Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Feeble-Minded Professor

Alternate title: Eat a chicken: fix a pothole

Captain Ahab must be feeling the strain. He’s called in reinforcements in his ideological battle with Charlie Quimby and Dave Mindeman over whether government is just a giant sinkhole or whether it actually sometimes does some good and maybe even facilitates the creation of wealth. Impossible, hisses Ahab.

In his latest installment, Charlie makes this point:

Westover wrings yet one more post out of the notion that progressives fight dirty because they fail to acknowledge "threshold economic principles." This forces conservatives to argue about the details of tax and spending plans, where they lose because... well, free market economic principles have not had a great record when it comes to fixing potholes and helping poor little kids get breakfast.

Here’s where it gets good, boys and girls. Professor Banaian finds this “humorous” and fires back with this:

Actually, Advertising Age reports that the free market is doing a very fine job in fixing potholes, at least in Louisville.

Don't be surprised if you see Col. Sanders out filling potholes. In an unusual cause-marketing push, KFC is tackling the pothole problem in Louisville, Ky. in exchange for stamping the fresh pavement with "Re-freshed by KFC," a chalky stencil likely to fade away in the next downpour.

yes Take that, Charlie! Private enterprise can too fix potholes! Yes we can!

Spot’s not sure whether to laugh or cry that the chair of the economics department at a state university would confuse an “unusual cause-marketing push” with the provision of a public service. Sorry, Professor, but it seems like a major failure of the practice of economics to Spot.

What do you mean by a fine job, Professor? What happens next month when the promotion is giving away, er, Col. Sanders bobblehead dolls? Is KFC obligated to fix pot holes on a continuing basis?

What the professor really does is point out that you cannot rely on volunteerism to accomplish public services. When they get tired, they quit.

Now there’s a economics lesson for you.

Graphic by Tild.

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