Cody Kommers in Quillette:
Republicans are traditionally hostile to what they call government “hand-outs.” This is not because they believe people shouldn’t get what they need. Rather, conservatives believe that people should get what they need in the most efficient way possible. Which, to the Republican mind, is almost certainly never going to be a program run by the federal government.
The basis for this argument is that big government has two major problems. The first is a knowledge problem. It doesn’t know exactly what is going on out there in the wider world, nor what the best solutions might be. The second is an execution problem. Whatever the government does set as a goal, it’s rarely in a position to enact this plan efficiently. The solution to the knowledge problem is decentralization: give more decision-making power to those closer to the ground where a policy is going to be implemented. The solution to the execution problem is the free market. Let businesses figure out what the best course of action is, because they’re actually incentivized to do so. This is, at least, the basic idea.