Saturday, October 19, 2013

Market failure?

If you just just make an effort, you can find market failures everywhere. Many of my friends explain that some Americans are obese because they are stuck in "food deserts" -- places where dark forces (profits) conspire to keep the locals from eating healthy foods. The many food truck operators (as well as the rest of the food industry) have not noticed and have ignored the opportunity to rush in and fill a market void (profit).

Today's WSJ reports "At McDonald's, Salads Just Don't Sell". Letting the international leader in food marketing do what they do best creates the "food desert" phenomenon. But shame and browbeat them into going against their professional instincts and doing the right thing and what happens? Apparently nothing? What to do?

Make them a public utility. We can do that with health care and health insurance. But that may have its own issues. At this writing, HHS cannot get their health exchanges to work. There are "technical problems." And HHS will not reveal (just yet) how many have signed up.

But these things can be fixed. Spend enough money and the government can put a man on the moon. You eventually run out of other people's money (M. Thatcher)? No true. In recent weeks, Congress proved that.