Saturday, December 13, 2008

If society is in need of anything, it must first try the market

For A Second Republic from ANTIDOTE by Sauvik

In modern terminology, the “principle of subsidiarity” is used to show how powers are best divided between the various tiers of government. However, the true meaning of the term goes a little deeper than that. It means that if society is in need of anything, it must first try the market. If businessmen cannot provide the good in question, society must then look towards private voluntary organizations and charities.

Only when both these fail should government be called in – and that too, at the lowest level: the city, the town, the village. Then, if there are goods and services that this lowest tier of government cannot supply, these should fall upon higher levels. In India we need to strictly apply the principle of subsidiarity and redesign our government. We must invert the pyramid.

This calls for a New Constitution. A Second Republic. See my recent article on why we need a Second Republic here.

The Importance of Market Entrepreneurs
from Adam Smith's Lost Legacy by Gavin Kennedy

Knowledge of the configurations of the stars was interesting, but long-distance overseas trade on a regular basis drove the need for both accurate timekeepers for safer navigation from knowing longitude as well as latitude and for accurate charts for safer seamanship, once the ‘secrets’ of discovery gave way to the less dramatic open-seas of regular trade routes. Knowledge is necessary (three cheers to the discoverers!); but not sufficient. What made the difference are the entrepreneurs and the creators of industry.

Markets were not discovered by a scientist; they operated millennia before the science of economics appeared (and their merits are still hotly debated). Scores of ideas are dormant until somebody finds a use for them and somebody markets those uses successfully.

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