Which would you prefer among the following scenarios:
a) a law saying the government will give X to company y.
b) a law saying they will give X to any company that meets specific criteria.
An example of a) above would be the government giving a certain amount of money to the auto industry exclusively according to a favouratist policy.
An example of b) above migth be, for example, saying that a company (any company, even a one-man company), that can prove that the only barrier to the company not laying off any staff is the lack of training of the staff, can have training for the staff in a course of the company's choice paid for by the government, or a company proving that the only barrier to its hiring more staff is the lack of qualifications of applicants, in which case the government could pay for the training costs of any candidate the company promises to hire after the course, in a school of the companty's choice.
It would seem to me to be more logical to go with a more normative policy on a number of grounds:
1. There's no favouritism and the rules apply to all.
2. It's guaranteed to prevent lay offs, create jobs, or guarantee promotions in a company that is obviously growing or at least not suffering too much.
3. The workers and companies benefit equally across the company.
The problem I see with an ad-hoc philosophy is that it favours a particular industry randomly with no explanation as to why this industry is more important than that one.
2. It makes no guarantee that that money will help improve car sells, and therefore no guarantee of long-term job creation or retention, etc.
3. It might even be stalling the inevitable demise of a company who's days are numbered anyway.
What are your thoughts? Are you more in favour of ad-hoc policy-making or normative policy-making?