Government And Money

2004-07-19 11:14:37

"There is a problem with letting government buy us the things we want, such as a cleaner, more diverse, more environmental environment. The problem is worse than political, it's psychotic. The government has a deranged method of spending money. This was first pointed out by Milton and Rose Friedman in their 1980 classic text on economic liberty, Free to Choose, which was on the bookshelf at the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh but which not one person in the Clinton administration seems to have read. The Friedmans describe the four ways money is spent:
  1. You spend your money on yourself. You're motivated to get the thing you want most at the best price. This is the way middle-aged men haggle with Porsche dealers.
  2. You spend your money on other people. You still want a bargain, but you're less interested in pleasing the recipient of your largesse. This is why children get underwear at Christmas.
  3. You spend other people's money on yourself. You get what you want but price no longer matters. The second wives who ride around with the middle-aged men in the Porsches do this kind of spending at Neiman Marcus.
  4. You spend other people's money on other people. And in this case, who gives a shit?
Most government spending falls into category four." - All The Trouble In The World by P.J. O'Rourke