Arnold Kling

Liberals Vs. Conservatives

Arnold Kling, Great Questions of Economics
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'Jane Galt' on liberals vs. conservatives.

The difference between a free market economist and a more pro-regulation one is not that the former is a venal poltroon who is unaware that markets fail, much as the Nation and the American Prospect might wish that this were the case. The difference is that they impute to government different levels of ability to remedy these failures without introducing new, worse failures into the system. Liberal economists have a higher degree of confidence in the workings of regulation.

I agree with this. A liberal will point to a market failure and say "Gotcha! See, we need government intervention." A conservative will raise the question of whether in practice the government will make matters better or worse.

Discussion Question. Should economists be making the political judgement that the government will not make things better, or should we just focus on what an omniscient, welfare-mazimizing government ought to do?

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