Tuesday, May 15, 2012

State not necessary for good life

State not necessary for good life

(My Clovis News Journal column for April 13, 2012.)

Many of my favorite things to do in and around Clovis are at government-owned locations. Which is kind of sad.

I really enjoy the zoo, the library, Goodwin Lake Trails, and Oasis State Park, just to name a few things off the top of my head. And, since I pay for them whether I use them or not, above and beyond any applicable entrance fees, I might as well take advantage of them.

I just see how much better those good things could be if they were voluntarily-financed and freed from the shackles of government. In some cases I can see improvements that could be implemented right away, and in other cases I see things that could make a big difference in the long-term. If, that is, innovations were encouraged, as is normally the case when something has a clear individual owner.

Of course, in our current situation government would still exert control over their daily operations through permits, licenses, red tape, taxation, and arbitrary regulations. That is the reality of the economic model known as "fascism"- where the business sphere is supposedly privately owned, but in practice The State dictates how business must be done; acting as the de facto owner.

Some people worry that if government doesn't provide something, no one will. I don't think that's ever the case except for those things no one really wants. Even if it were the case, I would do without something I enjoyed, without complaining, if it couldn't be voluntarily provided. At least people who don't enjoy the same things I do wouldn't be forced to subsidize my activities. There is nothing I want bad enough to force you to pay for it on my behalf.

Plus, if I decided I really wanted it, I would find a way to provide it. For example, ignoring the current regulatory climate for a moment, if I wanted a zoo and there wasn't one close enough, why couldn't I start my own? I could obtain the animals I like the best, or some I think people would gladly pay to come see, and design and create an attractive setting in which to house and view them. If I let the displays get filthy, or let the animals get sick, people wouldn't want to come spend money, and I would lose customers, so it would be in my best interest to keep things neat, clean, and healthy. No coercion involved.

Government is not necessary for a good life full of enriching activities. I pity those who have forgotten that beautiful fact.


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