24 December 2010

Individual versus collective decision-making

Problems of scarcity are best solved by individual decision-making; problems of abundance are best solved by collective decision-making. Decisions about scarcity are thus best made on the margin, while decisions about abundance are best made infra-marginally. That is why ecological economics deals with matters of the whole, matters that go beyond the marginal, matters that relate to the ecological balance between components of a whole system. 
As soon as we concern ourselves with matters of balance we engage in covenantal relationships because such relationships are intrinsically about maintaining a proper balance between the covenantal partners. 
The argument against government regulation is an argument against political/economic systems that do not recognize and respect the importance of covenantal relationships. In societies that appreciate the power of covenantal relationships, governments function better and the stewardship role, along with the demands of honor such a role entails, moves into the foreground. 

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