Monday, October 28, 2013

Special Interests

How did the #ChickenMafia get so engrained into our society; so intrusive that many feel it is an inoperable tumor?

“While every group has certain economic interests identical with those of all groups, every group has also, as we shall see, interests antagonistic to those of all other groups. While certain public policies would in the long run benefit everybody, other policies would benefit one group only at the expense of all other groups. The group that would benefit by such policies, having such a direct interest in them, will argue for them plausibly and persistently. It will hire the best buyable minds to devote their whole time to presenting its case. And it will finally either convince the general public that its case is sound, or so befuddle it that clear thinking on the subject becomes next to impossible.

In addition to these endless pleadings of self-interest, there is a second main factor that spawns new economic fallacies every day. This is the persistent tendency of man to see only the immediate effects of a given policy, or its effects only on a special group, and to neglect to inquire what the long-run effects of that policy will be not only on that special group but on all groups. It is the fallacy of overlooking secondary consequences.”

Henry Hazlitt (1894 - 1993)
Economist, philosopher, journalist and Author (Economics in one Lesson)

That pretty well sums up how Supply Management came into being, and why it's still here.

However, we can't blame it all on the #ChickenMafia and #EggMafia.

These special interest groups can only survive when a vast majority of the public practices ignorance.  It doesn't matter how the ignorance arises, whether by focusing on other issues, jaded attitudes, abdication of responsibility, or stupidity.  The end result is the same.

We all need to wake up and smell the coffee, to inquire, to question, to do some critical thinking.  Remember, they aren't above using our public money to bribe every one of us.  That means we will also need character to resist the bribes and requests for special favours.

I realize all of this is a tall order, but we have to start somewhere, or we are eternally doomed.

Perhaps Ontario's newest proposal for #OpenON will help shine some sunlight upon the situation; not only on Supply Management, but all government waste and policy errors.  If people can see the problem, perhaps they won't be so jaded or apathetic.

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