Saturday, February 28, 2009

Laisse Faire Evolution

It is not difficult to breed a new variety of plant or animal. What is difficult is the modification of the environment to suit the new creation. People ignore the environment modification part of breeding, and criticize breeders for creating animals which couldn't survive in the wild. In short, evolution wouldn't have created them, so they shouldn't be. Yet the breeders respond with a huge variety of biota that serves countless purposes. Breeding apparently works.

The same argument plays out in the free market debate. Free marketeers are strong advocates of letting the market evolve as it may. Interventionists, on the other hand, posit many a way in which a little intervention here would improve things. Historically, they've been wrong, but I think it is because they've bred their new creations and then turned them loose. Once you start raising cattle, you need to herd them, water them, build them barns, etc.

In short, I believe that market intervention can work better than simply letting nature run its course, but it takes far more work and attention than a political system is likely to give it.

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