“State a moral case to a ploughman and a professor, the former will decide it as well, and often better than the latter, because he has not been led astray by artificial rules.”


My Way Of Looking At Things

I wrote this on my friend Scott’s FB page, but I thought it was worth repeating here because it is probably the best summation of my thoughts re: political economy, etc.:

Most libertarians don’t believe in an “unregulated market” (in fact, I’ve never met one who did). They just don’t believe that centralized regulatory authority is the way to do it. I certainly don’t. There is also a tendency to assume that the locals don’t know what they are doing and that outsiders need to step in to help them; I am always skeptical of this claim. Anyway, I would note that private property exists in some part because there is some sort of third-party enforcement of such (it could be a state, but it could also be other rule enforcers as well – your HOA for example). What we are always fundamentally looking at here are collective action problems; and I am quite skeptical of centralized state authority being a solution to such problems outside some very narrow areas (and even there I am somewhat skeptical). There is really no reason to believe that almost all common-pool resources or so-called public goods cannot be delivered by either private entities via contract (lots of cities now contract out most of their city services to private entities) or by communal agreements or simply by local governments for that matter. So yeah, sometimes (much of the time in fact) the solution to bad government is no government or circumscribed government.