Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Voter's Paradox

The Voter's Paradox:

...people cooperate more if they are kept in small groups. Large organizations do better if they organize into many small components. People live fuller lives if they live in small towns. A political conclusion can be drawn here: have we done the right thing in centralizing our government in Washington?

There is a dear price to pay in using the government to solve the Social Dilemmas. The government primarily controls by means of laws. The laws passed to force personal "cooperation" of the freeriders, hurt us all. For example, the criminal justice system is a failure due to the lack of "cooperation" of the various responsible individuals; the judges, the police, the prison administrators, etc. As discussed elsewhere in this series of essays, each of these people find that looking after their own interests is at odds with solving the crime problem. Guess which wins! To combat this "defection" the government (from citizen pressure, by the way) has passed Mandatory Sentencing laws and other such disastrous laws. This not only results in cruel and excessive punishment for some who have done little or no harm to society but also has generally complicated the Criminal Justice system even more!

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