Friday, September 09, 2005

The best available alternative 

I agree with Sean Hackbarth about the oddity of a comment made by Professor Walter Block of Loyola University of New Orleans, who suggests that charitable donations for relief of the victims of Hurricane Katrina should go to the Libertarian Party. Block argues that tax money is reducing weather control.
The point is, if we the people had vastly more money at our disposal than we do now, thanks to government profligacy with our funds, we would be able to donate some of it to the not-for-profit sector to engage in research and development for weather control.
If I take a dollar away from the government and give it back to the private sector, it is free to spend it as it wishes. Neoclassical economics, as opposed to the Austrian school to which Professor Block belongs, would argue that all the private alternatives would be ranked by each taxpayer receiving a tax cut and the highest ranked alternative would be taken. Is there any reason to believe that controlling the weather would bubble up to the top of the list? I doubt it. Taxes would need to be relevant at the margin to have any practical effect.