April 2, 2010 9:51AM

The Threat that Guam Will Capsize

At least when it comes to economic matters, a way of framing the question whether market regulation or government regulation should predominate is to ask which system---markets or government---can better allocate resources.

Many people assume that elected officials, their staffs, and bureaucracies in the executive branch have superior information and thus better capability of organizing society's affairs. There are many smart, well-informed people in government doing their best at just that task.

But evidence of their fallibility is sometimes made available. Such is in the video that follows, in which a member of Congress worries---in apparent seriousness---whether the island of Guam might capsize.

If it seems cruel to tout, or unfair to generalize from this to the weakness of government generally, fine. But think of the cruelties large and small in government officials' dominion over the lives of others.

Perhaps some will recognize in this video that governments are run by imperfect people just like businesses are. This is part of the reason why the promises that issue from Capitol Hill so often go unfulfilled while people acting on their own behalfs generally organize their affairs well.