Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Fairness of "Unequal" Exchange

My latest Mises.org article - posted late

The Fairness of "Unequal" Exchange
By Jim Fedako
Posted on 11/21/2006


Market exchange is not based on the requirement that both parties appraise the goods about to be exchanged at equal value. Instead, market exchange is based on both parties benefiting from a two-way, unequal valuation of the goods to be exchanged.

An example from my youth: During my high school years in the early 1980's, I had purchased a double-live album of the rock group Rush for $15. Teenagers can be a fickle lot and I was no different. My musical tastes changed during my junior year and I morphed from a Rush fan into someone who felt that Fly By Night was simply noise — vulgar noise at that. Not only did I no longer listen to the album, I wanted to get rid of it since I felt that the album reduced the quality of my record collection.

Along comes a fellow student who was fast becoming an ardent Rush fan. We agreed to an exchange: I would trade my album for his $5. Fair enough. Right after the exchange, as I held the $5 and he held the album, the new Rush fan said something along the lines of, "I just ripped you off. I would have paid $10 for that album." I replied, "No, I just ripped you off since I was about to toss the album into the garbage anyway."

continue reading ...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Reading and malinvestment

Ludwig von Mises of the Austrian School of Economics warned of the unintended consequences of government interventions. In line with his warnings is the misallocation resulting from the malinvestment by government in activities that are not the best use of scarce resources. These malinvestments create capital structures that are not supported by real needs and wants. Bust comes when resources are cutoff or are shifted to the lines that are truly productive from those lines supported by the government interventions.

How in the world does this relate to reading? The answer is quite simple and telling, it's also an excellent lesson in Austrian Economics.

At the same time that Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann, Phyllis Haddox, Elaine Bruner, is currently available on Amazon.com for $7.04, the federal and state levels of government are wasting hundreds of millions, if not billions, on Progressive reading strategies that are of little use and are potentially harmful.

Go to Amazon.com and search for 100 Easy Leasons, then sort the customer responses in reverse order of ranking to see the objections to the above book's program. You will find that the objections typically suggest another book or series of books that are themselves reasonably priced and readily available. None of the comments I read said that this book failed to teach reading. And, neither this program nor suggested alternatives rely on continual government resources for R&D. They are programs that are tried and true, successful yet cheap. Products of the free market.

The result of the government expenditures in reading is a capital structure that is nonproductive and wasteful, but is also a dollar-consuming Leviathan. A significant portion of the funding of these programs and departments goes into continual lobbying and PR expenditure. As a result, they grow and grow; a financial Backdraft that consumes tax-dollars and lays waste to the dreams of future generations.

Government has to fear the bust that will inevitably occur when these programs and departments are no longer funded. The result will not just be thousands upon thousands of bureaucrats, administrators, and teachers hitting the street, it will also be the loss of capital invested in private enterprises that exist to remedy the ills caused by the government-funded reading programs.

Should the products of the private sector - Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons , etc - replace those created by interventionist policies, you'll save thousands in yearly tax dollars while student achievement rises. Just be ready to ignore the administrator or teacher holding the cup and the sign that reads, "Will whole-language for food."

Monday, November 27, 2006

Charter schools and fixed costs, or it's all at the margin

From a pure economic standpoint, if you can't reduce fixed costs after the reduction of a student, that student did not contribute to fixed costs.

The term fixed cost can be used to describe short-term obligations (e.g. salaries, leases, etc.) and long-term capital expenses (e.g. bond repayments, etc.). Since a district's general fund does not include the capital costs associated with a building, and because the charter funding debate is always centered around a school district's general fund and operating expenses, I will only focus on short-term obligations.

In Ohio, a school board must approve its district's annual appropriation before the start of the next fiscal year (beginning July 1). The initial appropriation can be a temporary measure, with all districts having to approve a permanent appropriation measure by the 1st of October. Even though the permanent appropriation measure can be modified throughout the school year, the permanent appropriation measure reflects the likely general fund expenditures for the school year.

Each district in Ohio bases its budget on projected student enrollment (ADM). The process to estimate actual enrollment is difficult and subject to error. If a district miscalculates its ADM, it usually cannot make mid-year corrections since districts typically don't hire additional teachers or RIF excess teachers during the current school year.[1] Districts can correct enrollment projection errors when approving the subsequent year's budget, but once set, a budget and its associated contracts create short-term fixed costs for the current school year.

What does the first sentence mean in light of what I've just discussed? It's simple, there are fixed costs based on the current budget, but those costs are short-term and may not even be associated with the student who transfers to a charter school.

Example: If an elementary has 600 students and one child moves in after the budget was set and subsequently transfers to a charter school, there is no way to reduce fixed costs since the current budget had been approved. Though costs cannot be reduced, state basic aid flows to the district and then out again, this time to the charter where the child has enrolled. [2]

In order to understand the impact of this transfer, one has to go back in time to the point where that child entered the school. Upon enrollment, overhead costs were already fixed so the school did not incur additional fixed costs due to that child. Therefore, at the margin, no fixed cost can be attributed to that child, whether on the way in or way out of the school. This child was expenditure neutral.

Fixed costs can be attributed to the student whose enrollment brings about a new section, school, etc. If a district loses enough students that it can reduce staff or close an elementary, the fixed costs associated with the section or school are wiped from the books.

If a student causes the need for a new third grade section, the marginal fixed cost associated with the child are the costs of operating an additional section; new teacher contract, etc. Subsequent third grade students result in no additional fixed costs and only minimal operating costs since the section is already available with empty seats. If the subsequent students transfer to a charter school, no fixed costs can be reduced since no fixed costs were incurred due to their enrollment. When the child that caused the opening of the new section transfers, the fixed costs associated with the child are wiped from the books since the section, and teaching position, etc., are no longer needed.

In Ohio, if a district opens its doors to more students than planned, it sees a revenue gain. The district's operating costs were fixed by the budget, so each new student provides approximately $5,400 in additional state funding aid while only creating small additional operating costs; for water, paper, etc. Low estimates create a financial bonus.

High estimates, conversely, create financial distress. In such situation, costs were fixed by the budget yet the district loses approximately $5,400 for each student that doesn't arrive as planned.

But these hardships are not the result of charter schools; they are purely the result of poor planning by the district. Student populations change over time as students move into and out of districts, change to and from private schools, and choose or return from home schooling. None of these other movements of students are criticized like charter school enrollment, but there is no real difference between them; all cause an increase or decrease of $5,400 for each student over or under enrollment projections.

In fact, some of these movements are cheered. Districts encourage their students to enroll in colleges and universities through post secondary options enrollment, as well as encourage students to attend alternative schools such as the Columbus Zoo's Zoo School. Each of these activities cause funds to leave the district, yet there are few critics of such alternative programs.

Part of the confusion comes from the presentation of state basic aid on the Ohio Department of Educations SF3 form. The forms leaves the impression that the state funds on a per student basis at the state share percentage [3]. In addition, districts also believe that fixed overhead costs are apportioned out to students equally. These are absolutely not the case.

The confusion is also due to districts not understanding the effects of changes over time. In the year after an outflow to charters or other situations, districts can reduce administration and staff to recoup most of the fixed costs. That said, some costs, such as the need for a board of education, superintendent, treasurer, and at least one teacher, educational service personnel, etc., are truly fixed but are nothing compared to property tax revenue being generated locally.

Word for the wise: Revenue and costs function at the margin, never at the average.

Notes:

[1] District's approve teacher contracts that provide teachers with an implied right to work. My district's negotiated agreement spells out the specifics by which the district may apply reduction in force (RIF) to terminate a teaching contract. The agreement states that the district cannot reduce staff midyear.

[2] Keep in mind that this analysis is only dealing with the expense side of the charter issue. As it has been shown before, charter schools do not reduce local revenue. The only funding that leaves the district with the student who transfers to a charter school is the $5,400 that the state earmarked for that student.

[3] The SF3 includes a state share percentage figure that many assume is the percentage that the state funds the marginal student. This is not the case. After the charge-off - 23 mills times recognized valuation - has been met, the state funds each marginal student at the full $5,400 amount.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Letter to the editor

Dear Editor:

Is Robert Thiede, superintendent, Pickerington Local School District, serious when he states that he and other school officials have unilaterally decided to become "co-parents" to the children of his district ("School have more responsibilities, need more money", letter, Nov 25)? I will assume from his comments that the parents of Pickerington are not sophisticated enough to raise their own children and welcome the astute knowledge of such a fine public servant. When did that community buy-off on the abdication of their parental rights and responsibilities?

Sadly, this attitude - that an administrator license is the mark of superior parenting skills - is becoming more prevalent among school officials. What is forgotten is that school officials are simply your neighbors, friends, community members. They are not omniscient by any means. Witness the results of all the programs Pickerington and other districts have implemented over the past 25 years as detailed by Thiede in his letter.

If one is to believe Thiede, all those programs have left schools and society in worse condition. I'll agree with that. But I disagree that giving Thiede and other self-appointed co-parents more money will change anything for the better. The schools have a track record that is worse than any group of parents I've encountered.

Send Thiede more money, whether collected locally through property and income taxes or collected at the state-level through the host of state taxes, and you can be assured of two things; Thiede will waste it on failed programs, and he'll use it as a means to grab additional parental rights and responsibilities as he blames the failures of his programs on the parents of the community.

Jim Fedako

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The doublespeak spin

The expected millage request is expected to come in much lower due to a realization of economies of scale due to Olentangy’s size. Teri Meider, Olentangy Board President

That has to be my favorite observation regarding the financial position of the Olentangy School District. The implication is that the reduction in expected millage and timing of the next levy has something to do with the size of the district. Not true. The latest Five-Year Forecast filed with the Ohio Department of Education is based on the new enrollment projections - reduced enrollment projections that wipe away $25 million in expenses through 2011 (the enrollment projections have been greatly reduced with the latest projections showing 1,000 less students by 2011 than predicted in the May 2006 Five-Year Forecast).

There are no economies of scale accounting for the reduction in expected mills, it's simply the result of lower expenditures due to less students.

That said, there are increased staffing patterns - increased staffing on a per pupil basis - that are driving expenditures higher than they would have been based on current staffing patterns. If the board wants to avoid higher tax burdens, it needs to address this soon. But don't count on it, since the discussion is being driven in another direction in order to present a different picture of the district's financial outlook.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Keeping her word

At the last meeting of the Olentangy Board of Education, Teri Meider, board president, stated that Olentangy only requests additional operating funds when they are really needed. That's interesting since the latest Five-Year Forecast filed with the Ohio Department of Education at the end of last month shows no need for a new operating levy until Spring 2008 at the earliest.

Funny, the district is currently going through the process of putting a new levy on the ballot for next Spring - a full year earlier than Meider's promise. Well ... it's not really that funny ... it's more a point of concern, and accountability.

Keep in mind that the district's budget is looking to grow 85% from FY06 to FY11 though the student population is only growing 48%. Inflationary increases do not come close to explaining the discrepancy between the two growth statistics. If the district didn't plan on accelerated expenditure growth over these next few years, the need for a levy could be pushed off until Spring 2009. Now, that would really keep the promise.

A promise is a promise only if it's kept. The next few months will show whether or not Meider and the board are ready to keep their word.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Olentangy, math, and doublespeak

Today's Columbus Dispatch has an article on ineffective, constructivist math programs such as Everyday Mathematics. The constructivist education philosophy is centered on teachers and students being co-equals in the discovery of knowledge.[1] The teacher holds no special place since knowledge is relative, therefore the simple understanding of a third grader is equal to the supposed learned knowledge of the professional teacher.[2]

Constructivism is an application of Progressive education, the pedagogy - philosophy - that has permeated public schools for close to a century. As these ideas have taken greater hold of education - most notably since the Sixties, student achievement has gone downhill - this despite a tremendous influx of dollars and technology.

Even though constructivist math - fuzzy math - had been questioned for years, Olentangy decided to adopt the Everyday Mathematics program for its students. Well, the district will not say they have adopted Everyday Mathematics. Instead, the district will use doublespeak to say that they have adopted their curriculum maps and not any single math program, but that simply confounds means with ends.

The maps are the ends, the definition of what is to be learned - the equivalent of architectural blueprints. The textbooks are the means to achieve the ends - the building tools and materials. Funny, your tax dollars pay for Everyday Mathematics textbooks yet the district staff do not even claim that they use the textbooks to teach math. Staff members say the books are simply a resource, similar to putting a child's plastic hammer in the toolbox instead of the steel hammer.

Go ahead and ask your administrators about Everyday Mathematics, you will hear them spin a tale of educationist gobbledygook. Hold on to your own head so that it doesn't spin in response.

[1] Check out rantings of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and The Teachers College Record from Columbia University's prestigious Teachers College.

[2] Administrators and teachers who buy into this philosophy may actually be the overpaid, co-equals of their students.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Milton Friedman on homeschooling

Quote from the late Milton Friedman - recipient of the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize for economic science - taken from "Friedman: Economic freedom is key" by Bill Steigerwald, Tribune-Review, Nov. 18, 2006:

Q: I'm sure you're familiar with the home-school movement, which has arisen over the last 10 years as a form of competition to schools.

A: It is. And the fact that it is a form of competition shows how bad our schools are. Can you think of any other sophisticated product in which the home-made product is superior to the factory-made product?


I don't agree with Friedman on everything - since he equivocated on property rights and sound money, but he hit a home run with that observation.

Hoppe's theory of political economy

Hans-Hermann Hoppe is the philosopher of the Austrian School of Economics. Hoppe, Professor of Economics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, has written many excellent books and articles on libertarian/anarcho-capitalism. A standout is the sadly out-of-print A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism, available at Mises.org as a PDF download.

Hoppe builds an unassailable case for why all versions of socialism lead to poverty; from relative poverty when considering the form of socialism found in the European Union - a form that many in the US seek to emulate, to abject poverty due to the form of socialism adopted by North Korea. Only capitalism can provide for the wants and desires of the common man.

This book is clear and concise, and a worthwhile read.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bill Gates, the market, and education

Given that most of Microsoft's ideas are lifted from other companies, the odds of Bill Gates improving public education by funding the innovation of new programs is rather slim. from a listserve post

Sir:

There is nothing wrong with the business model Bill Gates adopted. In fact, it is those whose software he supposedly lifted in order to create MS DOS that were in error. Think about it: either a bunch of techno-nerds (I'm in IT also) simply sit around looking at their neat operating system in amazement; or, a business savvy entrepreneur brings that same operating system to the masses. I vote for the business savvy Gates.

Success in business does not mean theft from society - in fact it means that one served society better than others in the same field. Nor does success in business equal waste of resources. Failure in business, on the other hand, does mean a waste of scarce resources since a failed business turned scarce resources into something of less value than the individual resources themselves.

Also, success in one line of business at one period in time does not necessarily translate into success in another business, or success in the same business at a different period in time. Businessmen and women are not omniscient. And, nothing translates into success in government since the government operating model is based on theft and propaganda, not service and quality.

Don't bad-mouth the man who is greatly responsible for the software that makes this listserve - and most other transmissions of data - possible at a price we can afford.

If Gates starts opening for-profit schools, then I will listen. Until then, he's sending money down the rat hole to be devoured by the same lot that has created our current system.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Free books to download and a great blog

Go to Gary North's web site to read excellent books on the Bible and Christian thought. Not only are the books interesting, challenging, and timely, they really are free.

Or, go to Mises.org for a host of free books on Austrian Economics and the free market. You can read, or download and read, all the classics, including Human Action and Man, Economy, and State.

The Blessed Economist runs a great blog that addresses economics and political philosophy in a biblical sense. Though I'm not saying I agree with everything posted, it is all very thought provoking.

Enjoy each of these sites.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Most inane use of a descriptive term

Ever consider the comment, "Mr. X is such a good citizen since he pays his taxes." Or, the self-directed line, "I'm a good citizen, I pay my taxes." What in the world do they really mean? Someone who doesn't pay their taxes ends up under lock and key in a state or federal prison.

Performing an act due to coercion and compulsion does not make one a good citizen. A good citizen is one who lives by a strong moral code, respects private property and contracts. Simply holding your wallet out to the Sheriff of Nottingham so that the good sheriff can transfer your income to those who covet it does not mean that you are worthy of the descriptive term, "good citizen."

Education and the economy

Countries do well when they reduce barriers to capital investment and trade. I would doubt that the amount spent on a state-run education system has anything positive to do with the economy - in fact public education is a drag on our economy. The US has succeeded since we are still the country with the least number of government interventions - though federal regulations are said to be so voluminous that they would fill my bookshelves.

Capital and entrepreneurial know-how flow to the most open society. That has been the history of the world for eons. No one questioned the quality of the Soviet education system - in fact John Dewey and others cheered it - yet their economy was a basket case.[1]

Causation based on correlation is just as apt to flow the opposite direction as assumed. You see high education spending in the US and other wealthy countries simply because these economies have traditionally been successful. Education spending is the result of successful economies, not the other way around. An example: The education expenditures in Bexley, Ohio, a Columbus suburb, are extremely high simply because the residents have been successful. Bexley residents are not successful due to the amount Bexley City Schools spends on education, since most Bexley residents are not products of their school system.

[1] Of course, a priori, the Soviet education system had to be a mess since it was a government-run monopoly. Regardless, that didn't stop the socialists over at Columbia Univerity's prestigious Teachers College from trumpeting the success of both the Soviet education system and economy.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Don't tread on me! Or, the War on Raw Milk.

Latest Mise.org post by Jim Fedako

How ironic. Just days after Ohio citizens voted to restrain trade and reduce property rights by passing state issues 2 and 5 (an increase in the minimum wage and a statewide ban on smoking), Jeff Eschmeyer of the Ohio Farmers Union contends in a letter to the Columbus Dispatch that farmers and consumers have a right to sell and buy raw milk. Mr. Eschmeyer is correct that Ohioans have the natural right to produce and consume milk in its raw form, but as recent laws and administrative rulings in Ohio have shown, having a natural right does not translate into a legal right.

In case you may feel that this is a local issue, BusinessWeek.com reports that California and Michigan have also engaged in this new war for interventionism; The War on Raw Milk.

Sadly, many smile as we continue to incrementally vote out the rights that founded this country. The power to vote out other's rights will someday be the power to lose your rights. Every time a new law or issue is passed, the supporters claim that the issue at hand will be the last step. As Eschmeyer and others are now realizing, there appears to be no end to the dreams of do-gooders who see it as their mission to force us all to live as they chose.

Whatever happened to the motto "Don't tread on me!" that defined our Revolution? Was there a second phrase to it that read, "But, I may tread on you?"

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Don't tread on me

Dear Editor:

How ironic. Just days after Ohio citizens voted to constrain trade and reduce property rights by passing state issues 2 and 5, Jeff Eschmeyer of the Ohio Farmers Union ("Farmers have a right to sell and consumers have a right to buy raw milk," letter, Nov 11) contends that farmers and consumers have a right to sell and buy raw milk. Mr. Eschmeyer is correct that Ohioans have the natural right to produce and consume milk in its raw form, but as recent polls and laws have shown, having a natural right does not translate into a legal right.

Sadly, many smile as we continue to incrementally vote out the rights that founded this country. But, the power to vote out other's rights will someday be the power to lose your rights. Every time a new law or issue is passed, the supporters claim that the issue at hand will be the last step. As Eschmeyer and others are now realizing, there appears to be no end to the dreams of do-gooders who see it as their mission to force us all to live as they chose.

Whatever happened to the motto "Don't tread on me!" that defined our Revolution? Was there a second phrase to it that read, "But, I may tread on you?"

Jim Fedako

Economics did not begin with Adam Smith

Though some tend to believe that economics was formed out of the ether by Adam Smith, economic thought had been developing since the ancient Greeks. The reality is that Adam Smith's contributions to economics lead to an errant diversion as his ideas, along with those of David Ricardo, became the precursors of the fallacies of Karl Marx.

Murray Rothbard, the dean of the Austrian School of Economic, documented the ebb and flow of economic thought through the ages in an article recently republished at Mises.org.

In addition, Rothbard wrote two volumes of a planned three volume set on the Austrian perspective of economic thought before his untimely death. These books are available at the Mises.org store and are great reads for anyone interested in the history of economic thought.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What a difference a day makes

From: The Blog at Mises.org
By: Jim Fedako

Though they wallowed through the mud for weeks, your federal representatives now want to be treated with respect. Just a few days ago they were the bad-talking bullies of the airwaves, now they expect all that vile to be simply forgotten. From brawls to blue suits in just one day.

The House web site automatically adds the title "Honorable" to any electronic message you try to send to your favorite congressman or congresswoman. As if there was anything honorable left with regard to those positions, or politicians.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Global warming is full of hot air

Two recent articles are worth reading for anyone interested in the global warning debate.

The first article, authored by Professor George Reisman, is from the Mises Institute. This article refutes the lunacies reported in the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. Science in the political arena is usually not science at all. Reisman shows this to be the case with the Stern report.

The second article , from LewRockwell.com, is written by Sergei Boukhonine. Sergie discusses the difference between predicting the future and acting on predictions.

I wish I knew who to attribute the following observation, but it is absolutely on the mark: Once the socialists realized that socialism resulted in general poverty, they joined the greens who had been advocating for poverty all along.

Of note to my fellow Christians: Be careful about signing on with the environmental movement, the Greens have never respected that God made man in His image. God set man apart from the animals of the world. The Greens actually hate man and dream of a world populated solely by the animals - witness the new and proposed displays at the Columbus Zoo.

The Bible makes two points clear: There will always be poor with us, until the end; And, the end will come. Christians sided with the Progressives over a hundred years ago and look at the mess that was created - welfare, assistance programs, broken families, etc., and poverty. Yes, poverty is still with us - note the biblical truism - yet we all suffer from the ills of social engineering. With that in mind, why should Christians join with the greens?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Voting Fraud - Letter to Editor

Dear Editor:

Let me get this straight: Because voting irregularities occurred in 2000, the state goes on a $200 million spending spree in order to purchase electronic voting machines only to have 1/3 of Franklin county voters chose handwritten absentee ballots; ballots which are subject to voter fraud and likely to be scanned improperly. Does anyone see the irony here?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Background to prior post: Congress giveth, congress taketh away

Market exchange is not based on both parties appraising the goods about to be exchanged at equal value; the parties instead exchange based on a two-way, unequal valuation of goods to be exchanged.

An example from my youth: During high school in the early 1980's, I had purchased a double-live album of the rock group Rush. Teenagers can be a fickle lot and I was no different. My music tastes changed and I morphed from a Rush fan into someone who felt that Fly By Night was beneath me. Not only did I no longer listen to the album, I wanted to get rid of it soon since I felt that the album was polluting my collection.

Along comes a fellow student who was fast becoming an ardent Rush fan. We agreed to an exchange: I would trade my $15 album for his $5. Fair enough. Right after the exchange, as I held the $5 and he held the album, the new Rush fan said something along the lines of, "I just ripped you off. I would have paid $10 for that album." I replied, "No, I just ripped you off since I was about to toss the album into the garbage anyway."

You see, we both had different valuations for the $5 and the album, that's why we traded. But, carefully note the verbal dialogue that occurred. To the outside observer, one of us may appear to have been "ripped off." Depending on the observer's point of reference, they may side with my claim or the claim of my fellow trader.

Or, and this is where things go wrong, one of us may have actually decided to have acted on one of those statements. Instead of accepting the exchange as agreed, I may have sought third-party rulings on the fairness of the trade. What sounded good ex ante - before the trade - now sounds like unfair negotiations ex post - after the trade. I should have received the $10 since it was a $15 album - I was truly "ripped off." Wasn't I?

I probably could have found the sympathetic ear of a government official who felt the tug of omniscience; someone believing in their own capacity to understand true value, and someone believing that the state needs to protect those acting in non-coerced exchanges. My fellow trader would have been forced to hand over the additional $5 so that the fair exchange occurred. But, why is that any more fair than the exchange we initially agree upon? In fact, it isn't.

The actions of the sympathetic do not increase fairness, neither do they increase wealth. The actions instead decrease wealth as no one knows the end result of a valid exchange. The rule of contract and common law is replaced by the rule of civil law and bureaucracy. As a result, people become less likely to exchange as the rules of the game change with the political winds.

The point: When a Tiberi, or any other government official, interferes with a valid, non-coerced exchange, they may appear to be helping one individual, but they are actually harming a foundation of modern society; free exchange of goods and services. They tend not to believe that their action can result in harm because power is almost always cloaked by the veil of omniscience.