural subsidies, rent control, or the drug war. He clarifies that there are other circumstances to take into consideration, as well as the cynicism, dishonesty, and greed of the people that can get benefited from them.
He also suggests that culture is another reason why these phenomena happen. When convictions conflict with other beliefs the individual could depart the community, try to change it, pretend that supports it but secretly reject it, or embrace the idea, but neither of these situations is comfortable or attractive to anyone.
We don’t like to give up our beliefs, its painful, technical interrelatedness in an organization, we work better if we have similar beliefs about how things work and what the priorities are, and so on.” - Daniel Klein
Then, Klein presents how cultures with strong ideals work, and contrasts them with communities manipulated by a government through taxes or governmental institutions. A community has a voluntary test where every member accepts to take a belief, but the government can use coercion to force people into what is beneficial for them
Government uses coercion, they take people’s money through taxes, so they don't have to pass this voluntary test... They can also use coercion to shut up and shut down competitors, critics, and opponents.” - Daniel Klein
He concludes by giving some encouraging thoughts about this problem, that even if we can’t change government policies we can try to grow in a more enlightened culture and hope to make a difference in the future.
Economist, professor and author
Nuestra misión es la enseñanza y difusión de los principios éticos, jurídicos y económicos de una sociedad de personas libres y responsables.
Universidad Francisco Marroquín