Voting for Groceries Redux

In response to Don Boudreax's grocery voting analogy discussed yesterday, Garth of Musings from America's Outback responds in general agreement by extending the argument further. He then concludes by saying,

Having said all this, I know that the post in question was really pointing how much better a tool capitalism is for allowing people to get what they want, as opposed to socialism or some other form of communitarian process. And this is true. But unless you are an anarcho-capitalist, you must accept that the democratic system we have today is the way things get done. What is needed, of course, is better vetting of candidates, holding office holders to account for their actions, and less ideologically-driven partisanship which narrows our options in the voting booth.

[emphasis mine]

What I conclude from Boudreax's post is that voting for things inevitably leads to fewer choices. I didn't see it as a critique of socialism per se, but rather a critique of voting. There is a good reason why we don't vote for food, clothes, or cars. Why should we continue to vote for education?

People say that we live in a democracy, and that's how it is, but that glosses over a couple of issues. The US was never meant to be a democracy. The Founders warned against democracies, precisely because democracy is inferior to freedom of association and individual rights. Even if one is not an anarchocapitalist, you can still make the argument that for most things,the market is a much better allocator of scarce goods than is democracy. Sure, you might support voting for the people who command the military, institute a police force, and appoint judges (although that still seems pretty to me). Yet, for most economic goods, property rights are much preferable to democracy.

Consider that one of the bigger issues in politics today is whether or not we should allocate health care through democracy. It makes little sense to vote for people who are given the task of choosing appropriate health care provisions for us. Being able to pick and choose based on our own individual needs is obviously better.

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