Sunday, March 10, 2019

Market always superior to government

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for February 6, 2019)

Last week a local business delivered to my home-- even though I didn't ask and it wasn't expected. Just to be nice and to make a good impression. And it worked!

This reminded me of the difference between market services and government "services" and why I always prefer the market.

With a market business, if I don't like their service I can choose to not use them. I can use a competitor or do without. They know you have a choice, so If they want to stay in business they can't poison their customers.

If I don't shop at a particular store, they won't send armed employees to my door to force themselves on me. I'm not forced to send them money regularly whether or not I shop with them. I can even go into competition with them. They can't do anything about it unless-- through cronyism-- they use the violence of government against me. If they take that path, they are no longer part of the market, but have joined forces with the coercive sector: the State.

With government "services" there is no real choice. No matter how bad they are, I am forced to pay-- even if I never use them. When you end up facing a surly, incompetent, entitled bureaucrat you're forced to pay this employee regardless. Often I am compelled to use a "service" I don't want. If I try to opt out I will be attacked by armed government employees-- maybe not right away, but if I fail to comply with their escalating threats it will happen. Their employees know this and it shows.

Sometimes you'll get a caring government employee-- more common in the less coercive branches-- but niceness can't make up for the lack of choice.

Occasionally you'll be allowed to choose a non-government alternative, but you are still forced to pay for the unwanted government option. You can use a private school, but the government will claim this doesn't mean you can stop funding the "public" school you neither need nor want. You will pay twice.

A business in the voluntary market can't treat customers the way government services can. Not if it wants to survive.

The market will always be superior. The only reason people believe they need government police but not government grocery stores is that-- so far-- groceries aren't distributed by government. If something as critical as food can be handled by the market, lesser jobs like policing would be a snap.

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  1. Nice, straight forward article. Not a lot of room for lame counter arguments from statists.

  2. problem with ancap: bad people want what you have, and will kill you for it.

    community defense is a necessary prerequisite to survival of anarchists; a necessary prerequisite to conditions anarchy cannot create.

    minarchists can provide things like defense (things like walls and somedefenders) for external threats, and courts and sheriffs for int nal threats to the conditions ancaps ASSUME. limited and enumerated.

    ancaps presume conditions that do not exist in nature, but must be created by thoughtful responsible men: minarchists.

    the labels in the article are a mess. but it describes an instance where some minarchy was lacking.

    1. this is philosophical pondering on my part.
      not an attack, but a request for a reasoned discussion of the merit and consistency of my thinking on this matter.

    2. "community defense is a necessary prerequisite to survival of anarchists; a necessary prerequisite to conditions anarchy cannot create. "

      Why can't anarchy create community defense? I've never understood this claim. So no one will help each other if they aren't all pointing guns at each other to force them to do so? That hasn't been my experience at all.

  3. thinking: minarchy is a slippery slope that requires vigilance...
    BUT ancap ignores reality of bad people.

  4. has any ancap community ever defended against gangs? how did they share the burden of defense? what process did the use for gangs/crooks in their midst?

    1. it's minarchy,
      or death.

    2. Show me an ancap (or libertarian/anarchist/Voluntaryist) community and I might be able to answer that. Otherwise, I have no idea. I just know it works in the real world in my life.

    3. protected within borders, with courts and sheriffs.
      consistent with my assertion.