What would happen if we treated cheeseburgers like we treat other things in our society? What if cheeseburgers were subsidized the same way we
subsidize healthcare, section 8 housing or education?
Let's imagine that in order to fight "hunger" the politicians created a voucher program so that the poor could have a cheeseburger. C'mon, can't
a poor kid get a cheeseburger?
Let's say that the value of the voucher was $10, it could be redeemed at any burger joint for a $10 burger. Would any burger joint ever charge less
than $10 for a burger?
No, of course not, it would be stupid to do so. So the minimum cost for everyone else for a burger would be $10 or whatever the voucher was worth.
This is called a price floor.
But wait a minute, would you want a $10 burger? Remember the $10 burger will be designed to be the cheapest possible burger that meets whatever
minimum burger standards that the government sets and that you will have to wait in line with the voucher people to get a $10 burger. If you want a
good burger or you want some bacon on that you are going to have to pay much more. If you want to avoid the line and the sketchy voucher people then
you will have to pay much more.
But wait a minute, what happens next? Well next everyone will complain about how #ty the voucher burgers are and how long the lines are. Then of
course the only solution the burger companies and their politicians can offer is to raise the burger standards but then they will have to also raise
the voucher value, then they can provide better burgers they say.
But wait a minute, what if the burger companies and their paid protestors with their "fight for $15" signs convince the public and politicians to
raise the burger voucher to a $15 dollar value? Well then to get a good burger you are going to have to spend even more than that!
And who can afford $15 for a cheeseburger? Gosh, isn't the only solution to expand who is eligible to receive burger vouchers for "free"
With a more or less free market for cheeseburgers anyone can have as many burgers as they want, cheeseburgers can be bought for a dollar, can anyone
reasonably deny that all of the things I described would occur if a burger voucher program was established? Of course it would be crazy to create such
a program and lead to out of control price hikes and unsustainable burger markets and terrible burgers and service. Yet that is exactly how we
approach many things in our society, we subsidize education and healthcare and housing exactly in the same fashion as the hypothetical burger voucher
and we have the exact same consequences.
People react to this in two ways. Either they say, "very clever of course you are right" or "this is stupid" what no one has ever done is be able
to disprove my theory. Am I wrong?