Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gary Becker's World View -or Something Like That

One feature I like from Chicago political-economy school is their optimistic view on market-like competition and the ability of people to generate it --regardless of any (usually government) attempt to suppress such competition.

Gary Becker interview here is one example. Unlike the right-wing radicals who saw the passing of healthcare bill as a doomsday for America, Becker remains rather optimistic that voters as well as competing interest groups generally would place more realistic assessment and control on this political and politicians' product.

I share his view on the role of interest groups competition - including on the latest Pansus brouhaha.

My favorite lines, however, is his explanation on people's anti-market bias. Becker says at ease:
"There's one bias that we're up against all the time: Markets are hard to appreciate. People tend to impute good motives to government. And if you assume that government officials are well meaning, then you also tend to assume that government officials always act on behalf of the greater good. People understand that entrepreneurs and investors by contrast just try to make money, not act on behalf of the greater good. And they have trouble seeing how this pursuit of profits can lift the general standard of living. The idea is too counterintuitive. So we're always up against a kind of in-built suspicion of markets. There's always a temptation to believe that markets succeed by looting the unfortunate."
Yes, indeed market is hard to appreciate - mostly based on appeal to emotion.

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