Drawing the Wrong Conclusion XV: the Commerce cause-and-effect edition

To the self-defeating idea of economic incentives, Decker is an endless Rickroll; she is never gonna give you up never gonna give you up never gonna give you up
— Yours truly, 8/2/13

The presumption is that political decision makers have special insight that is not available to private investors about the value added of industries. But in fact it is the exact opposite that is the case. In a free economy it is the role of private sector investors using their own money and looking at potential profits and losses to decide what kinds of investments will add the most value. There has never been any evidence that the government can improve upon this process.
— Roy Cordato, 2/1/13

North Carolina Commerce Secretary — which means she has been given the job of ensuring commerce, which to be fair is like being tasked the Everybody Breathe Today Secretary and feeling compelled like Tom Smykowski from Office Space of always having to justify such a superfluous role — Sharon Decker was “in Craven County talking about economic growth” this week, according to WNCT.

What did the Secretary of I Am Here So You May Now Engage in Voluntary Exchange — who sidelines as the Secretary of If Only We Took More From You Involuntarily We Could Have Even More Voluntary Exchange — say?

Decker also talked the state’s plan to launch a brand campaign aiming to attract businesses and visitors to the state.

“Currently we are the sixth most visited state, but funded at forty-seventh in the country,” said Decker.

I’m not even using the hopeful Picard to hopes-dashed facepalm Picard for this entry. I’m going straight to pained double-facepalm Picard because by now it is manifestly evident what Decker means.

A reasoning person would conclude that if North Carolina is one of the top states in tourist visits and almost dead last in state funding tourism, then state funding isn’t what drives tourism. A reasoning person familiar with North Carolina’s many beauties and features would readily apprehend some alternative drivers of the state’s tourism.

Such a person would probably conclude that the funding is probably entirely superfluous, and might even pose the Bobsian Razor:

bobsian razor

On the other hand, a person in the decidedly anti-Canute role of ensuring commerce would apparently conclude that the funding is not only necessary but somehow isn’t enough.

Previous entries in “Drawing the Wrong Conclusion”: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, and XIV.

Jon Sanders / Director of Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...

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