Last week, Dan Klein had met with a group of students on a draft of his recent paper. During the discussion he had raised a question that all students with the love for liberty usually ask themselves , "How come I get it? How come all these other people I know get it, but the everyday citizen does not get it?" The "it" being government intervention within our personal lives being more harmful and not as efficient as the market.
Those in the room shared his agony with the question and for me coincided with the question, "Why does the battered wife not leave her beating husband?"
The solution was simple when I sat around a table with my cousins and my wife and heard a discussion of a guy who felt he owned the world going out with other girls and yet his girlfriend stays by him. When the remark was made that his girlfriend was stupid for staying by him, I heard the words that made me understand why people still don't get "it". "She believes she can change him."
That was it; so simple and yet so profound. Most people believe that the government has problems, they will agree on this and will even have claims to back up this argument. Yet when push comes to shove, they side with government leaving all the liberty minded individuals to ask why. So why is it they stick by the government who never keeps their promise; they believe that they can change it. Perhaps they don't trust the market because they don't feel that they can impact the market in any form compared to the measure of impact they can have within government.
What do you think? Or should we commend such a spirit of hope?