Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday Musings: You, Too, Can Exit

One of the problems of government as a solution to social problems is that its monopoly position leaves very few mechanisms for discipline. One of those few is exit, which is a whole heck of a lot easier the smaller scale is the government we're talking about. In Pima County, Arizona, you can move across the street and get into another fire district or school district, or move not too far at all and live in another city or in no city at all. Even this reflects the typical American approach of tying K-12 education to the parents' address. But notice that we usually stop there. If we at FSU (or the faculty at any other Florida university) mess up on the quality of education we deliver, then any high school senior anywhere in Florida has a long list of other places to go. At the university level, "school choice" is not a abstract policy debate, it's a fact of life.

Mark Steyn emphasizes the importance of "exit" somewhat of the way into his article on "Obama's False Choice." When reading this, I saw that he asserted that social activist Bono had moved some of his business from Ireland to the Netherlands to reduce his tax bill. I wondered what the details were on this, and "through the magic of the internet," I found them in the Irish Times. Not suprisingly, social activist Bono is "stung" by criticism of hypocrisy. I say, "Way to go guys" and "I hope you keep in mind how important "exit" is in disciplining government when you continue your campaign to help Africa."

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