Supply, demand and the combination of the two

We are limited beings. We do not have, originally or for perpetuity, all that we need/desire/want/prefer/have a tendency toward.

In addition wants are varied. Wants are both varied within individuals and between individuals.

In addition the strength or urgency of the wants varies both within individuals, between individuals, and to complicate matters-in time. So, in me there is a difference between how much I want marriage and how much I want employment and how much I want rest. And, when I compare myself to my fellow both the wants are different and their ranks are different. And, throughout time the wants and their ranking are changing within me and so for my fellow.

All of this amounts to demand. What of supply?

Back to the individual. Each individual has some level of experience, skill and aptitude. It varies within each individual through time, and it varies between individuals.

In addition, there is a stock of land available for transformation to satisfy wants. The transformation requires a combination of experience, skill and aptitude to the land. The land varies from place to place in what wants it will best satisfy.

All of this amounts to supply.

The meta-question: how ought supply and demand be joined? Let’s play the god for a moment but only as chooser (for it is in freedom that we are like the supposed divine and not in omniscience). Let us choose between systems of the allocation of the scarce resources of skill and land to the unlimited wants of individuals. The systems can be divided between decentralized and centralized. Let us examine their qualities:

Centralized decision requires the collection of, analysis of and correct interpretation of, and the communication of and redistribution of the infinite amount of changing in time supplies and demands in order for satisfaction to occur. It is both time and energy consuming which makes it expensive, there are tremendous opportunities for error, and there are tremendous opportunities for corruption.

Decentralized decision relies on the local expert (you in the time and place where you are) to collect, analyze, interpret and redistribute the changing in time supplies and demands of your local wants and the scarce resources in your control to satisfy those wants either in production or trade. The opportunities for error and corruption found in the transmission requirements of the centralized system are greatly reduced. The time-lag between collection and redistribution is reduced. The expertise brought immediately in play is greatly increased in the decentralized system. Who knows more about what each wants, how much, and at what cost, than each?

Price controls (whether ceilings or floors) in property or labor (minimum wage) even in a relatively “free” place like the United States are bad. The forced taking of some and giving to others is bad. Without a doubt (too strong) decentralized decision making by the experts in each locale (you there, me here) relative to supply and demand here or there outperforms centralized decision making. This is true in health care, education, food, shelter, labor.

The vast empire of control that the state has accrued is not only illegitimate but inefficient. Our comfortability in it, and our willingness to not make waves, and our sense that “well, it seems like it works” is all feeling and feeling changes. That the centralized decision making is present and inefficient can still be acknowledged. And we haven’t even broached the issue of human rights which happily coincides with efficiency in Platonic unity. It is your absolute right to yourself that would dissolve the empire of control that the sate has accrued. But that is for another time.

Published by Purilib

Anonymously interested in grasping the good life.

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