I've been thinking a lot about central planning versus spontaneous order lately, and wondering if my personal preferences are clouding my thinking.
For example, I like the typical pot-luck dinner better than the typical catered banquet. I like not knowing exactly what will be there, and I like trying new things. I don't like the "would you like the beef, chicken, or vegetarian?" question; I always want to answer "give me a little of all three."
My political preferences match my culinary tastes. I don't want to choose between Democrat and Republican, I'd like to have a little of each, please. And I don't want the government to create a least-offensive solution for whatever problem I might face, whether it's what kind of school my kids attend or what type of health insurance I think is best for me. I'd rather have a gloriously chaotic array of choices that I can try or ignore.
I'm probably atypical-- I bet most people would choose a safe, boring catered meal over a riskier but more exciting pot luck. I can hear them now: "What if everybody decides to bring a lime Jello® salad?" I suspect that the same type of irrational fear of the worst-case scenario drives a lot of government programs, policies and laws that I think we'd be better off without.
But maybe they're being perfectly rational, and they just value consistency and safety a lot more than I do. Either way, I kinda wish they'd stop making me pay for stuff I don't want...