Friday, November 4, 2011

On Fairness

Some two-thirds of people surveyed would like to see a more even (more "fair")distribution of the "nation's wealth" (if you don't see the misnomer in that sentence read Whose Wealth?)... The implication being that government should step in, through taxation and redistribution, and even the field...

The problem with fairness, as I forever preach, is that someone else must choose on behalf of someone else... The following excerpt from F.A. Hayek's 1944 classic The Road to Serfdom (a must read) succinctly describes the problem...

Where the precise effect of government policy on particular people are known, where the government aims directly at such particular effects, it cannot help knowing these effects and therefore it cannot be impartial. It must, of necessity, take sides, impose its valuations upon people, and instead of assisting them in the advancement of their own ends, choose the ends for them... As soon as the particular effects are foreseen at the time a law is made, it ceases to be a mere instrument to be used by the people and becomes instead an instrument used by the lawgiver upon the people and for his ends.

No comments:

Post a Comment