The government is less efficient than the market.
But they make an important caveat:
except in the defence and law enforcement markets.
Why? Because "they are the most important [and/or] they affect all of us."
So wait - food is pretty important, and affects all of us, why shouldn't we have socialised food? Shelter is a human need, why don't we have universal socialised housing? If you're going to argue that we need socialised military, there's no reason at all why you shouldn't be opposed to universal healthcare too!
But to support those would contradict claim 1. Why doesn't the support of the state military and law enforcement contradict claim 1 also?
If the government is so inefficient, shouldn't we leave the most important tasks to the more efficient market?
What exactly makes conservatives and socialists so different again?
Can you imagine an arresting police officer saying "you have the right to remain silent....blah, blah, blah. This arrest has been sponsored by Dunkin Donuts, America's penal system runs on dunkin."?
Although your "why" and "Caveat" serve well as a segway to the argument you wished to make...
I don't think they are common responses to the claim. At least I haven't heard that rationalization.
I too think that governmental efforts are less efficient than the private market efforts, but I don't see the need for a caveat.
And I think a more correct "why" answer would be that the government does not have sufficient motivation for efficiency.
But to follow your question concerning the military and policing agencies, I think the primary opposition to complete privatization of them would be control and accountability. For all its shortcomings and shenanigans - the government is ultimately answerable to "the people." Also, for the most part, leaders and authorities in these organizations perform their tasks with a sense of being "in service" to the nation/state/city/town, not shareholders.
I don't think the logic of your "contradiction" rational is valid - so, No, supporting government military and policing responsibilities does not contradict "Claim 1."
And why can't your defence for these institutions being public be applied to every other market too? Why can we not have socialised food? It will surely be more "accountable" that way.
What is the benefit we gain from tasks performed with a sense of being "in service" to "the people", that acts as an acceptable compromise for being inefficient? And why can't that be applied to every other market as well? Unless you can compare the military and law enforcement with other markets in a non-arbitrary way, there is always going to be inconsistency.
The problem lies in not knowing the different types and forms of conservatism. The national, or traditional, conservatives are the ones who support large military complexes run nationally, with the President as the head. Economic conservatives fall more along the lines of supporting free enterprise.
Just as some liberals are so far Left they broach anarchy, others are quite moderate.
The problem comes when we apply broad labels to complex topics.
This is actually a problem with both the classical liberals (free enterprise, small government conservatives) and the neo-cons, as they both believe in a national military whilst claiming to be for the free-market. There are different scales of thought but they all have the same assumptions.
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