10 Reasons to be Skeptical of Government Growth and Intervention

By Alex Merced

1. The cost of living: It costs time and money to pay for taxes and complying with regulation. Many will try to offset these costs by increasing the cost of goods and services making life more expensive making more people struggle than otherwise would.

2. Scarcity of labor demand: Not only will costs increase but individuals looking to make up the costs will seek more labor hours leaving less demand for labor for everyone else. Work becomes harder to find especially for hourly wage earners who find more competition for each hour.

3. Lowering of Quality: When unable to recover the tax/regulatory costs with price increases, many may try to reduce their costs instead by lowering the quality of

goods and services they provide.

4. Distorted Investment: Industries that are less able to reduce costs or charge more will find their profits decreased which makes it harder to attract investment capital to grow that industry. Industries with more resilient cost structures and or products with inelastic demand will see themselves abundant with capital while those that don’t will be underdeveloped.

5. Corruption: The more power government has the more it will attract those who want to abuse that power. A more powerful government will find itself not run by the benevolent angels many imagine but by corrupt tyrants who buy favor with carve outs from governments costs.

6. Lack of Diversification: If Government becomes the sole provider or purchaser of a good or service you create a systemic risk. When one institution is the sole provider/purchaser, its possible future failure results in pain and suffering of everyone without a backup.

7. Poor Governance: Even If run by the most well intentioned, if government handles too many areas of our lives it creates an inability for those at the top to have the broad expertise or ability to oversee all of it effectively. Those who do too much do little well.

8. Rampant Extortion: The more rules government needs to enforce the more enforcers it will need. It will be harder to fill a growing demand for enforcement with the noble leaving many who will use their enforcement power to selectively enforce on their enemies and vice versa on those they favor. This creates a culture that makes it difficult to criticize government as its enforcement apparatus can quickly silence you.

9. Social Conditioning: The less choices people get to make their lives the more their ability to effectively make decisions decays or under-develops making society more dependent.

10. Accessibility: the larger government is the less accessible it becomes to those without relationships with the powerful.

A world of individuals free to make choices over their life, body and property within a environment of diverse institutions has the opposite effects. This is why Libertarianism matters, so society and each of its participants can reach its potential.

Advertisements

I’m Pro-Immigration because I’m libertarian

As a Libertarian, I’m personally pro-immigration not solely because of the benefits of idea exchange in innovation, more consumers, and the benefits in global enterprise to have a population that is more used to interacting with other cultures.

Beyond cooperation, there are also benefits to the conflict within diverse populations. Recent studies show that more culturally homogenous populations are more tolerant and less skeptical of government welfare and this lack of skepticism often leads to government growth and overreach. (refer to recent episode of EconTalk with Alberto Alessina)

I prefer society be skeptical of everything government does because you’ll have more accountability and less overreach. So in that regard diversity is key.

We see this in the LP, as the tent gets bigger we see the different factions become more skeptical than ever of everything national says and does. This is good, it holds us accountable and teaches us how to do our job with a growing and expanding libertarian coalition. Growth requires learning, diversity amplifies learning which is why I love free markets.

How to Privatize Parks, Schools and Other Public Goods

Was just thinking out loud on a question that I get often, “how do you make something I like government does like a park and remove it from government control.”

One idea I had on how you could transition government assets into community entities that are self-funded and have better voluntary governance is the following. This example would be for a public park.

Step 1 – Create a corporation which within its charter obligates it to operate a park for let’s say the next 10 years at which time a renewal of that commitment is voted on by shareholders.

Step 2 – Do an IPO of Common shares that have a built in negative dividend. (Fixed rate meaning the holder of the share must pay each year to continue holding the share, not being paid up will result in loss of shareholder voting power) The IPO would be restricted to individual purchasers with a maximum allotment to prevent an initial concentration of ownership.

Step 3 – The proceeds from the offering become the initial capital to operate the park with additional revenue coming from the negative dividend and other revenue the park may generate.

Because of the negative dividend only those vested in the success of the park will want to own the shares and will be able to directly vote on the governance of the park so it’s governance would not be subject to presidential elections that have little to do with parks leading to better less volatile governance and voluntary funding.

This method may be more palatable to voters as it doesn’t run the risk of an auction which likely is going to be won by the largest financial interest which many would feel skeptical of yet still spins the property into voluntary ownership, governance and funding by individuals.

Diversity Works Not Only Cause People will Get Along but also cause they won’t

Recent I was in a debate arguing in favor of Multi-Culturalism. I usually frame my fondness of cultural pluralism in a positive framework of the wonderful things that come out of the free Exchange of ideas usually citing Korean Tacos to make my case.

Although, diversity isn’t good just cause of what comes out of working together but also cause the bad things that are prevented because we become skeptical of each other and even work against each other. Below is what I said in this discussion which I figured many would find interesting.

I don’t disagree, pluralism may lead to less trust but I think that’s a feature. A society with more skepticism will be skeptical of the use of the state to benefit other groups vs a more more homogenous group that will be less sensitive to growth of the state due to the beneficiaries being people they trust or feel they trust.

This is why I feel a lot of European nations have more robust welfare states because they are less bothered by it due to cultural homogeneity and to me that powerful a state is not a good thing.

I agree pluralism leads to conflict but that leads to decentralization like conflict and competition between enterprises leads to decentralized provision of goods, innovation, and other benefits.

I’m not a multiculturalist cause I expect everyone to get along but because I don’t think they will.

But like markets there are enterprises that find synergies and work together and it’s the same with different cultures. It’s a market.

What makes Libertarians Different

The difference between libertarians and non-libertarians is we aren’t fighting for a particular solution but for a process to discover solutions.

Non-libertarians believe there is some particular government intervention that is the solution to the problem and will seek data to support that conclusion and when not available reframe the problem so the data that exists allows for the policy they already want in place.

From a libertarian perspective reducing taxes, regulation, licensing, prohibition and foreign intervention is not an answer in itself. Getting these things out of the way doesn’t make all our problems go away tomorrow but it does give individuals and communities the autonomy and resources to begin discovering solutions.

They may not discover them overnight but several small scale attempts at a solution balancing the challenges of resource constraints and the buy-in of consent by those who patron or support these efforts allows for better governance, oversight, and discovery. While one large scale experiment without consent and resource constraints doesn’t facilitate thoughtful governance which often leads to its failure.

Libertarians don’t have answers but neither does anyone else, but libertarians do want to create an environment where solutions can more easily be discovered.

Libertarian Aid and Welfare

One thing I love about being in the Libertarian community is that Libertarians don’t find saying someone else should help you as tantamount to helping you. If a libertarian determines you need help and is able to help, they help you.

No waiting endless election cycles, political bickering on how you should be helped, just direct aid to alleviate your plight now directly from people who care.

Being part of the Libertarian community isn’t just about helping others understand the power and rights they have as an individual but being part of one of the most vast, resilient and efficient support networks around.

So how about it? Ready to liberty yet?

Are you ready to Liberty Yet?

Most political groups imagine a world if the perfect people were elected to place the perfect controls which everyone responded to perfectly.

This all makes sense in our imagination where it doesn’t take decades to build the political will for the most minor reforms, where the most power hungry aren’t the ones running for every elected position, where everyone isn’t trying to influence that power to their advantage, and opposition doesn’t result in your ideas being distorted into versions of themselves that cause more harm than good.

Libertarianism doesn’t seek perfection, but growth. Growth doesn’t occur by design or dictate but by trial and error as free people live their lives and discover what works and what doesn’t work. Having small controlled experiments at the individual level insulates the damage of failures to fewer people and allow more experiements to be run more often.

Those who want trial error to be done at National or regional levels ask too many to unwillingly be at the losing end of failed experiments that often never end due to bureaucratic inertia while preventing individual experiments from occurring.

So? Are you ready to liberty yet?