Libertarian Jackass

"Life is short, but truth works far and lives long; let us speak truth." -- Schopenhauer

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Strippers, Lap Dances, Police Officers and the Misallocation of Resources

Following the ban on lap dances in the city of Los Angeles, that intellectual giant Bill O'Reilly is at it again! A quote will suffice:

"Recently L.A. Police found Uranium in the port of Los Angeles. And you think we should send our cops to monitor lap dancers?" - Brittanny Andrews, stripper to Bill O'Reilly on banning lap dances in LA

Ms. Andrews stumbles across a key insight into the difference between the price mechanism of market resource allocation and the political mechanism of government resource allocation! Without prices to convey to producers where consumer demand for security resources is valued most, the government relies on the "political" process. That is, a certain group decides based on a certain value judgement to push for a ban on lap dances and thus increase the threat of force (government police) for enforcement of the edict. Meanwhile, the property owners which actually need more protection from the police (security providers) do not receive enough resources. Why? Without a free market, government planners are not able to use prices (which because of consumer demand would be MUCH higher in the crucial port of Los Angeles for expensive product transportation and NOT at strip clubs) to allocate the resources. Sending cops to the strip clubs is an ARBITRARY decision and a waste of security resources. Without a private property system which permits the price mechanism to allocate resources effectively, political allocation will ALWAYS be arbitrary and will ALWAYS fail. Now, if only we could elect a more sensible candidate for governor, these lap dances would be tax-deductible!

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