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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Parasitic government stops fighting actual parasites

One of the few proper roles of government is to help deal with public health concerns like clean water, parasitic invasion, and disease control (in contrast to the private or individual health concerns that Obamacare takes over). In a double perversion, New York's Democrat controlled state government is spending so much on improper roles of government that it can't spare a relative pittance to fight New York's burgeoning bed bug outbreak:
Tucked in the myriad cuts in this year's tough-times fiscal plan, is an elimination of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Service, an organization devoted to agricultural solutions and education -- which means fighting pests.

"With roaches, we know how to get rid of them. With bed bugs, we don't know. This would be a loss in terms of coming up with solutions," Brewer says.
Parasite control involves massive externalities, where individuals face no incentive to account the huge costs that their actions can impose on numerous others. When individuals are not accountable for the costs they impose, private markets fail to coordinate efficient outcomes, creating a role for government to try to fill in for the missing market solution. The solution will still be dependent largely on individual action, but there will be a role for government in coordinating that action, as by developing, subsidizing, and if necessary requiring, eradication efforts.

Instead of fighting parasites, government has become a killing parasite. New York's unresisted descent into primitive infestation provides a sardonically literal metaphor for this moral inversion.

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