Monday, April 10, 2006


The Virtue of Democracy

The virtue of democracy, which is often times touted as its downfall is inefficiency. Democracies and governments in general are notoriously inefficient and long in decision making. This is actually a positive aspect of governmental action that is quite often confused as negative. As someone once said: "Gridlock is good"

Why exactly is slow and inefficient governmental action beneficial? Why are long-winded discussions beneficial?

My take is that the more inefficient the government is, the less actively coercive it can become. Tripping itself along the way, the seperated parts can not communicate effectively into an efficient totalitarian state.

Now, none of this is necessarily beneficial (on the net), but what is rather counter intuitive (at least to economists) is to desire lesser efficiency. I think there are a few good reasons to favor inefficiency and the public sector might be the prime example.

Might we start by saying that government is an inferior good?
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