Met Income wrote: Nitsuj wrote:
Met Income wrote:I’m not sure what your point is. There’s lots of examples where the state interferes with an individual’s freedom – that doesn’t mean we should keep restricting it in other ways simply because it’s the status quo with other issues.
There are many examples where the state improves the country by interfering with individual freedom, such as education, roads (forcing people to drive in a certain manner and in certain locations) that are more than worth it in many people's opinion.
Obviously, that is subjective. I would argue otherwise.
The problem comes when the costs of acquiring information and of writing and enforcing contracts are large. In particular when you cannot fully define property rights (satellites passing over your country). Just as economic theory would predict.
Should one person decide to block a road or powerplant, then eventually all will suffer-- this is the problem with nuclear waste disposal right now.
Or there are 'tragedies of the commons' where the individual optimal solution is the wrong one for the system as a whole (all the fish in the sea are eaten).
So we have nations: a blanket contractual obligation is imposed on its citizens, for example, for national defence. A nation is a (relatively) efficient way to solve these problems.
In cases of externalities, like pollution, it's not possible for me to sue Joe for his CO2 emission which will devastate my descendants. Nor for me to sue all the Joes in this world, who have unmuffled cars or engines without catalytic converters, or who dump toxic waste into my water supply.
So you have to have an overarching authority to endogenize the externality-- make it part of the system.
In rich countries everybody's kids go to school. Even the 20% who probably don't give a damn about their kids, and wouldn't make them go to school. In poor countries of course, this is not the case.
The same thing works for law and order. It's not possible to run private police forces that, say, compete with each other. Or private national armies (say one for each political party?). Somalia has that.
And so you wind up with something called 'the State'.
Whether it is an employer corporation like Exxon, or an elected government, or some hybrid (Singapore, Dubai) of corporation and government, that is how we organise the world.