The Machinery Of Freedom: Illustrated summary

The Machinery Of Freedom: Illustrated summary


In the nineteenth century, the political philosophy that supported small government and free markets was called liberalism. Unfortunately between then and now the enemies of liberalism succeeded in stealing its name. Which is why people with similar views nowadays usually call themselves libertarians. The classical liberal, the nineteenth century liberal position, was that the function of government, was to do a
few things that couldn’t be done by individuals on the private market by voluntary association. And those were traditionally listed as
police, courts and national defense. And I got interested, I suppose when I was oh in my late teens, in whether you could push the idea of free markets and voluntary association
even farther than that. Whether it would be possible to have a society,
which was organized by private property, trade, voluntary exchange, that set of ideas,
but in which there was no government. In which all of the useful things government does, because government does some useful as well as some useless things, were done in other ways. And is attractive idea, because we have quite a lot of reasons to believe
that where the same thing can be done either by government or privately, government usually do it worse. And government doing things usually involves greater restrictions on individual freedom, because when the government offers you a deal
you don’t get to turn it down. Whereas when someone in the private market offers you a deal you do. So it seems to be interesting to figure out, whether you could construct a plausible set of institutions, in which the basic police, courts, defense function were being done privately instead. I started writing about the subject
and eventually wrote my first book, The Machinery of Freedom, which was published now almost forty years ago. So how could you have a society, in which the fundamental functions were produced privately rather than by government. And let me start with what in some sense
are the most fundamental ones, namely making and enforcing laws. What we would think of loosely speaking of as,
the job of police and courts. So I want to imagine a society, where individuals hire private firms
to protect their rights and settle their disputes with other individuals. The same way we hire private firm
to ensure us against auto accidents for example. So I pay some annual sum
to one of a variety of different firms, each of which sells the service of making sure, as best it can,
that I don’t get robbed or murdered. And that if I have a dispute with somebody else,
it gets settled in some reasonable and peaceful way. And there’s an obvious problem with that system, one which occurs in thirty seconds or so to everybody who sees described. And most of them stop after those thirty seconds,
and they say: “Well that’s why it won’t work, and that finishes it.” And the problem is conflict between rights enforcement agencies. So we will imagine, that I’m the customer of one rights enforcement agency, you’re the customer of another another. One day I come home and I find my television set is missing, I call up my rights enforcement agency and they also notice the door has been broken open. They prudently had installed
a little video camera in my living room to try to monitor anybody who stole things from me, and that camera
shows a picture of you walking out my door, with my television, or at least they’re pretty sure it’s you. So my agency gets in touch with you and says:
“Would you please give our customer Mr. Friedman his television back?” “And by the way you owe us fifty dollars for our time and trouble, in locating you and recovering the television set.” And your reply is: “What television set?”
“It’s true I have a nice television set, but I bought that from a friend of mine!” “I never heard of Mr. Friedman,
I’ve never robbed him, go away!” Well my agency says: “Well if you really feel like that,
if you’re not willing” “to discuss this matter in a reasonable fashion,” “we could send three or four big tough guys” “over to your front door tomorrow morning” “to carry out the television set,
with or without your permission.” And you reply: “Ah, but if you do that,
I too have a rights enforcement agency.” “And they will send five or six big tough guys,” “to keep you from taking what I claim is my television set.” And so people say, we set up a situation for a permanently violent society,
in which my agency and your agency and his agency are always fighting each other, over the claims of our customers. And I think that’s the wrong answer.
I don’t think that’s at all likely to happen. And the reason it isn’t likely to happen,
is that violence is expensive, that fighting people, as a way of settling disputes,
first gives you very uneven results. There’s no guarantee the guy who’s in the right will win, though we’d like to believe there is. But more than that, it means people get hurt, they may get killed, houses get smashed, you’ve gotta pay hazard pay to your big tough guys to work for you. And so there ought to be a better solution. And the obvious better solution in this case is arbitration. So that my agency says to your agency:
“Look we don’t want to get into a fight with you,” “and you don’t want to get into a fight with us.” “How about we go to that private judge over there, who has good reputation as an honest and competent judge.” “And we agree,” “that if he says that the television set
was stolen from Mr. Friedman,” “you won’t defend your customer
when we recover the television set,” “and if they say that it was not stolen from Mr. Friedman,
we will apologize and pay some damages” “for the costs that we’ve imposed on him.” Now, that’s how you might settle it,
if it came up for the first time but these agencies as we imagine them are going to be in business for a long time. My agency knows that over the next ten years,
it will have clashes like this with your agency a hundred or a thousand or five thousand times, and therefore the sensible thing to do is to agree in advance, on the court that will settle them. So my agency agrees with your agency
that any disputes between the two agencies will be settled by Mr. Smith’s private court. Which is an arbitrator that has a good reputation
for settling such disputes. Now, it may occur to you to ask the obvious next question, which is: “Who enforces that contract?” Because unlike the world we live in now, there is no government sitting above the agencies compelling them to keep their word. But the answer is,
that there is a way of enforcing contracts that we’re all familiar with, that doesn’t require a government. And that’s what economist sometimes refer to as the “discipline of constant dealings”. If you and I are going to be interacting for a long time, many times over, each of us knows that he breaks his word this time the other one isn’t going to trust him next time, that’s the end of a profitable relationship. Therefore it is prudent, in that kind of a repeat relationship, to try to maintain your reputation by actually doing what you say you’re going to do. One of the sources
that got me thinking about these questions, was a science fiction book by Robert Heinlein called “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”, which describes a society on the moon, with private property and without government. It does a pretty plausible job, which is one reason I started trying to imagine
if I could work out something similar for the world I was living in. And there’s one little bit where the narrator is visiting earth, and he says: “You know on earth they have laws for everything!” “They even have laws for private contracts.” “Why would you contract with somebody
if you couldn’t trust him?” And that’s sort of the reaction of someone to whom my imaginary society is the norm, instead of the present society. So, you would expect that those
private rights enforcement agencies have an obvious incentive to keep their contract, because if when the judge rules against my agencies customer today
we ignore the verdict, then other agency will ignore the verdict
when it rules the other way. So we now have a contractual network. We now have a world, where every individual is the customer of
private rights enforcement agency, and every pair of private rights enforcement agencies are customers of a private court,
which I refer to as an arbitration agency. And that then raises some interesting questions.
And the first question, I think maybe the most important one is,
“what kind of law would we get?” And it’s worth noticing that one of the features of this system is that the law is not the same for everybody. The law it between me and you is a function of the arbitration agency that our rights enforcement agencies have chosen. And the law between me and him is a function of the arbitration agency that my rights enforcement agency and his
rights enforcement agency have chosen. They might be the same rules,
they might be not. That sounds odd and unjust to us. It sounds less unjust if it occurs to you,
that when everybody has the same rule, it might be the wrong rule
they all agreed to, in which case some of them having the right rule
would be better. But in fact, in many real world societies,
including America at the moment, the legal rules between people are not all the same. That if you think about state law for example that the laws are different from state to state
in various respects and therefore the laws between two citizens of California are not exactly the same as between two citizens of Virginia. There are some cases, some conflicts that go to federal law some that go to state law, so there as well it’s different. And there’s a certain sense in which the legal system we all live in is a legal system of contractual law. Because if you think about an ordinary private contract, where two people or two firms make an agreement, now in the current world enforceable in the courts, in a sense that contract is a private legal system. Because the contract between us says if I don’t finish the house I’m building for you by march, I agree to pay you damages of five thousand dollars. That would be a possible term,
call it a liquidated damage term in a contract. But that’s really a legal rule.
Just a legal rule, just between the two of us. So I’m now imagining a society,
where there are multiple legal rules. What will they be? And the first thing to realize is that the rights enforcement agencies are middlemen. And part of the product they’re selling
to their customers is the set of legal rules under which their conflicts will get decided. And like anyone selling things to customers,
the agency has an incentive to try to produce the product the customers want to buy. So from this standpoint each rights enforcement agency will be saying to itself: Which arbitration agencies would our customers like to have their disputes settled by? And similarly, the arbitration agencies
will be saying to themselves: If we want rights enforcement agencies to hire us, what legal rules will make people most willing to be under our rules? So that you have in effect a legal system that is being generated on the free market. That’s roughly the same way that cars are produced now
or that food is produced now. Instead of one produced by a political mechanism. And that to me is one of the interesting
features of this system. And what can you say about that legal system? And the answer is, that for reasons similar
though not identical to the reasons that we expect markets to produce better cars than socialist systems, that we think that in general free choice in a private property trade society
works better for producing things than political systems work. Some of the same reasons,
although the situation is a little different, are going to result in producing good law as well. So imagine that the customers of my
rights enforcement agency are people who believe in the death penalty. They think that the knowledge,
that if someone kills one of them he’s likely to get executed makes it less likely they’ll be killed. On the other hand the customers of another
arbitration agency don’t believe that. They think that the death penalty doesn’t deter, and they are really worried about the possibility
that they might be convicted of murder whether correctly or incorrectly, and get executed. So they would prefer a legal system
that doesn’t include a death penalty. So my agency does some market research, and it figures out that if it could guarantee its customers a capital punishment court, in disputes with the other agencies customers, it could raise the price it charges customers
by enough to bring an extra hundred thousand dollars a year
and they still stay with it because they’d be getting more nearly the law they wanted. And the anti capital punishment agency
does some similar market research and they conclude that if they could guarantee safety from capital punishment,
if they could guarantee that in the disputes it would go to a non capital punishment court they could charge an extra two hundred thousand dollars a year. Well in that case the obvious solution for both of them is that they agree on a non capital punishment court and the anti capital punishment agency
either pays off the pro capital punishment agency
enough to make it agree to that, or agrees on some other legal issue to accept their view. So that you should imagine the agency is in effect bargaining to whatever set of legal rules, whatever court maximizes the summed benefit to the customers of the two agencies. Now, if there are any economists
listening to this they’ll realize, that I’ve oversimplified in a number of important ways. And if they’re sufficiently curious I think CATO has hopefully by now, up a recording of a talk I gave on the market for law, where I went into some of the finer points on this.
Or if you go to my webpage you can find one of the things there that discusses it.
But for at least the first approximation I think it’s fair to say that what I have described is a market, where it’s in the interest of the private courts
to try to design an optimal legal system, a set of legal rules people want live under, and it’s in the interest of the
rights enforcement agencies to then agree on those optimal rules. Now of course the optimal rules
may not be the same for everybody, you could imagine a world where there are some people
who are in very dry parts of the country where you need detailed legal rules on water rights there other people in much more favored parts of the country, where elaborate rules about who can draw water
out of a river when, make no sense. So you might end up with more than one legal system. But each of those legal systems would be more or less tailored by design to serve the welfare of the people who are its customers, so to speak. Now, you might answer, “wait a minute, “this is no improvement of what we now have,
because after all” “our legal system at present is made by the legislature.” Actually some of it is made by judges but a lot of it is made by the legislature. “Congressmen want to get reelected” “so therefore” “congressmen have got to” “try to vote for the laws that people like,
so how is this market system any better?” And there are a number of answers. And the first answer is,
what economists call “rational ignorance”. That you as an individual voter,
in order to control your congressman, in order to make it in his interest to vote for the laws that benefit you, you require two pieces of information: You have to know what laws are in your interest, and you have to know what your congressman is doing. You have no reason to know either of those things
in the present system, because if you do a little mental arithmetic you work out, that the chance that your vote will determine
who wins the next congressional election is maybe one ten thousand or one in a hundred thousand. The chance that your vote will determine
who wins the next presidential election is maybe one in a million, one in ten million,
somewhere around that. In a large population democracy,
each individual knows his vote has almost no chance of affecting outcomes. So why should you spend a lot of time and effort watching what your congressman is doing figuring out how we voted, why he voted,
what the bills he voted on would do when that information is of no use to you? Similarly, why should you spent a lot of time and effort figuring out what the ideal legal system is, when having figured it out, you have no control over what legal system you’re under? So one reason why you would expect
the market method for producing law to work better than the government method, is one of the reasons you expect markets
to do better at producing food and automobiles and lots of other things that the government does. Because on the market, since your choice affects what you get,
you can say alright this rights enforcement agency mostly contracts with court A, that one mostly contracts with court B, court B has better laws,
so I’ll switch to the one that contracts with court B. So just as an ordinary market
you have a good deal of control outcomes. You don’t have perfect control,
because the agencies have got to get agreement with each other, so not all the options are going to be on the table. But at least your choice has substantial effect on what law you’re under, whereas in the political system
your choice on who to vote for has very close to zero effect
on what law you’re going to be under. So you have a reason to pay attention in the market context and not in the political,
just as for other goods and services. Furthermore, the information about what works is much easier to get in the market system, because you actually get to observe the alternatives. And I’m thinking now less about what the legal rules are than about how good a job the
different agencies do of enforcing them. So if you think about the political context, we’re never going to be able to compare the Obama administration of 2008 to 2012 with the McCain administration of 2008 to 2012, because only one of them got elected. So it is very hard. I don’t think Obama is doing a very good job, but that depends on my guesses about what would’ve happened,
if he had done other things, which we have no way of knowing,
that you know Obama said I’m going to have this big stimulus,
it’s gonna get unemployment down substantially,
he said by how much, didn’t happen. But of course Obama’s defenders can argue, they might be right, without the stimulus,
things would have been even worse. Therefore we should be grateful to him,
even though it was too optimistic about how it turned out, he did the right thing. And there’s no easy way you know you can consult different economists and you can find,
you know, one Nobel winning economist who says Obama did the right thing and one who says
he did the wrong thing. On the other hand imagine that the question is
which agency shows up faster when you report that you’ve been robbed. Well I’m a customer of agency A,
you’re a customer of agency B, we can compare notes, assuming that both of us
have been so unlucky used to be robbed. Or we can observe other things,
features of what they did, and we can see whether on the whole
A does a better or worse job than B. So in that sense we don’t have perfect information, we humans never have perfect information,
but we’re in a much better position to choose among the bundle of rights and rights enforcements, legal rules
and the equivalent of police protection, provided by one agency and another, than we are to choose among the promises of politicians, which is all we really get to choose among. So that’s another reason why you would expect that the system I’m describing would be more likely to produce good law than the system we now live under. And at least my view is that
there’s lots of evidence that the system we now live under produces pretty bad law in many ways. Now another response you sometimes get from people is: “Wait a minute, how is this going to work for criminals?” “Won’t the criminals just form their own” “rights enforcement agency,” “and insist on laws in which murder is legal
and robbery is legal, and so forth?” And I think there are two answers to that. The simplest but perhaps less important answer is, very few criminals would really want to live
under those laws either. Because after all, if we have a system
where it’s legal to murder people that not only means it’s legal for me to murder you, it also means it’s legal for you to murder me and that doesn’t sound like such a great deal. And similarly for robbery. But even if the murderers said, “Ah, but I’m much better killing other people,” “so I want a rule that allows murder”, he’s not gonna get it, because in order to get that he has to persuade the victim’s rights enforcement agency to agree to a court that allows murder. And if you go back to my discussion of capital punishment it’s pretty easy to see that almost all of the time the value to one person of being able to
violate someone else’s rights is much less than the value to the victim
of not having his rights violated. That the hitman might get paid ten thousand dollars
for a contract to kill me. I would be delighted to pay much more
than ten thousand dollars to have some assurance that people won’t murder me. And again this is a fairly brief talk
so I can’t go into a lot of detail, but I think it’s pretty clear that if the criminals really decide
to try to form their own agency that agency will be unable to get contracts on its terms with any other agency. The criminals are vastly outnumbered
by the potential victims. The potential victims are willing
to pay much more to get what they want than criminals are to pay to get what they want and therefore the criminal agency
would fight a hopeless war against the rest of society and lose. Which is exactly what would happen at present
if the criminals said “we’re starting a new country,” “it’s in the middle of the united states,” “it doesn’t recognize any of your laws.” What happens?
Well you can predict pretty easily what would happen. So I don’t think that’s a serious argument. In fact you would expect a good deal less crime and a good deal less of a problem of crime
in the society I’m describing. Not only because private firms usually do things better than governments do, but also because a fair amount of our present crime is created by government. That is to say the government makes it illegal
for people to do things that they want to do and that harm no one else. I’m thinking in particular of the war on drugs, but there are other examples of that. When you make things illegal, that people want to do, the result is some people do them and you have a large number of people in prison. The U.S. has an extraordinarily high imprisonment rate. Almost one percent of the population is imprisoned any one time. And that’s largely a result of having made
laws against victimless crimes and then having arrested people for breaking those laws. So I tried to sketch out very briefly
how one could have a society functioning in which there was no government but where institutions of private property and in which people’s rights in fact got protected and which conflicts between people
were normally settled peacefully.

100 thoughts on “The Machinery Of Freedom: Illustrated summary

  1. At best, all the poor people will only be able to afford the most shitty rights enforcement agency with the worst rights package, and the rich people will literally pay to have more and better rights than the poor.
    Except that the richest guy in town just get a monopoly on all the rights enforcement agencies anyway thus securing all the rights for himself. And then you won't have any agency to tell him monopolies are bad.

  2. "Ah, but the poor would have no rights and no police". It is – in fact – the reality of most people in the world, even in "rich" countries. For the sake of your information, in countries like Brazil, which has never endorsed a liberal attitude, the poor people in "favelas" live under the rule of criminal factions; they do not have access to either the police or the public justice system to defend them. It is real! We, as society, must vouch for development of intelligent and efficient solutions that solve difficult problems without destroying our hardly-won liberty. Your criticism of the ideas of Mr. Friedman are most welcome, but you must also be equally critical about the obvious failures of the statist position.

  3. would there be any chance at appeal? Also, what if the violator was greater armed than any of the enforcement agencies?

  4. Very interesting! But there's a key problem which, I believe, has been missed. Sure, defense agencies will typically want to cooperate with one another peaceably since it's cheaper, and this is true at a glance. But what happens when you don't get the tv back and you believe wholeheartedly that you've been mistreated by your rights protection agency if it comes to that? You take your business elsewhere and warn others that "those guys, they're not concerned with YOUR rights! They're total pushovers who will subsist at even the slightest threat of pushback from another agency. Fuck those guys." And when people who know and trust you hear that your TV was stolen and was not gotten back, they'll stop shopping from your RPA (rights protection agency) that failed too. Therefore it follows that in such an instance, there would come a point where an RPA would have to tip the scales in favour of consumer reliability as distinct from competitor cooperativeness… If it wanted to stay in business. Barring that, to avoid such accusations of easy acquiescence, the two RPAs could merge to avoid accusations. But if that's the case, then it logically follows that the long-term trend of a system of RPAs is towards a single agency rather than many. That being the case leads to the conclusion that, ultimately, the RPA system will be nothing especially distinct from the minarchy system. There's nothing wrong with that. It just means that in the end, it'll be minarchy if it isn't war, that's all. Which makes a lot of sense, too: such a society having not banned private defense agencies (such as intelligence agencies and such) would be essentially fine, since at that point one couldn't even object that it's a "monopoly" since it wasn't the result of coercion but, rather, service quality leading to the punting off of unnecessary competitors (the market process in action) and alternative options would technically be available to you if you really wanted them. It's just that those other options would be so comparatively small that they wouldn't be your first choice, most of the time or for most people.

  5. person has a baby, baby isnt under a rights enforcement agency cause its a new born, its parent is a pedo and sexual assaults it. today if the was found out the government would save, protect and care for the child, and punish the parent. what happens here?

  6. How do these rights enforcement agencies make sure the murderers and rapist do not get away by paying the victim or victim's relatives? I am thinking of a case where a rapist paying the victim, or a murderer paying the victim's relatives to not to go to their rights enforcement agencies. Are we going to say the the dispute is resolved? Simply put, how do we have public prosecution without the government, and how do we set its boundaries?

  7. What about those that can't afford protection? Worse still, what about those that are trampled over because they have not consented to a law enforcement agency?

  8. There is one main problem with rights enforcement agencies. Poor people aren't going to be able to afford them so they are effectively stripped of their rights. I thought libertarians were all for rights, why happened to that?

  9. Modern system of government and taxation is a product of free market competition between different societies. Those with better government systems will have better education, better healthcare, higher quality of life, and ultimately be more innovative and attractive for talented individuals to move to.

  10. As you mentioned, the rights enforcements agencies would try to produce the product their customers want and since violence is expensive most of these agencies would try to settle conflicts in private courts and for a contract network with other agencies. However, there would definitely remain a niche market for agencies who won't agree to the rules of any court. These agencies would be heavily armed to make sure their customers get what they want and this would force every other to get heavily armed as well or they would lose every case. This would also increase their costs and thus law enforcement agencies would become really expensive. Sure the costs can be split between different agencies if they form alliances for violent conflicts, but it could still get really messy.

    Then there are a other problems:
    – Affordability and corruption: In a society solely based on free market capitalism and without any wealth distribution mechanisms by the government, the rich would get richer and richer while most of population would be extremly poor. Even with the current systems in place, the bottom 80% only own 7% of the nation's wealth. Without the government, wealth inequality would increase even more and most of population would simply not be able to afford rights enforcement. They would end up without any protection. But even amongst those who could afford law enforcement, corruption would be a big problem.

    – Murder: What's the incentive for a law enforcement agency to serve a dead customer?

    – Prisons: Prisons cost money and who is going to pay them? If I was harmed by someone, I'd rather get some money from this person instead of seeing them lcked up, especially if I would have to pay for his time in jail. I think most people would rather have money in their own pockets instead of seeing another person locked up. This would lead to a lot of dangerous and violent people walking around freely.

  11. Hello bitbutter! I am a new subscriber and fan of your work. Thanks to Mr. Dapperton for sending me your way. To address the concern your detractors have about a would-be monopolistic REO seeking to subvert other people's basic rights to safety to the benefit of a few somehow ludicrously wealthy crooks, I think I thought of a con by which the bargaining mechanism at 11:55 could be abused, but it would only be possible when its victims are seeking to monopolize at all costs.

    I have a bad habit of prattling on. I highly respect your skill at making these complicated topics and arguments so concise! That said, forgive me if this comment is a bit big to explain what seems to be a simplistic concept. Actually, could anyone reading this find a way to summarize it in less words without leaving important steps out?

    Let's say you are one of the few extremely wealthy customers of a would-be monopolist REO which is catered towards fulfilling your desired laws at the expense of everyone else's basic rights. We'll call that REO "Greed Inc." Let's also say that I am the sole customer of an REO established just yesterday by my friend, Conner. My friend's REO is named after him, called "ConArt." Neither of us have a penny nor a satoshi to our name.
    Here is my scheme to profit off of you in eight easy steps:

    1. I purposely get into a petty, minor dispute with you that you would want to fine me for.
    2. ConArt uses this to justify doing business with Greed Inc., and a contract is signed that ensures that in conflicts between the two REOs, Greed Inc.'s arbitration firm is used so long as a recurring large payment (which is of calculated little-to-no consequence) is made to ConArt.
    3. In court, I plead guilty to the minor, petty crime and accept a fine, even if that fine would normally be unreasonable for the crime.
    4: ConArt uses some of the money they got from the first payment of their new multi-year contract with Greed Inc. to cover my relatively small fine, plus a good deal extra for my trouble.
    5. I go incognito and avoid you and your rich buddies in order to avoid ever having to step foot in Greed Inc.'s arbitration firm again.
    6. Conner and I make sure to renew the contract every once and a while with Greed Inc. Our prices rise as ConArt's funds raise enough for us credibly claim we would pay more to have cases settled in our own court. We never, ever actually sign an agreement that requires ConArt to pay Greed Inc. to use ConArt's arbitration firm.
    7. Connor and I tell our friends about how awesome it is living off of Greed Inc.'s dollar/bitcoin, so they repeat our Con. Then they tell their friends, and then their friends' friends catch wind.
    8. Either Greed Inc. ceases insisting that their courts always be used and lose their customers, resulting in them going out of business, or they spend all their money and all of their customers' money, resulting in Greed Inc., you, and all your filthy rich buddies all going bankrupt to the benefit of society.

    Individually, nothing I or ConArt did would be against any law, even by Greed Inc.'s standard, right? All we did was give Greed Inc a contract they had a choice to sign, and then they signed it, possibly repeatedly, because their goals required they always do so..

    Does this Con violate the NAP by using coercion through lying to you to make you bleed money? I would say no, since in order to be vulnerable to this Con you would have to be coercing people like me out of basic rights through the superior force, and as far as I have learned, the NAP is okay with using coercion in response to coercion (y'know, the same reason it's okay for REOs to threaten unprotected people with violence when they refuse to make reparations after they've been found guilty of things like robbery, assault, rape, or murder).

    Let me know what you think of my little scheme!

  12. So when I'm in the market for an REA, do they send me a list of all the rights I'd like for them to enforce, and I just check a box next to them?  In Georgia (USA), where I'm from – excluding traffic law, the glossary, and the index – there are over 1,100 pages in the O.C.G.A. handbook.  When I need my REA, will it be like any other private business… "Yes sir, we understand that your house has been broken into, now give us just a minute to see whether or not your covered under 'Burglary'.  [5 minutes later] Yes sir, you are covered under 'Burglary', so we'll do everything we can to get your TV back, but you are not covered under 'Damaged Property'.  So there's nothing we can do about your door being kicked in.  Also, the Judge we normally use is booked through the week, so we'll have to wait until next Monday to get started on your case.  Or, if you you'd like, you can pay an extra fee, and he'll hear our case after his normal work day is over."????

  13. This looks like a surefire recipe for violent and autocratic feudalism (because of how "Rights Agencies" and the very rich would interact over time to concentrate power, enlarge their span of geographic control, and shut down access to alternatives.) The only recourse would be for people to unite and insist on justice systems that aren't controlled by a small elite. Which kind of sounds like the evolution of Western democracy.

  14. What if two agencies have different laws where one person broke the law of one agency but that law was not in violation to another agency. How do they reach a resolution without customers being unhappy

  15. 6 Questions
    1. What happens to orphans who aren't cognitive to decide which agency?
    2. What happens to poor people who can't afford any agencies?
    3. What if i can defend myself, I'm at the mercy of the agencies collective monopoly.
    4. How about abortion?
    5. What if the agencies collectively decide it's more profitable to make it illegal to speak of certain topics?
    6.What's stopping the first established larger agencies from from sniffing out starting ones?

  16. >Can't afford an rights defense agency.
    >Robbed and murdered.

    Can anyone explain how this system takes into account those who cannot or will not pay for such a service?

  17. BTW he actually did endorse it, expo facto, when he came on the decline-to-state podcast! I specifically asked him about it 🙂

    No idea the time though [David Friedman interview with Decline to state](https://declinefm.com/archives/Decline%20to%20State%20show%200035%20December%2019%202012.mp3/view)

  18. this video and some of the comments i've read here have definitely shed some light on this subject for me, but i do have a question about the ancap system as a whole, and my question is how would the monetary system work?

  19. But criminals already form into their own violent "rights enforcement agency". They're called gangs. Sure, the gang probably doesn't like you murdering within the gang, but people outside the gang are fair game. Or some kind of mafia. Just replace the fees due with "protection money". Competition doesn't solve this either, otherwise the different gangs would have already tried to out compete each other and become these fair businesses people would want to join.

  20. This state of anarchy assumes ideal social cohesion, which can only be brought about by the physical removal of the undesirables plaguing society, which is most efficiently done via centralized authority.

  21. So just to sum up, in this system you have no central government applicable to all the people. Instead you have dozens of smaller selected governments-for-hire with no general/regional jurisdiction at odds with each other and who still have to appeal to a centrally-recognized arbitrator (i.e. judge) who has no real authority to enforce any ruling, AND the entire system depends really on the threat of MAD (mutually assured destruction) to continue to exist? I love several of your other videos but this one leaves me shaking my head.

    A couple of areas that I didn't see included but that deserve consideration (perhaps in other videos):
    – how to handle common defense against outside aggressors (i.e. foreign states) with no central government
    – public services and utilities (and don't just give me the short answer of privatization – one of the things that makes a power utility effective and efficient is that it efficiently uses real estate that can't be matched by a private enterprise system. Fire control is also an issue because a fire in one person's home threatens one's neighbors – especially in apartment complexes.)
    – roads (not highways 'cause I know you're just going to say toll roads, but the roads to and from homes and in population centers which are monopoly endeavors by definition)
    – radio broadcast leasing (the spectrum is by definition a monopoly endeavor)

  22. This video assumes that only people need protection and laws and that all people have approximately the same economic resources. But in reality the wealth is uneven and also companies needs protection and laws. This means that the laws that will prevail on the free market are those laws that are good for rich people and rich companies. Those with less economic resources will have less, if any, influence on the laws. And those who cannot afford an agency at all will be left without protection.

  23. I notice that you're active in your comments section so I have a few questions for you. I explained Friedman's theory to my friend and he came up with a few scenarios.

    1. Poor people would not be able to afford insurance.
    >I brought up your argument about an increased income and the likelihood of donating to charity, he argued that it was idealistic. What would your response be to that?

    2. In this instance an individual owns a house on a river. Some waste comes down his river from a productive factory. He files an insurance complaint about someone damaging his property. The insurance agency files a complaint to the polluting company's insurance agency. The company hires several mercenaries because they can afford more defense than the individual on the river and they choose not to pay the fine. The company continues to the pollute.
    >I argued that it would be more expensive in the long term for the company to continue polluting and to hire mercenaries to continuously protect their property from insurance agencies. Their profits would go down because people would stop supporting a company that uses violence against consumers in order to avoid fines. Also, they would have to constantly pay the mercenary group to protect them. Also this would be bad business for the mercenary group for being associated with such a company.

    Is there anything that you would like to add? Also, what are your thoughts on Hans-Hermann Hoppe's theory about law in a stateless society?

  24. FAMANDBLINGCOMEFIRSTENFORCEMENT.MLK

    !!!BUY THE 2088 PLATINUM PACKAGE AND GET ONE PURGE DAY OF YOUR CHOICE!!!

    (offer not valid in Florida)

  25. Ok, given. Now lets go one step further. Everybody is their own individual DEFCORP and there are no fees.

    BOOM! [mind blown] ~because real freedom doesn't depend on fees~

  26. What if it is a super rich guy that was the criminal so he bribes his side to go to war and pay for the cost, in that way he can win every case?? or he just bribes both sides so he can win the case?? say he gives them both a million each because he is the owner on BP oil and spills X amount of oil in the ocean and doesn't want to make his business look bad by loosing the case, so it actually works out cheaper to bribe both sides.

  27. All this runs on basic BASIC BASIC BASIC economics, i.e. economics that is WROUGHT with insanely heavy unreasonable assumptions such as perfect competition, no market power for firms etc. The general issues that fall from Supply-side economics and most forms of libertarianism.

  28. Great video — unlike others, I don't see regional defense from foreign states as an obstacle to rea/private law societies at all. In fact, I'm confident that the mobilization of dozens of REA's the size of Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, etc… could easily defeat an aggressive foreign state.

    Consider the amount of wealth already produced from all sectors of industry within the framework of a heavily regulated, mixed-economy. In a pure market economy, each of these industries also needs the protection of rights. Directing portions of that wealth generation into dozens of competing REA's would produce the single most efficient group of defensive forces possible. It would be unparalleled by any existing state.

  29. Ultimately, every objection comes down to this point:
    "But if we don't enslave and expropriate the population first, how will we do X?"

  30. Eloquent video, but you forgot the main difference between a government and a private business: profit.
    The best way to profit in that system you're proposing is to rob and threaten people until they buy your "insurance" and you can charge them way more than they would have paid in taxes because they value their lives.
    In the US, you've got private prisons now, which is an incentive for stakeholders to imprison a lot of people for victimless crimes, yes the corrupt judges and governments are at fault, but the corruptors too (the private prisons owners)
    Also you didn't mention the crualty of this system: "no money, no rights, everyone can rape you, kill you, enslave you and sell your organs, if you don't have money, you are nothing". But this last point is only philosophical, some people take social darwinism seriously…
    Also private services are more expensive than public services because they charge for profit margins and ads.

  31. You say violence would be avoided but I doubt it, humans will use violence to get their way unless there chances are very low, assuming these companies are roughly equal in power, or don't heavily overpower each other, they will fight. And I was just thinking about it, earth is essentially AnCap, except each country is one of these companies, they just don't fight because of MAD, and the world authorities like the UN and the US, coalitions etc would not let it happen AKA if a country tries to go Saddam or Hitler mode conquering they're going to incur the wrath of the international community and get fucked…

  32. Lets assume there are companies A B C D, all of these companies do their job well and provide their customers with quality products, one day company A offers a discount if you are subscribed to company B and C and B does the same thing to A and C, and C does that too, but one day company A changes their policy to that which harms their customers in some way but brings in more profit, customers see that company D provides better service but is deincentiviced to leave A and subscribe to D due to their subscriptions to B and C that still do a good job, how such a dillema would be resolved?

  33. what happens if an enforcement agency gains a majority significant to completely subsume another? If the history of Europe is any guide, the agency in the majority will begin a campaign to crush the others. at the conclusion of the war, there is either a majority, in which case you have the same system we have now, or there is a lot of different enforcement agencies that now need to charge companies more in order to afford tanks.

  34. That's really interesting. I would worry that this system would heavily sway in the direction of the wealthy which would lead to massive discrimination against the relatively poor. Does the theory have a solution to this problem?

  35. How about this: we give everyone 1 politics-dollar. And everyone can spend that dollar on a 4 year contract. With that you can decide on how the police force is managed and all other things a government usually does. Unlike your system where people with more dollars can buy into better laws for them, my politics-dollar system gives everyone the same amount of speech. … though politics dollar sound bad, how about vote? Who am I kidding, this will never work!

  36. Just in US that "liberals" means left literally just there. And "libertarian" was stolen from the anarcho-communists and syndicalists since the 19th century.

  37. Very interesting concept and one more way to bringing society closer to true equality, without the bankers keeping their stranglehold on politicians and government in general. On a humorous note: The narrator's voice could double as Prof. Frink from the Simpsons… I'm just anticipating a "hooyven clayven" to pop in there somewhere..haha.

  38. I solved David Friedman's "Hard Problem" in 1995, with my "Assassination Politics" essay. https://cryptome.org/ap.htm See also the jimbellproject.org. It would sure be nice if David Friedman acknowledged my accomplishment, but his 2014 edition of the Machinery of Freedom book did not mention AP, or me, from my understanding.

  39. I am sorry I can't quite figure out what lever exists to stop me from selling children, sorry my children, for money. Lets say i am a woman, which i am not it just removes the convincing the woman who bore the child to give me full custody issue. I am also a sociopath, with fatal cancer, so I need money for treatment and see no problem with selling my child a thing that has happens at least once in history. There are people who would be happy to pay for such a service say Ariel Castro. My child does not have the resources to hire a REA and due to my no doubt pretty horrible parenting has no way of making money and is a child. Please explain what logical libertarian steps stops me from doing this. Yes this is quite a bizarre scenario but there are billions of people so it can come up at least once. Yes these things happen now unfortunately but the police and social workers paid for by taxes have to try to help. Does any REA.

  40. I love how bitbutter is engaging in the comments. That, my friend (s), is a nice way to run a channel. It's just refreshing and makes it an amazing experience to watch your videos and be part of the community.

    "Community experience" is the phrase I was looking for 🙂

  41. Just watched this video again in full for the second time, and I finally feel like I understand everything that David outlines in it. Initially I had particular issue with the bit about capital punishment disputes, thinking that a person would have to pay 100k to not be killed, but then realized it's an aggregate profit margin, and indeed people might need to pay less for that firm, because they have the more popular position. Additionally, this means that those rules which result in the most prosperous and wealthy societies will consequently have a better shot of being enforced.

  42. I've stopped watching right after the statement, that the violence is expensive, hence society… uh, scratch that… I've meant private companies would try to avoid it. Ever heard of war? And those who profit from it?

  43. How do you resolve collective action problems? I.e. the costs to dealing with the danger or good is inherently impossible to privatize without enforced collective action.

  44. I'd love to know how blockchain technology would help smooth out a lot of this scenario. For example, a blockchain IDs could identify who the TV actually belongs to, and blockchain smart contracts could keep agencies from breaking contracts (or suffer never being allowed to make a contract again).

  45. A commenter raised the question "What will generate the income [of private prisons]? Inmates?".
    Although in the context of the question, I don't think he was sincerely curious so much as asking rhetorical, loaded questions (or so he thought..), but I think he was on to something.

    Rather than arbitration firms deciding on whether or not a prison could use inmates as a source of income, and to what extent similar to how courts may issue court-ordered community service, these decisions would likely be left to the prisons themselves, as they are in a better position to make cost-benefit analysis.

    I doubt prisons would have any forced labor policy, if nothing else, because of how inefficient it is. Without the profit motive, inmates are only going to put in just enough labor to surpass the threshold of being tazed, which will require more resources in the form of guards, equipment, training, medical expenses etc. Instead, prisons might allow inmates to contract out their services (under supervision of course) while collecting a certain percentage of their income (sort of like a "private income tax").

    Private prisons would have a direct incentive to set a balanced rate for any given crime. Should they set it too low, they miss out on potential profits and risk drawing the ire of criminal justice watchdogs for recidivism rates if inmates are getting a little too sweet of a deal. On the other hand, should they set it too high and they still miss out on potential profits because inmates will be less willing to work and similarily, they will draw ire of humanitarian watchdogs. In either case, they deter REAs from contracting with them.

  46. First thing, I'm a Voluntaryist. I don't think this video takes into account the reciprocal nature of rights. There is no need to pay a subscription to an enforcement agency, because a thief has said by his actions "there is nothing wrong with taking a television from someone, and there is nothing wrong with entering someone else's property ". So entering the property of the thief, recovering the television, and also making the thief poorer by taking a second television is not wrong by the thiefs own standards. A second enforcer would be liable for damages if he attempted to violate the rights of the first enforcer. The victim is allowed to sell the rights to one of the two televisions, in exchange for enforcing services. If the first enforcer is wrong, then he will become liable, and then will owe four televisions, because he admitted by his actions that taking two televisions isn't wrong, so he cannot complain when someone takes two televisions from himself. So it is better for him to go to a judge who will guarantee justice, and is willing to underwrite the enforcement. A broke judge would probably be a shitty judge, and no one would use his services.

  47. This all assumes that enforcement agencies are all disinterested rational actors acting only on the profit motive.

    People have moral principles and they would demand a security agency that enforces theirs, and some security agency will do so and won't budge on their principles just because someone offers them some money.

    The capital punishment vs non-capital punishment scenario would likely not be resolved just by paying someone off.

  48. What would stop a monopoly of rights enforcement agencies? (And then becoming essentially a tyrannical private government)

  49. This video was very informative. I would like to point out that it leaves out voluntaryism, which is a huge part of Libertarian philosophy. With the addition of voluntaryism, you could leave out businesses in some instances, such as in the law enforcement question. It is possible for members of a local community to agree to be on call when someone needs help. This is similar to the minute men in the American Revolution, which was a wonderfully Libertarian organization that was effective in making a stand against aggressors.

  50. The market economy can self-adjust and self-regulate constantly because there is an infinite number of individual's choices that do not harm the whole group of individuals within a certain area in a short period of time. A company could go bankrupt or succeed, but that will not endanger the group or will not create social instability. That is not valid for laws. Laws cannot change constantly. Laws must last for a reasonable period of time enough to create legal certainty. Legal certainty is absolutely necessary for a stable economy and society. People must know ahead how the system works. It is perfectly comprehensible when Mises compares the market process to a constant election process, but this is not valid to laws. What the video suggests as being a new idea already happens, and it is old. Those who have more economic power already buy laws and power to enforce them. The video also suggests that an individual's vote has no significance, but an individual's consumption has no significance as well. Individuals empower themselves when they act together in a coordinated way. Nothing different. People already can do this.

  51. The one problem i have with this video is your still setting up a system where the majority could still rule and force their will upon another with a minority view. In a system your describing you could have 90% of a population say something like cannabis should be illegal and they all put their money into agencies and arbitrariness that will enforce that and the smaller group will be pushed out or forced to form their own small community and not leave that community with cannabis on their person or risk prosecution under another groups set of laws .

  52. I don't know if this question has been asked before: what's the solution against collusion between attourneys and judges (as is already happening)? They profit off of dragging out court cases and thus bleeding out the clients. A good example I think are "family courts" in the USA, where justice is rare and eventual bankruptcy is expected.

    This also goes into another question: what happens if some people are against courts even existing in the first place (e.g. "family courts") because the existence of these courts inevitably results in widespread incentive to destroy marriages and the family unit?

  53. What happens with people who can't afford to pay into the justice system? Do they get legal representation or do they automatically lose their case(s)?

  54. I used to think that government is needed, after watching this I'm not so sure anymore 😂. The only question I have is about charities. What would incentivize them to help helpless? We can't expect there would be enough philantropists to solve all the poor people's issues by themselves, or can we? Is there a charity model idea that could solve this in truly governmentless society where everything is privately owned? Appreciate your work!

  55. I don't think the term "liberalism" was stolen. Liberalism as a movement and ideology "evolved" naturally into what we see now. Liberalism from the start was focused on individual freedom. Back then, that meant "liberty from government oppression", since, coming from the historical context of the Enlightenment era, they saw the main threat to individual freedom coming from a tyrannical government. Later, as democracy prevailed in the western world, it was realized that the oppression of an individual can come from the combined power of the majority ("tyranny of the majority"). To address that, the idea of "human rights" was created, that had to be protected by laws. "Human rights" became the new definition of "individual freedom". This principle taken to the extreme is what liberalism has become.
    Libertarianism is not that. Libertarianism is anarcho-capitalism of different degrees of moderation. Its focus is specifically on A) minimal or no government; B) protection of private property and free market.

  56. 15:10
    "…and there are a number of answers…"
    The best one is laid out by Bryan Caplan in The Myth of the Rational Voter. He shows that voters aren't just rationally ignorant… they're actually irrational and have a bunch of biases that cause them to vote for things that are actively bad for both them and for society as a whole. Voting for something is fundamentally different than buying something.

  57. Arbitration agencies already exist in the marketplace and include Visa, Amazon.com, Safeway. In actual practice all these agencies act in some way as partial law enforcement agencies. They settle fraud disputes, refunds, terms of service disputes. These arbitration agencies limit themselves to the rules regarding buying and selling of products through their network.

  58. So instead of a government that we have some kind of control over, you want to have private corporations doing stuff? There would be wars going on in the street between private security corporations over customers. Look at gangs. They run protection. Corporations would 100% do that. Greed and money is the biggest motivator. This is what would happen: Security Corporation #1 would ask a customer to buy their protection. Customer says no, for whatever reason. #1 then sends hitmen to rob the house, maybe hurt someone, etc. Then they go back and ask again. Customer has 2 options. The first is they buy the protection at a large price, because there will be no government to enforce it. Or the second option is they call Security Corporation #2, because the customer realizes that #1 probably was responsible. #1 sends more men to the customer to rough them up, and #2 is called to protect them. #1 and #2 have a gunfight. Let's say #1 wins. They clearly did something illegal. But who's going to enforce the rules for #1? Now the only way to get the justice is for another security agency to basically go to war. Humans suck, and this would happen pretty quickly. Seriously, how are people this dumb?

  59. Wouldn't there be the possibly of monopoly for te rights enforcement agencies? You can say it would adjust where other groups would be created to try and create competition, but what would stop the larger rules enforcement agency from stomping out the smaller ones? Then wouldnt that larger group just become a bit of a dictatorship in it's own right?

    Also, when you were discussing laws between different people, laws change not between different people, typically, but between locations, which would be a notable different. If you and your neighbor had different agencies, which a free market of competition would hopefully allow, whose law would you follow if you were to meet on the street if laws contradicted?

  60. Pretty rich to complain that Liberals "stole" the name liberal when Libertarians definitely stole their name from 19th century and 20th century socialists – but okay, go off.

  61. My question is that wouldn’t companies have an interest in hiding information? For example, private hospitals make it very difficult to understand that “treating my heart attack” will cost 500K vs 750K at two different hospitals and I have no idea what is the place with better care.

  62. It seems to me that Friedman assumes everybody to be quiet rational, at least with regards to economic decisions. People will not necessarily strive to spend as little money as possible. Many will prefer spending money if it means gaining power and dominance. Therefore why go to private judges? Many choose violence. Second, why trust anybody? So sad, but you can rarely know whether someone would be (consistently) trustworthy.

  63. i have 2 problems with this whole argument.
    1 is that we already have private protection agencies and private courts and private law in the world already. theyre called the mafia. their second biggest money maker after drugs is protection rackets, which are exactly what youve described these private protection firms to be; for a monthly fee, they protect you from crime, and settle disputes between themselves and other gangs that also run protection rackets. when the government cannot effectively police certain areas (like russia post-USSR, or colombia), these gangs take over the role of government, creating the laws of the land they control, and policing it, and settling legal disputes; they become the judge, jury and executioner with zero oversight or accountability. and see how great that turned out for colombia, or russia, or central africa (CAR, nigeria, etc).
    2. what is stopping these private government agencies from becoming a monopoly, or simply agreeing to divide up territory and have effectively monopolies in certain areas, a la american telecom companies? its better for business to monopolise a market than to have competition, so what is stopping them from doing such a thing? if theyre the biggest and strongest firm in all the land, they can just stamp out any competition and do whatever the fk they want, and theres no one to stop them.
    while this sounds like a good idea on paper, it is very idealistic and assumes that people are good and will never take advantage of the rules, or lack thereof, to benefit themselves even at the detriment of others. you dont have to look very hard to find examples of this, there are gangs and black markets in every country and in every corner of the world, so why would these same people suddenly disappear and become angels all of a sudden if there was no government?

  64. So, my immediate question to the summary is this. In an anarcho-capitalist society, practicing laissez faire capitalism, what is to prevent these private rights enforcement firms from consolidating into one entity and functionally becoming the government.
    One that would, in all likelihood, be a dictatorship?

  65. Law is actually not the most fundamental service the government provides but rather the military, since ultimately whoever controls the military in a given region will control the laws that are imposed on that region. In other words, if you came up with a system by which the courts and police could be privatized and subject to market competition, but not the military, those who control the military will simply force their will upon you regardless of what the private courts and police say.

  66. 1. What about the poor people who can't afford any of this?

    2. What if I don't want to appoint anyone to be in charge of my rights, what if I wanted to stand on my own and declare my own rights as an individual?

  67. War is an inevitable outcome in the An-Cap society. Much worse than a minarchist society. A minarchist society would be infinitely better.

    What makes you think profit-maximizing firms wouldn't go to war? War is profitable in a plethora of scenarios in an ancap-society.

  68. The comments section is moderated. Civil dissent is very welcome.

    Posters of antagonistic comments may be blocked from the channel. The use of invective or name-calling is very likely to get you banned. Please consider whether there's a more constructive way of conveying your message before clicking 'Comment'.

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  69. War is an inevitable outcome in the An-Cap society. Much worse than a minarchist society. A minarchist society would be infinitely better.

    What makes you think profit-maximizing firms wouldn't go to war? War is profitable in a plethora of scenarios in an ancap-society.

  70. As a newcomer to this subject, the prevailing question that came to mind towards the end of this video (which is my first exposure to the subject), is: How would things like city planning, and public services like water supply and the internet, work? Who would regulate it? If multiple agencies regulated it, what assurances would there be of quality control, and of things like public health standards between different agencies that wouldn't automatically agree on those things? Would they have territories, and would you be required to live in a particular geographical territory if you wanted X public health assurances/infrastructure/etc vs. Y or Z? What if one agency gave objectively the best quality of services, and everyone wanted to live in that territory because of it? Obviously that wouldn't be possible, so what would happen as a result?

  71. How about being responsible for your own safety? This is how tyranny festers in a society. People want "safety" and trade liberty for it, when in reality, theres no such thing as "safety". Freedom is DANGEROUS! Why pay anyone to "protect" you? The firearm is the ultimate equalizer. If you're properly trained, you can protect yourself. Police, cannot protect you. The mere idea of police, is actually detrimental to ones safety. People beLIEve they can call 9/11 if they're in trouble and the police will "save them". So, they dont take the necessary steps to be responsible for their own safety and set themselves up to be victimized. You should be responsible for your own safety. If everyone knew everyone else was trained to protect themselves, they would be much less likely to attempt to victimize people.

    It's quite simple…

    An armed society, is a polite society…

    I'd be fine with government if they didn't steal from us at gunpoint. If taxes were voluntary, I wouldn't have an issue. The government could come out and say, "Okay Mr. Jones, the fee for police in your community, is 250 bucks every 3 months. If you do not pay the 250 bucks, the police will not respond to your call for help. And if by some chance we do respond, you will be charged $1500.00 for the assistance" I wouldn't pay it, because I wouldn't need it. I'm responsible for my own safety and do not depend on "Blue ISIS". I've lived 40 years and have NEVER called a the police. Why am I paying for this service? I dont need it. Take schools. Why does someone that doesn't have kids have to pay taxes for a f**king school? They didnt have any kids, make the people with kids that go to school foot the bill. That would cut way down on irresponsible people having children at the very least. Same thing with wars. The government says "Mr. Jones, we want to go to war in Iraq to promote democracy and overthrow a dictator. Will you give money for this cause?" Once again, I wouldn't pay it, because i dont believe in that type of shit, but there would be a segment of people that would. So, if the government gets enough money from the people to go kill some brown people……knock themsleves out, it doesn't affect me, or my pocketbook. If they don't, well, they can not go to war. Now, if we're being invaded, I'd pick up a gun and help fight AND give money, but to go off to the other side of the world for some bullshit, isn't something I'd pay for. This is the ONLY way to get the full support of the people for certain things. Raise an issue, ask for money, and if you get it, do whatever the hell you're trying to do, if you dont, don't do it and give the people that gave to the issue a refund. This would cut down on waste and abuse, because people can see what their money is actually doing. They can say "Hey! Our entire neighborhood gave money for that pothole to be fixed, why in the hell hasn't it been fixed? You've been given the money, you told us how much it cost, we agreed and raised the money, fix the f**king pothole." This makes government officials accountable. It's a whole lot better then just giving them piles of money blindly to do whatever the hell they want to do….

    I'd prefer no government at all, but if we have to have some sort of government, the only way to fund it, that I would agree with, is voluntary taxation…..

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