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More Love From Stossel on Competitive Government

October 6, 2011

This time in Reason:

Maybe if there were a way to have more competition among governments, things would be better. Competition forces people to become more efficient and to get rid of stupid rules. What if we let people take over some unused land in America to create areas with fewer rules, simpler legal systems, smaller government?

 

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5 Comments
  1. October 6, 2011 10:39 pm

    You left out the But: “Of course, [American] state governments would have to approve this.”

    • twistedone151 permalink
      October 7, 2011 7:29 am

      Indeed. The authors of this blog consistently underestimate the level of opposition existing governments would have to any real competition.

      • Z. Caceres permalink
        October 9, 2011 2:58 am

        I can’t speak for any other authors of this blog, but suffice to say I labor under no fantasies about the obstacles facing competitive governance proposals. Other authors here have done detailed work on realigning the incentives of political coalitions and state actors to bring about the concessions necessary for competition. I suggest you consult some of Michael Strong’s articles (sometimes posted under flowidealism) about overcoming Public Choice problems and dividing elites with land value dividends.

      • twistedone151 permalink
        October 12, 2011 4:01 am

        What I’ve read of that work you refer to, I find unpersuasive, and, again, underestimating the barriers entrenched systems pose. In particular, I’ve never seen anyone address the fact that, were a truly competitive charter city/seastead/whatever established and shown to work (not likely), then the US Gov or similar will almost certainly charge the leaders with involvement in tax evasion/gambling/drug trafficing/human trafficing/violating UN protocols/whatever trumped up charge; and then send in SWAT teams/SEAL teams/men with guns to arrest them. And then the project shuts down after the leaders and major investors find themselves in Federal prison or shot “resisting arrest”; and anyone else who might try gets the message. I find this scenario to be highly likely, and yet no one in this community seems to address it.

    • Z. Caceres permalink
      October 9, 2011 3:00 am

      This is true only for particular proposals. Seasteading obviously is not like this if they were placed outside territorial waters. Using the sovereignty of Native American Reservations is likewise something different.

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