You have to incentivize and enable people in order to get them to change.
M-PESA and the similar mobile money telecom products are doing more for digitizing and disrupting fiat currencies than cryptocurrencies are currently. Bitpesa is having some success as a bridge between the two, but it's going to be a struggle for any cryptocurrency or token to surpass the usability of digital currencies tied to the devices they already use and th kiosks / storefronts around them.
It's also possible the incentive will come by itself: if advocates of commodity money (money with an inflexible supply/stock) are right, inflation will occur in traditional currencies sooner or later. No better incentive to store your value in bitcoins than seeing the value you have in traditional currency slowly erode.
Time will tell whether this will be what introduces regular folks to cryptocurrency. If I were living in Argentina or Venezuela, it wouldn't take much convincing to get me to store at least part of my savings in cryptocurrency.
What I've never quite understood is how those things align with investment. If I have $1000, can I predictably make more money by buying $1000 worth of art than $1000 worth of stock? If so, why? Buffet's "you can fondle the cube, but it will not respond" would seem to stand, but at the same time artworks and so on seem to only be getting more expensive.
So, if USD inflation is, say, 5% and bond yields also 5%, then you would indeed make no money by holding USD-denominated bonds. But I would argue the problem is with USD inflation in this hypothetical, since bonds also yielded 5% during the international gold standard and yet we had 2% deflation.
I would also argue that money is a sort of collectible; the only difference is that it's highly liquid. A painting might very well increase in value, but if you need to sell it quickly (as opposed to waiting six months for the right buyer) you can easily end up losing money -- if you can even find a buyer on short notice.
This has significant advantages for Somalis. Mohamed in Mogadisho can ask his cousin Mohamed in Minnesota to pay for his meal and all Minnesota Mohamed has to do is transfer the money on his phone.
Why would Somalis go back to the shilling? If anything they'll just go back to the USD which has been the staple far longer than anything else.
^Ok I'm being excessive. It is in use but its use is made redundant by access to mobile technology. Those at the poorer end of society still depend on the shilling but even the nomadic pasturalists these days have mobiles and conduct their trade using mobile money.
Edit: One has to wonder if the new TFG in Somalia is re-introducing bank notes to try to damage the hold that the big Telcos have on Somalias financial institution. Considering some of the Telcos are in bed with Al Shabab It's probably in their interest to curtail their power.
I've always been surprised by questions like this. Why is (say) gold valuable? The gold supply fluctuates unpredictably depending on gold strikes and without any consideration for creation of underlying economic value (so is inherently inflationary, except for gold strikes). The big gold strikes of the 19th century were each associated with economic boom/bust. But the underlying utility of gold is low.
Some people complain about a central bank "controlling" the money supply (let's not forget that you "create" money when you use your credit card and "destroy" it when you pay your bill), so monopoly there. That's a fiat too.
In terms of value, the shilling case makes more sense if you think of money in its role of signalling (there are lots of bananas available right now so the price is going down -- don't bother to go harvest some more until the price goes up) rather than as a store of value. That's why people don't worry about counterfeits. Presumably the actual measure of wealth there is not monetary -- perhaps land, more likely some kind of family/community strength.
As robots drive the marginal price of goods and services very low and humans live on UBI, the signalling role will become more significant than the wealth role.
Intrinsic utility doesn't really enter into it; the value of money is inherently social, because it relates to other people. You're either going to exchange it for something now, exchange it for something in the future, or hypothesize an exchange to put a numeric value on something concrete, a number you can compare with other numbers.
This is what gold bugs (and their bitc equivalents, and...) don't understand: their money supply changes randomly and completely out of phase with the actual economy, with empirical evidence of disastrous consequence. Great in theory, dreadful in practice.
Accounting has a magical provision for this at unusual sequence points (i.e. asset sales): goodwill. When the asset denomination (i.e. cost) is out of whack with what is thought to be the underlying value, the delta is magically stuck in a bin called "goodwill" which then depreciates, slowly smushing it into the overall money supply.
All of that is to say, we could do with a couple of decades of 3-4% inflation. Implementing UBI very likely would trigger some inflation, but if there's one thing central banks know how to do and have the power to do, it's clamping down on inflation. Other economists have proposed less direct methods of giving money, from burying caches of cash (to create employment and stimulate investment), to dropping money from helicopters. Sure, those examples were tongue-in-cheek, but you can kill two birds with one stone by using government money to invest in rebuilding infrastructure, building high speed rail, curing cancer and diabetes, paying for more and better public education from pre-K through college. That money pays off in multiple ways: more people have jobs, you stimulate moderate inflation and wage growth, and in the end you have all new infrastructure, new treatments for disease, and a better educated population. Better still, all that money will get spent by all these people with more money and better jobs on buying better housing, newer cars, better food, more luxuries, and that money can make our corporations more profitable and faster-growing...
Yet I fear we are all headed the other direction on these things.
Without inflation, the working class is able to accumulate savings and better their lives. They don't need to put their money at risk in the markets or negotiate raises at work just to keep from falling behind.
Better still, all that money will get spent by all these people with more money and better jobs on buying better housing, newer cars, better food, more luxuries, and that money can make our corporations more profitable and faster-growing...
Maybe, maybe not, but all of these things can definitely be had by having a strong, stable currency that does not lose value.
The "go into debt and then have inflation devalue your debt" system creates a divide between people who are eligible to go into such debts, and people who are unable to and thus see their savings eroded by inflation. It would be much better to have stable consumer prices and to keep debt manageable by maintaining low interest rates.
Yes; their savings maintains its value even if it does not earn interest. Inflation would destroy the value of what they have saved. Perhaps people are not saving as much as they would like because they know that inflation will ruin them, so they spend their money earlier than would be prudent.
We have had significant inflation in the past 10 years; the prices of just about everything at the supermarket have soared upward. That we can buy technology like computers and phones cheaper does not make up for this.
That's a dangerous assumption for someone to make. Better to consider the debt something used to map asset expense to future earnings (like a company maps dept payment & depreciation to expected asset lifetime).
The system in the US is messed up because there is a foolish bias towards home ownership. I'm not saying owning a home is inherently bad (I own one myself, but I paid cash), just that it is assumed to be inherently good, which is not. In fact it remains economically disastrous.
This is a big reason why the productivity numbers aren't as poor as they appear: the number of labor hours required to purchase a shirt or a TV has fallen. You can see that in the massive inflation numbers on labor-intensive industries that haven't been automatable (cf the late Baumol). But when you average them together it looks like productivity hasn't grown as it is denominated in hrs/$
Can you elaborate on that? My understanding is: when you swipe your credit card, Visa loans you money and pays it to the merchant. When you pay your bill, Visa gets money from your bank. How is that creation or destruction of money? Seems like value is conserved to me.
Case 1: You hand me $100, I hand you a widget. I put that $100 in the bank, and over the course of the month go to the ATM five times, take out $20 bucks each time, and spend it. The money supply in Palo Alto is the same all June long.
Case 2: You use your credit card to give me $100; I hand you a widget. You still have $100 in your pocket while I have $100 in my bank account I can go spend. For the month of June the money supply is $100 larger. At the end of the month you pay off your bill and the money supply shrinks back to its prior level.
Macroeconomists and central banks use various definitions of "the amount of money" (with names like M0, M1 etc) to measure different things, just as there are different measures of unemployment, inflation etc, all designed to adjust / smooth / emphasize different phenomena. Like different filters in a circuit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Money_supply
This is why I am always infuriated by politicians who use microeconomic analogies when discussing macroeconomic things like government debt and trade policy. I just assume they aren't as ignorant as they sound, which may be foolishness on my part.
Isn't the bank is still on the hook for its liabilities? It might be playing a dangerous game, but it's betting against a bank run (which are rare) and on itself having enough liquid cash on hand to handle withdrawals during reasonable circumstances. We all know banks invest our cash (in loans and tons of other vehicles) in order to earn their profits (and our interest.)
edit: Visa doesn't loan the money, participating bank does. and when bank loans the money, most likely it is money that bank doesn't have, i.e. created money.
Make it so that the manufacturing cost of a $100 bill is $100 minus the amount you want the counterfeiter to make, so for $1 say $99. Include tons of security features, use silk, gold, diamond dust, whatever. Then just let the market do it's thing.
Have money testing machines that shred fake bank notes at sight. You may or may not want to keep punishments for using fake bank notes. You just want to keep a little bit of pressure to keep the manufacturing costs so high that you control monetary supply. (Now that I think about it, supply of bank notes != monetary supply. You'd have to physically print A LOT to shift the value of a currency notably.)
There are a ton of reasons why this wouldn't work or wouldn't be a good idea. For one, a complete waste of resources. Also, you wouldn't have as much control over the money supply. And advances in technology change the production rate and profits from printing rapidly.
All of those caveats also apply to Bitcoin, of course.
Os 22.59 kg/L $13k/kg $294k/L
Ir 22.56 kg/L $22k/kg $496k/L
Pt 21.45 kg/L $29k/kg $622k/L
Re 21.02 kg/L $69k/kg $1450k/L
Au 19.30 kg/L $40k/kg $772k/L
W 19.25 kg/L $50/kg $960/L
U 19.1 kg/L $150/kg $2900/L
The other noble metals are available in extremely limited supply, and usually comparable in value to gold or platinum anyway.
Devices that test for the density of gold coins are already cheap and widely available. Using a Fisch device and dropping the coin onto a countertop is just as easy as using the counterfeit detector marker, checking the watermark and color-shift inks, and looking at the security strip under a UV light.
The original example in the grandparent comment would be expensive to counterfeit, though.
Except for the fact that shredding makes it also a lottery system: Attempts to exchange the bond result in either redemption at face value or nothing, with the probability being equal to the proportion of fake bills in circulation. Assuming, of course, that the bank has a monopoly on counterfeit-detection devices (they don't).
Part of the benefit of blockchain is that this validation is automated and baked into any transaction - in real life, this is not at all easy.
A proof-of-work currency (1) prevents uncontrolled inflation or devaluation, (2) should be difficult to generate the currency (i.e., a lot of work), (3) but easy to check the currency (i.e., check that the work was done).
The Somalias presumably have a threshold of quality at which they'd accept a fake shilling. I'm sure they wouldn't accept a blank piece of paper. They probably wouldn't accept a black and white photocopy. At some point, the quality is good enough[a] that they'd accept it even knowing that it was not produced by the government.
That satisfies the basic idea of proof-of-work: (1) It prevents out-of-control inflation, (2) involves a fair amount of work (professional printing), (3) but you can decide at a glance if it's good enough to accept it.
[a] Just for interest, this is what a real one looks like:
When you think of currency as a commodity, under a spiking demand their is no way to control supply so you get deflation.
Rampant deflation maybe more destructive than inflation unless negative interest rates were to become socially acceptable, which I don't think is realistic.
Without negative interest rates deflation makes repayment of loans impossible and rewards hoarding which will continue the deflation cycle.
1. Prices are ratios. A price is the ratio of how much X you will exchange for some Y. "Two dollars per dozen eggs" is the ratio of dollars to eggs. (William Stanley Jevons observed this in the 19th century.)
2. Money is, generally, the most universal exchange medium, within a given region. In this article, Somalia utilises both US dollars and Somali shillings.
3. Most currencies take their names from either units of weight or of quality: Weight: Pound, peso, mark, shekel, livre, penny, denarius (and dinar, dinero, etc., subdivision of 10), dirham (also drachma, from dram). The Japanese ryo.
For quality: dollar (referring to the high-quality silver of Jochimstaller, Germany), franc (Francorum Rex), ducat (from ducato, related to duke). References to royal imprimateur are common: royal, real, crown, kron, kroner, etc. Guilder, Guinea, gineih, zloty (from gold). Toponyms (afghani, bolivar, etc.) are also common, and refer to the authority of the issuing nation. Sterling (star-like silver). Ruble and kopek both refer to the cutting off of slivers of silver from a bar. Rupee again refers to silver.
There are some exceptions, of course. Scudo and piaster refer to shape, as do yuan and yen. Florin refers to the flower inscription (arguably a mark of quality or merit).
4. Whilst Gresham's Law applies -- poorer quality coin of a given denomination will drive out higher quality, there is also quite frequently a flight to higher-quality alternative currency. So: in Somalia, the Shilling is used for general trade, but dollars for larger transactions, where both value and acceptability matter.
5. Many regions and periods have seen what were effectively multi-currency systems. With stable rates of exchange between copper, silver, and gold, the English currency Adam Smith describes (at ... great ... length) in Wealth of Nations is actually one of three independent currencies largely used for different types of transactions: copper for retail, silver for wholesale, and gold for finance. The farthing (four-thing -- one fourth of a penny) was nearly 1/1000th the value of a pound sterling (240 pennies, or 960 farthings). Twenty pounds was a good income for a labourer. If you consider a farthing as essentionally a dollar, then those 20 pounds are an annual income of about $20,000.
6. There are multiple drivers for currency value. Clamshells (the origin of "clams" as a term for money) were used in the US for small transactions. Obtainable (with some work), exchangeable, relatively easily accounted for. Convention, agreement, assurances of legal currency, mandates for tax payments in currency, standards for international exchange, commodities trade (think oil), etc., all play a part.
7. Virtually all currencies, specie or fiat, devalue over time. Again, Smith addresses this ... at length.
Leeson's article is probably the best on the topic:
That article reads a little tone deaf, a lot of the data ignores an entire 10 year period of total fucking chaos.
I live among foreigners, and the only ones that I've met that actually like their home country are rich ones from totalitarian regimes who somehow benefit from the regime. And as far as I can tell, public opinion of a regime among expats is strongly tied in both directions to how that regime effects them and their families financially, though even well off people such as myself, who have chosen to move away, often find it in their hearts to hate their home country.
The rich Saudis who come to Prague to study all thing Saudi Arabia is heaven on earth. The Russian who's family lost everything in 1998  think that Putin should be hung from a lamp post with his own intestines.
I think that there is basically no knowledge to be gained from talking to expats about their home countries. After-all 75% of Turks in Belgium voted for totalitarian dictatorship at home .
Exactly. It's also very typical for the average person someone on HN would mingle from that comes from other countries to say their country sucks (someone heavy on US culture, or who aspires to be a SV entrepreneur, etc is not the typical example of the average citizen of most countries). So just because someone knows people from a country, it doesn't mean their opinions represent what people from that country generally believe. Even ex-pats living in a foreign country tend to meet and mingle with quite specific demographics.
Cab drivers (and similar working class people) can often tell you more for the general sentiment in a country that people you naturally gravitate towards for making friends.
I had a similar objection to the various "arab spring" analysts, who take people with celebrated english-speaking blogs and twitter accounts (which by that fact already are a small minority in their country) as representative of the general sentiment etc. The guy who aspires to be an Egyptian blogger (and who participates in internet culture heavily) is probably more westernized and quite different than the average folk who might ask for heavier islamic laws etc. That's obvious, and still pundits are then surprised when such incidents (arab spring etc) take a turn for stricter regimes.
I'm not choosing either side of this discussion, simply clearing something up.
I'm an expat from Sweden and I think Sweden is fantastic. It's just not the place for me at this point in my life. My friends from the U.S. are also very fair in their descriptions - there are things about their country they love, other things they hate.
You could just as well say that people still in their countries are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.
Or did you intend to say selection bias?
It's kind of amazing that around here when someone says "yeah my Libertarian Paridise home-country is actually a shithole because people keep getting machete'd to death by roving gangs", someone else strokes their chin and thinks "hmm, I'm not sure I buy it, maybe there's a survivorship bias in there"
But yes, in this case a more generic, selection, might be more appropriate.
The security implications of living with a system of competing warlords (or 'insurance companies', in ancap terminology) are also massively glossed over.
I think you have to have a pretty strong a priori bias in favor of libertarianism to see that as a favorable statement. It also looks a bit self-serving, as there seem to be more Somali refugees in Kenya and Ethiopia than vice-versa.
Not quite. While dysfunctional, Somali pre-anarchy was actually a great place to live.
Sure, Barre was a dictator, there was state sanctioned violence but for the average Somali on the street life was better in contrast to what followed which was:
Anarchy, random violence, war lords, checkpoint extortion, no services, no schools, no hospitals, no utilities, telecommunications were monopolized and the owners became defacto rulers who maintained anarchy to ensure tax-free profits. Massive increase in maternal mortality, reduction in life expectancy etc etc.
No one is saying Barre and the regime was great, but in comparison its pretty clear it was superior.
Yet my libertarian friends on Facebook all seem to want to tear the enitre government down.
Could it be that "the existence of government" plays a big role in there being "very many significant differences between Somalia and the United States"?
Advanced countries can turn into rubble very fast if central government collapses -- grabs for power, civil wars, etc. Heck: https://searchingforsyria.org/en/how-can-i-help-syrian-refug...
So I sometimes try to avoid mentioning it, and especially anything to do with Brit royalty.
Still, the UK is objectively doing alright these days, and objectively has a monarchy :)
I dont think you can qualify government as "just one small part".
America would not be in the same place today without the decisions taken over time by its leaders. The same decisions would not be made under a different system of incentives for a leader like a monarchy/anarchy
Is that maybe what you're thinking of?
Many people seem to be complaining about certain absurd EU regulations that were forced upon us.
I, for one, am extremely happy - centralised government has saved us from a lot of absurd ideas the local policymakers had. Also, we have one extra level of courts, where you can go when your government breaks law.
Not to mention all the benefits for commerce and travel - knowing that other EU states have similar laws and standards helps a lot.
I find state rights advocates to be the worst™ people in the world. They advocate for state rights when it suits them. Absolutely hypocritical bunch.
We've decided as a nation that there are some rights and responsibilities that we have regardless of where we live within this nation. How many times do we have to fight for civil rights?
Besides, locality has inherent advantages such as familiarity, cultural similarity and accountability. So at least some local governments will be probably suitable for your liking.
The power of two or three wealthy families is readily visible almost like a movie in a small town. The power structure in a bigger city from what I can gather is a little bit more complex since there are more players. However, I don't think "the powers that be" in a local level are any more accountable to the governed in a localized setting than in a national setting.
I mean think about the last HOA you lived in and tell me you felt the power structure there was "fair".
The state rights advocates like I said are the worst. States are too big. What we should focus on is the individual.
If some foreign power burned every village to the ground in my country, killed about a fifth of the people, i would do everything to join the opposition, and tell everything to make my opposition to this "foreign devils" more outspoken.
Especially if those "Foreigners" support old colonial powers, that already rubbed the face of my father and grandfather in the dirt.
Satanistic, atheistic, communistic, decadent, drug-using, spartanic, ludist, nuclear armed country of Anti-USA, count anyone in after he has met US-Foreign Policys.
If the US-Sentiment would condemn the wearing of green hats as some outrageous ideology, half of the world would look like a leprechaun inhabited Ireland tomorrow.
Yet humans naturally gravitate towards tribalism. Which means at some point, naturally, leadership and power structures will emerge from any group. Whether it be the warlord-oriented chaos of Somalia or the often awful authoritarianism Lenin-inspired states seem to drift towards.
Since power naturally corrupts, I'd rather see people focused more on systems and practices that mitigate corruption at the top, e.g. proper checks and balances, transparency, etc. Wishing power structures away is unfortunately going against human nature, in my opinion.
It's also worth noting that almost all the states you are referring to as monarchies or oligarchies are founded on the principle of Marxism-Leninism. Perhaps this isn't the best way. Left-Communists agree with that idea. Or perhaps anarcho-Communism is a better idea.
There are many schools of thought within Communism. It's unwise to dismiss it, in my opinion.
Now, let's say they try to sell me an application that they haven't written yet. But it'll be fine, they say, because they've decided not to use Brainfuck though they won't divulge what they will use.
Exactly how unwise would I be to dismiss them? I mean they might produce Utopian software next time. But is it really wise to assume so?
Don't assume, get out there and take a look if you're interested. But if you're not interested, there's no need to draw up strange analogies as if they discredit a whole massive field of literature and research going back to the fall of the USSR and even before that from internal resistance (such as from Orwell, Einstein, the leftcoms and anarchists) within the USSR. Even Lenin recognised the differences in ideology, famously allowing a funeral procession for anarcho-Communist Peter Kropotkin to continue, despite his supporters being vocal opponents of the Bolsheviks. And what of the Mensheviks, too?
There is too much to dismiss, at least in my opinion. Though I admit that if we want to continue with Marxism-Leninism, a specific variant of Marxism which is a specific variant of German Socialism which is a specific variant of Communism, then we should investigate that. If not, then we shouldn't dismiss the rest of Marxism, the rest of Socialism and the rest of Communism, anarchism, egoist anarchism and even post-left (Stirnerite) anarchism, or even Georgism or social democracy. If you're going to start dismissing Communism, where do you stop with it?
Don't libertarians understand or accept that there are market failures that government is needed to solve? Or do they think that in every case government makes more bad than good when trying to solve market failures? Or is it just that freedom of individuals is more important than fixing market failures (In which case I must wonder by what logic it is important for a government to stop me being killed by another person but not at all important to stop me being killed by a market failure? I end dead in both cases...)?
Thomas J. DiLorenzo's light book "Organized Crime" has some chapters about it as well. It is available there.
"Market Failure: An Argument for and Against Government"
David Friedman doesn't deny that market failures exist, but he points out that the exact same economic phenomenon happens with government, and there's no inherent reason why government is more or less susceptible to it than markets.
Many forms of libertianism are deontological (based on principles, e.g. "natural rights") rather than utilitarian (based on ends). A libertarian might believe that if they obtain something either by finding/making it or accepting it from someone else, potentially in exchange for providing some good/service to that other person, then they have a natural right to that property. This means they'd view it immoral for anyone else to take it off them without their consent, and hence oppose taxation. Some Christians are also libertarian for this reason: they take "Thou Shalt Not Steal" as an absolute, not making exception for people acting on behalf of others.
Such Libertarians generally support only "negative rights", not "positive rights". A negative right means the right to have other people not interfere with you (e.g. hurt you or take your property), while a positive right is a right to have other people do something for you (e.g. feed you when you're hungry or pull you out of a river when you're drowning). Many concepts of "market failure" only make sense when assuming the existence of positive rights: that the other people/the market owes you something or should work towards some specific end. Libertarians would hence not necessarily consider these a failure: from that perspective, the immoral thing is someone killing you, not necessarily you dying per se, if no-one is actively trying to harm you. There are also some forms of market failure, however, "negative externalities", that many libertarians do believe in, and the proposed solution is to strengthen property rights (so e.g. class action lawsuits are allowed against any kind of polluters, and unlike the BP lawsuit the government cannot cap the payout).
> Don't libertarians understand or accept that there are market failures that government is needed to solve?
The only credible "failure" I'm aware of is the need to internalize of public externalities, which can be achieved in a number of liberty-friendly ways. See, for example, the Coase theorem.
Libertarians recognize that these models are not exact, but they do suggest that we can do better.
Perhaps you could list some of the market failures you are thinking of?
Which only holds when transaction costs are negligible, i.e., never. Which was precisely Coase's point in that work - he showed that mathematically, it doesn't matter what initial distribution you put on something (his example was radio broadcast frequency allocations), since the final Pareto-optimal distribution is independent of initial conditions. This is the Coase theorem. But as soon as you include transaction costs, the theorem fails to hold, and initial distribution is important.
A few obvious market failures:
* Microsoft monopoly in the late 90s
* Too little being done to reduce CO2 emissions, since emission costs are externalized and delayed
* Broadband providers in the US
* EpiPen pricing
* Essentially every Health and Safety regulation ever exists to fix a market failure. In the small government world, employers see no cost of workers dying of lung cancer in their 60s from breathing asbestos, etc.
I could go on.
MS had better products than everyone else. It was a market success.
> * Too little being done to reduce CO2 emissions, since emission costs are externalized and delayed
This is within a libertarian government's purview. Negative externalities should be regulated since it's protection of citizens.
> * Broadband providers in the US
Government authorized duopolies / monopolies, not a market failure.
> * EpiPen pricing
Result of current laws, not a market failure.
> * Essentially every Health and Safety regulation ever exists to fix a market failure. In the small government world, employers see no cost of workers dying of lung cancer in their 60s from breathing asbestos, etc.
Companies have an incentive to avoid harming their workers. It has a significant negative impact on their reputation and workers could seek civil damages.
My understanding was that part of the problem with the EpiPen was a monopoly due to patent issues. Patents are monopolies created by the government, so the market failures they cause are in fact government failures.
And, well, medicine ain't all it's cracked up to be:
Which is to say, you're vastly better off investing in public health measures than in intensive medical interventions.
(See Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague, for more on that theme.)
I think we can all agree that drug patents in particular are a necessary evil. On other patents (in particular software) I'm a lot more skeptical. And that's not to say "Big Pharma" isn't trying to abuse the system to maximise their profits.
I could imagine some models to make them less evil, for example by having a scheme that forces companies to grant fairly priced licenses to their competitors. Or, for drugs whose availability is in society's general interest, a government reimbursing the development costs. For both of these one would need a fair way of determining development costs, but as far as I understand pharma research already has a detailed paper trail to make sure their patent applications are bullet-proof.
That's why I said these models are not exact. They still work ok; instead of being Pareto optimal we're epsilon-Pareto optimal. With some form of small government managing large-scale many-party contracts, we can bring the overhead of Coase-style externality management down very low.
> Too little being done to reduce CO2 emissions,
Again, via Coase, we could find an approximately correct internalization incentive via increasing the purview of trespass law. Polluting would involve the purchase of easement rights. This would be very hard to organize with no government, but feasible with a small government.
> Microsoft monopoly in the late 90s
The government didn't solve this problem, they contributed to it. One of the reasons MS got so huge was federal procurement contracts. The MS monopoly got busted up because other companies (namely Apple) started making better computers, and now we also have Google and Linux in the fold in a major way.
> Broadband providers in the US
This is the fault of regional government line leasing rules, which prevent competition by only allowing one company (maybe 2) to service a building at a time. If the government were behaving optimally, either from a social good or profit-making perspective, we would have more ISPs per building in most places, leading to actual competition.
> EpiPen pricing
FDA's fault. http://slatestarcodex.com/2016/08/29/reverse-voxsplaining-dr...
> Essentially every Health and Safety regulation ever exists to fix a market failure. In the small government world, employers see no cost of workers dying of lung cancer in their 60s from breathing asbestos, etc.
This was fixed because of legislative pressure by labor unions, not out of the charity of the government. If the government decided they weren't responsible for this, unions would just have taken a different approach. Probably just some sort of insurance contract internalizing the risk of contracting a work-related injury or illness.
> I could go on.
Please do; nothing you've said so far has been very compelling.
The problem is that the latter concepts do not seem to enter mainstream economics or libertarian mindset. People (including me) are manipulable and stupid. And having no control how much stupid people are going to be manipulated for benefit of others, would end up very bad very fast.
What comes to Coase, here is an interesting example of Coase failures: http://evonomics.com/resolve-fights-reclining-airplane-seats...
Large scale goals with large public benefits but which come at high costs will not be achieved without high level cooperation. For every individual market participant, the public education system, the public highway system, the public energy system, etc. have costs far exceeding their means. Yet every market participant benefits enough that they are happy they exist. The level of cooperation needed requires organization at the scale of at least local government.
Dealing with external factors, such as other nations -especially if they're hostile- or natural threats. Individual market participants can not muster armies (unless they are at the scale of governments), cant bargain with foreign governments on equal terms and will not provide (preventive) care for disasters/diseasese/etc. Would microsoft or walmart vaccinate everyone?
> externalized costs
Coase theorem and strong trespass law.
> Large scale goals with large public benefits but which come at high costs
> public education system,
Private schools perform better across the board. If public schools didn't exist, I would expect to see more parochial and charity schools.
> public highway system
Replacing the IH system with privately operated toll roads is well within the reach of US investment banks, and it would be a safe bet. Plus they would be incentivized to actually do repairs quickly, unlike on public roads. Wins all around!
> public energy system,
Sure, this is a hard good to privatize due to line easement requirements. There are ways around this, but I think practically libertarians would agree with the government managing things like water pipes or electrical lines. This will become less of an issue in the near future as being off-grid on solar becomes practical for more people. (Or if we end up with small-scale community nuclear, like some are working towards.)
> Yet every market participant benefits enough that they are happy they exist.
If you think they'll still be happy after being made aware of how much they're paying (instead of it being obfuscated via taxes and respending) then there's no problem.
PMCs and military insurance. This would almost certainly be more efficient than the current bloated military we have in the US.
> Would microsoft or walmart vaccinate everyone?
Does the government vaccinate everyone now? (No, they do not.)
Gresham's Law -- race-to-the-bottom markets.
The price of extractive resources.
The fact that wealth is power.
Totally drug-resistant tuberculosis.
There are levels of insight here.
1. Free markets create wealth and make everyone better off. Go libertarianism!
2. Economics shows the are market failures in the real world. Go socialism!
3. Public Choice theory shows there are major government failures in the real world. Go...?
Once at level 3, reasonable people can disagree in what cases imperfect real markets are superior to imperfect real government.
But if you you're only at level 2, which is how I read your post, you're comparing imperfect real markets with idealized perfect government.
> Or do they think that in every case government makes more bad...
Nobody is claiming Somali is a paradise. It's comments like this that destroy civil discourse with Reddit tier quips.
Except for the Kurds, that doesn't seem to be want the groups in Iraq want. I wasn't aware that libertarians were generally in favor of imposed religious- and/or ethnicity-based balkanization against the will of the people.
I suspect that would actually work against libertarianism, also, because greater ideological uniformity in the constituency would support more authoritarian government (light touch is a way of accommodating divergent interests which would be eliminated).
Thats not a ideology thing, that is more a "Real-Politics" that worked with pakistan and india - kind of approach.
This is probably not the best place to ask these types of questions, but 'libertarianism' seems to come up on here so often, I had to ask.
This is literally what ethnic cleansing means, and is of course the opposite of any kind of liberty - it creates a place where you can't walk down the street without being of the right ethnicity/religion.
This is essentially what had to be dismantled in Northern Ireland - it was under the control of one "group" usually defined as Protestant. Transferring it to a situation under human rights law where all religions could live with equal protection under the law (including protection from the state and police by means of human rights law) was critical to ending the conflict.
None of the Catalan, Basque (this is the usual English spelling, are you perhaps thinking of the Russian Басков?) or Scottish independence movements have ethnic cleansing ambitions, although these are usually attributed to them by their enemies.
Construction and definition of a nation state is a complex issue not reducible to glib remarks about "liberty".
"The SNP believe that immigration is essential to the strength of our economy and adds greatly to our cultural fabric."
The SNP is sometimes described as being about civic nationalism rather than ethnic nationalism:
Edit: Arguably the closest we've got to ethnic cleansing was the Highland Clearances - which were inflicted on Gaels by landowners.
If one group have ethnic cleansing ambitions they will do it anyway. This whole "equal protection and human rights" rhetoric is laughable where on group seriously oppresses other. It is better off that all groups live in more autonomy and if one is not happy, moving to another place is better than living under threat.
Of course, this is not the "liberty" people are longing for, but it is the preferable choice.
Start with Kevin Carson, "Somalia — Is That Really All You Got?" for a good primer on libertarian/anarchist thought on the subject: https://c4ss.org/content/2859
But please correct me if you disagree! I really appreciated your comments down below, particularly your question about whether re-introducing bank notes is an effort to diminish the influence of the Telcos.
Somaliland is extremely safe, you can go about your daily life without a hint of any problem. You can walk down the street in the middle of the night without worrying for your safety.
Keeping peace is everyone's business, citizens take ownership of it.
Aside from that, it is a very poor country, but everyone is happy with what little they have.
I am driving around the entire continent now, and a friend said I must visit Somaliland, so it's on my radar when I eventually make it up that way (I'm moving South on the West Coast now)
Currencies are tricky, but countries will (and should) go to incredible lengths to keep them working.
Panama wouldn't exist in its current form without the influence of the United States on its history, so it's position as a vassal country with a pinned currency may be the only one it can occupy with any stability.
It's a weird concept money, and I wonder what the right level is. I doubt it is optimised at the country level, but then a "better" notion like demographic similarity may be impractical, even if better, e.g. one currency for Northern Italy and one for Southern may be difficult to sell even if preferable, and ditto a unified Basque/southern French currency, or an eastern seaboard Yuan and a country China currency.