Getting from Here to There

Robin Hanson (
Tue, 15 Oct 96 11:29:38 PDT

"David Musick" writes:
>people who want government to do everything for them, to provide
>education, health-care, to make sure the drugs and other products they
>buy are all tested and proven safe and so forth. There are a huge
>number of people who want to be taken care of, who want someone to
>look out for them. ... go a long way towards getting government out
>of our lives and our wallets would be the formation of some companies
>which provided for people all of the services which government tries
>to provide, but does it cheaper and better than the government does.
>... There are private schools, private drug testing companies,
>Consumer Reports and so forth. But people still want the government
>to provide these services. Why? Most of the reason is probably
>because people are simply used to the government doing that job and
>don't want to change, but I think that another important reason is
>because all of these private companies are separate companies, each
>doing only their specialty. What we need is several companies which
>could each provide ALL the services the government provides, and
>perhaps much more. ... I like to call these types of companies MOMM
>(Management and Organization for the Mindless Masses).

You'll have to change the name if you want to get much busines :-). I
really doubt the problem is that these private services are now
unbundled. It would be really easy to bundle them, if there really
were a market for it. (If you think the market's making a big mistake
here, go start a venture.) A bigger problem is why should you pay for
private health care, education, and consumer protection when you are
already paying for the government versions, and can not stop paying?

>An agent from a MOMM company could approach a poor person and offer to
>provide them with good, marketable skills, housing for them and their
>family, food, security, health-care and so forth, if the poor person
>contracted with the MOMM company to pay the MOMM company a certain
>percentage of their future income.

Bankruptsy law makes this impractical at present. After you get them
marketable skills, they declare bankruptsy and then never have to pay
you again.

Robin D. Hanson