If restaurant owners had to decide whether it’s “better” to serve Indian food or Chinese food, the result would be bad food, Matthew Yglesias notes:
Not because the restaurant owners are inept or because the restaurants are staffed with “bad cooks” but simply because that’s a terribly flawed way to run a restaurant. If everyone had to eat out at the restaurant that happened to be closest to their house, you’d have a lot of problems getting even very talented cooks to produce outcomes that people are happy with. In the best-case scenario, you’d have a neighborhood that wasn’t very diverse in which people could reach a consensus about what they wanted and deliver something that most people were happy with, while marginalizing minority preferences. But you’d also have a lot of senseless cycling from fad to fad, a lot of unfair complaints directed at the restaurant managers and staff for not dealing well with an impossible situation, and a situation in which really poorly run restaurants depress local property values and become a kind of de facto affordable housing policy.
Of course, he’s really talking about education.