Sunday, August 16, 2015

George Will: America’s barnacled budget

Here is a link to an article by George Will.

Will explains how and why minorities make the Federal Budget a painful joke for majorities.  However, he does not go quite far enough.

Assume, for simplicity, equal distribution of cost.

If a minority, say 1% of the populace gets the Government to pay it $1.00, it costs the minority  only $0.01.  Thus, there is an incentive for minorities to try to get Government handouts.

If the populace is composed of 100 minorities, then each has an incentive to get its $1.00 at a perceived cost of $0.01.  However, if each is successful at perverting the Government Budget in this way, all of the minorities will receive $1.00 each and will pay $1.00 each.  Actually, the cost will exceed $1.00 each, as there are costs to run the various programs.

All this waste could be avoided if all the minorities agreed not to receive Government handouts.  However, there is no way to obtain and enforce such an agreement.

Put yourself in the position of one of these minorities (probably, you are knowingly or unknowingly already a member of several).  Would you agree to refuse your handout?  Of course not - there is no credible evidence that everyone else would, so if you did, you would simply be a loser.

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