- School choice and voucher systems. This requires an informed parent to research options, see through marketing hype and balance factors like location versus performance. How is this necessarily better than a system designed to just improve schools?
- Medicare advantage programs. This requires older adults to balance complex features of different plans and try to ensure that their provider is going to treat them well at a point of great personal stress. How is having the government or the courts acting as a post-hoc check better than just have a simple system of insurance to begin with?
- 401(k) and other defined contribution accounts. Individual investors have enormous information deficits relative to instituitional investors. Individual investors bear far higher levels of market risk and making the funds able to be withdrawn (even at a penalty) forces complex balancing decisions. How is this better than an automatic pension plan like Social Security?
Now this might be different if there was an open market in any of these examples. But medicine is tightly regulated, we have laws saying that children must go to school, and anybody who was worked for an employer with a badly selected 401(k) knows that there is no free market alternative to shop your account to another employer. It is not like a restaurant or a clothing store where the conditions for free markets will end up making it easy to find what you want. But you can't switch health care providers or schools based on the sale of the week.
So why do we want to make these things harder and harder to understand or engage with?