The wish at the heart of modern conservatism is that selfishness, in the end, will turn out to be altruism–that, when the score is all tallied, the best thing we can do for the poor is to stick it to them just as hard as we can.
Too often our political discussion never gets past witty platitudes and applause lines. When we say, “private markets are more efficient,” it’s important to specify, even with a crude estimate, just how much more efficient. Liberals should not pretend that factor is 1, but conservatives should not pretend it’s infinite. And, we should recognize that neither private nor public production is the right solution for all good in all markets. Math matters.