Everyday Socialism – Police, Fire, and Roads

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 02-02-2010

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It seems like every time someone is defending socialism they say we already have socialism, and they bring up police, fire, roads, and schools. Now, those of you who follow my blog, know my opinion on schools.  Schools are a horrible example, if your goal is to preach the greatness of government or socialism. Of course, trying to argue against police, fire and roads is not an easy task. But hey, what’s the point of easy arguments, right?

So first, let me ask why these are considered socialist programs? They are not a redistribution of wealth? They are more like insurance for inhabitants of a neighborhood, at least the police and fire departments are. Those inhabitants pay in the form of property taxes, income taxes, sale tax, or however they chose to fund these insurance policies. Those who pay the most for them, property owners, are the ones who benefit the most from them. They protect property (supposed to anyway). Also, as far as roads go, as a neighborhood, state and country, we as citizens want to be able to get places. We want to get to the store, our family members’ houses, vacation spots, etc. We want the police and fire departments to be able to get to our house in an emergency. In order to have roads, we pay the government to make roads. Again, this is not as socialist as say welfare, universal health care, etc.

With that being said, even if these are sort of socialized, does that mean they are better than they could be if they were privatized? How about if they were never a government function in the first place? The problem is most people cannot imagine the world beyond what is constructed around them. The government steps in and takes over what the private sector used to deliver. Then when people say the government should shrink or go away, the sheeple say “yeah, but who’s going to do this, that, or the other thing.” Just imagine if you told a welfare recipient that we need to take our government back to the size talked about in the constitution. They’d say “Yeah, but who’s going to give me money to spend? Who’s going to give me my groceries?” They have forgotten that a job will give you those things.

Now, I really don’t want to get into each one of these in detail. When you bring up topics like this, people want to hammer you with questions about how you would fix some aspect of our society that they believe the government is fixing, but really the government is not. They say things like, yeah but in a free market, you’d have the ultra rich taking advantage of the rest of us, robbing us of our money. Meanwhile, under our government, the ultra rich already do that by government force. What do you think TARP, bailouts, Fed induced inflation, etc is? In the free market, at least you have a choice. The gun of government is not pointed at your head forcing your to hand you money over.

I myself cannot construct a complete system for police, fire and roads. If I could, then we should crown me King of the land, and shower me with gold. What I have done, after not believing these were possible without government, is try to think of possible ways these services could have been provided by the private sector had government no imposed it’s limited view on us. Let’s just go through some thoughts.

Police - To start, the more we force citizens to give up arms, the more police we need. An armed citizen can prevent crimes, can protect his family, and can protect his neighbors. Re-arm citizens and the need for police is greatly reduced. If everyone had a gun, do you think people would be more polite, less inclined to be violent, and commit less crime? Would they risk getting shot, since any person around them could and probably is packing?  In addition to a well armed citizenry, who is to say without government, we couldn’t have private defense agencies. With private defense agencies, there would be competition. In order to gain new customers, agencies would have to compete on price and track record. If one agency has customers being robbed, they’d lose business. If privatizing is just too hard to imagine, one could argue, that the main point of government is to secure our liberties. Since that is the case, policing does have a role in society. Then again, if we can secure our liberties without government, there would be no need for government.

Fire - This is one that socialists love to bring up. Let’s just think if we had no fire departments. Is it possible that they would come about without government force? To start, you could have companies delivering these services. You could have the exact same setup, but they could just be funded differently. It would seem to me that insurance companies could pay private fire companies a fee per insured house in a given area. This would help minimize the insurance company’s exposure. With private fire companies, you would have competition, competing on how fast they got to the fire, how contained the fire was, how much damage did the fire create, whats the cost per household for their services, and who has the best technology to fight fires.

Also, who is to say there wouldn’t be better technology if government didn’t force a certain system on society and spread the cost out amongst everyone. Maybe building materials would be much more fire retardant. If you want a certain insurance rate, you must use fire retardant materials or you must retrofit your house with some fire proofing technology. The innovation of the free market is hard to imagine, but that is because our minds are limited by the government imposed system. I’m sure many people could not have thought up some of the technologies we use in everyday life just ten years ago, but those technologies have not been suppressed by government imposed systems.

Roads - Aaaahhh, roads, what socialists believe is a modern marvel, because it creates public works. Are roads really that hard to imagine without government? Did the government invent roads? Did they not exist prior to government stealing our money to pay for them? Roads may seem hard to privatize, because they are massive. The problem is government is so ineffective, it’s hard to imagine that the roads developed by government are even efficient. They sure are not cost effective. We all have seen the group of men standing around watching just one man work. I’m sure there are many political handouts involved in roads. I can just imagine land speculation is a big thing for well connected people. They probably buy up land knowing that their political friends are going to buy it back for their new road project. Anyway, why would roads not be built if government ceased to exist tomorrow? Would we all just sit in our houses mourning over the lost of our oppressive government? I doubt it, and if there is demand for a means of travel, then their will be solutions. Again, who is to say roads are the way to go? Maybe to avoid the expensive building of roads, private innovators would have developed new traveling technology? Maybe you would have your car from “Back to the Future”. Surely, if the money was not taken out of private hands for the $400 billion road bills, that money would have been better utilized to innovate. OK, OK, I know it’s hard to imagine anything beyond our current view. So, let’s just say roads are here to stay. Who is to say they wouldn’t be built? I would think developers, if they wanted paid to develop, would build roads. If you are developing a plan of homes, don’t people need to get to those homes? If you are building a shopping plaza, don’t you want people to get to the stores? If you want people to get to your plant, office building, etc don’t you need a way for them to get there? Businesses would pay for road development. It is as simple as that. They would make sure the roads they developed were low cost and efficient. That is how the private sector works. Road projects would be steered to those who are the best at building low cost, efficient roads, because it would be paid for right out of the pockets of a developer. His profitability is effected by it.

Ok, this post is getting a little long. I just wanted to throw some thoughts up on this topic, because it’s a favorite of the statist. I myself used to think these things were in the realm of government, but someone on Mises.org’s forums asked me do I think government is more efficient or less efficient than the private sector. With that one question, I had my answer. Government is always less efficient. It does not matter what statists try to pitch. It cannot be efficient, because it requires a gun to your head to impose its vision. Efficiency does not require a gun. Efficiency is chosen freely by citizens looking to get the most out of their labors.

Hopefully, this got you thinking. I’d love to hear some ideas on how others think these services can be delivered.

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Everyday Socialism - Police, Fire, and Roads, 5.1 out of 10 based on 25 ratings

Comments (23)

“Re-arm citizens and the need for police is greatly reduced.”

So why is it that America has a greater percentage of its population enrolled in its police forces, has more cops in the streets and has the more law enforced highway system than, say, any country in Europe where guns are mostly prohibited?

Also, why bother writing an article about something you have no fucking clue what it is about. Have you investigated how the road are built in Europe? No you haven’t. Tell me, how deep is a road bed in Europe compared to the ones made in the US? Yeah, I can see you now opening another tab and checking it quick on Google. Too late. You had no fucking clue before you wrote that article. Have you ever lived in a “socialist” country, as you call any country who’s government simply desire to have a better oversight on the way tax money is spent toward private road builders (yes, we don’t do government building road in Europe. It’s just like here in America. Except that European government are just carefully monitoring the way the roads are built – so they don’t have to contract those folks after the first ice storm – and how these folks pay themselves and their workers)? No you haven’t of course. “But… I… I … saw it on Teevee!!” won’t make you a good blogger, and not even remotely a journalist.

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Sebastien, thanks for the colorful commentary. I don’t believe you really proved anything wrong. Why do I need to know how roads are built to comment on how they are funded? Do economists, which I am not one, have to know how everything is built in order to comment on the economy?

Also, America has more police, because we criminalize too many things. Did you read somewhere in my post about we need more police? We have more police because people have given government too much power and have let the government turn too many acts into criminal acts.

I do live in a socialist, well probably more fascist than socialist, country now. America is not a free market economy with free citizens. We must send in our earnings to our rulers or else.

I’m not sure what I said that I saw on “Teevee”. Where on TV do you see people questioning poppa government and it’s involvement in every aspect of our lives? If you’ve seen it, let me know. I’d love to tune in.

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LOL! Jason thinks he doesn’t have to know anything to make a guess on it. Jason, your post points out exactly what I wanted to share with people about capitalism taking away roads, education, protection and limiting liberty.

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I’ve lived in countries with privatized roads. Not only were the roads poorly maintained, but each mile was owned by a different group, so we had to stop every mile to pay a toll. Prior to FDR’s social programs that kept people from starving to death, my state didn’t have much of anything for roads. FDR created 7,000 miles in my state, that is 10 times across my state or from Seattle to Florida AND BACK! At the start of these projects, few people knew how to drive. By the way, the end of WWI is when our Great Depression started because of a lack of demand for mining, timber and grain. FDR changed our country like no other President ever has and we became the number one country in the world after WWII. Interesting that Conservatives would have let all of Europe be defeated by the Nazi’s. Thank FDR for freedom today.

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I agree that the role of gov’t is to protect us from coercion. Let’s talk about coersion, better yet, let Albert Einstein talk about it. He speaks almost perfectly for people protesting Wall Street: “Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of the smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights…. Production is carried on for profit, not for use. There is no provision that all those able and willing to work will always be in a position to find employment; an “army of unemployed” almost always exists. The worker is constantly in fear of losing his job. Since unemployed and poorly paid workers do not provide a profitable market, the production of consumers’ goods is restricted, and great hardship is the consequence. Technological progress frequently results in more unemployment rather than in an easing of the burden of work for all. The profit motive, in conjunction with competition among capitalists, is responsible for an instability in the accumulation and utilization of capital which leads to increasingly severe depressions. Unlimited competition leads to a huge waste of labor, and to that crippling of the social consciousness of individuals which I mentioned before.”

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I agree that we “criminalize way too many things in our society, which creates an ever increasing need for more government and police.” However, the Conservatives are to blame. Marijuana and abortion are perfect examples.

Conservatives pander to religious groups to get their one issue voters who want to force their religion on the masses. These advocate of ignorance-only reproduction (abstinence-only) apparently think people don’t need to know about contraception and should reproduce as many as “God will allow. Government is paying for 48% of all childbirths. Then, Conservatives want to complain about social programs helping these people survive. The number one reason for abortion is poverty. While pregnancy is no longer the number one cause of death for women, reproduction is still 12.5 times more dangerous than professional abortion. Funny that it is the people who call themselves “prolife” that are trying to redefine life and bomb and murder anyone who doesn’t say amen to their agenda. How do guns improve this “Prolife” situation?

Legalized marijuana is the only product in my state that is 100% locally-grown. Like alcohol, it is far more safe when legal. While jobs have left, marijuana is something people can make good money on. I have never used it myself but I know of numerous innovators who float their small businesses with marijuana. Conservatives are the people who rather spend money on prisons for marijuana sellers.

“Why should all of society pay for pavement in the rural areas if there is no need there and they do not benefit from them?” Rural areas vote for conservatives and that would quickly change if you don’t have good farm to market roads for them. Again, I’m thankful that we no longer look like a third world country. Your efficiency statements for roads have no merit.

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“You really do believe they (govt) are frugal, intelligent, and looking out for you.” This statement has no merit. 40 hour work week is government looking out for you. Minimum wage is government looking out for you. Frugalism hates minimum wage. Frugalism loves slave labor but government looks out for you and doesn’t allow slavery. The government ensures safety, not corporations. Intelligence is not guessing games. Australia’s universal healthcare is far more affordable and costs 1.5% in taxes. My relatives in Canada pay $90/month for health insurance. My parents pay $15,000 for a $10,000 deductible. What a joke. My coworker who moved from Canada thinking she would make more money, not only makes less money but has to continue to work to pay for health insurance, while her coworkers in Canada are far better off.

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I’m so glad in your response you were able to use examples of how socialism is the superior form of government. Oh wait… you didn’t.

What does the depth of a road bed have to do with how efficient the production is of said road? Answer: Nothing.

Sorry, but there is no way government cares about your tax money (collected via extortion) more than you. By definition it doesn’t have to care because it comes armed with its gun next week to take more money out of your check.

If European governments have found a better way to monitor their employees and the quality of that work, that’s fantastic. In this country, unions have destroyed nearly any chance at efficiently monitoring and dealing with employees who stand around all day.

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John, appears to think one inch of asphalt will stand up just as well as 8 inches. You probably attended public school and without you wouldn’t even be able to use the computer. Being able to read should only be for those who can afford to pay for private schools and colleges, not. John, appears to be another person who care to only look as far as his own narrow vision.

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Private police and fire wouldn’t work very well. I can just see six competing police departments in a jurisdictional squabble. And if one crook commits crimes that are under investigation how will those police forces coordinate activities? I would think all the information obtained in an investigation would be proprietary data. And if you pass a law requiring them to coordinate, why not pass a law merging them all into one single force?

For your competing fire departments, each company will need a firehouse and equipment in each area they serve – a gross inefficiency in resource alllocation unless you grant each company a monopoly for a particular service area.

You said, “Road projects would be steered to those who are the best at building low cost, efficient roads…” and roads would be built only where some developer is willing to pick up the tab. So urban ares have paved roads and rural ares get cow paths – because there’s no profit in putting pavement “out there”.

So I’m looking at the bills at the end of the month – the police bill, the fire bill, the road bills from 17 different toll operators – and I’m thinking I may not be able to afford living here much longer!

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As I did say, with police there is at least an argument that there is a role for government here. The role of gov’t is to protect us from coercion. The problem is it is used for jobs and government growth. I also said you would need less police if more citizens were armed and didn’t have gov’t trying to take away arms.

Also, we criminalize way too many things in our society, which creates an ever increasing need for more government and police. If citizens were required to fund out of their own pockets what the police will consider crimes, do you think people would be willing to pay for tracking down and imprisoning pot heads? Do you think they would have most cops sitting on the side of the road trying to get their speeding ticket quota in?

As far as roads, again, you skipped over much of what was said. I didn’t say replace one system with the exact same system. Who is to say we’d be using roads by now if government didn’t force roads on us? Who is to say the roads we have are the best way to handle travel? Why should all of society pay for pavement in the rural areas if there is no need there and they do not benefit from them? Besides, who is to say they wouldn’t get roads. Maybe instead fo 5 roads, they’d have 2 roads that are better designed and more efficient for travellers. Roads now are all about politics and political handouts. It’s not about creating the best systems for travel. It’s about government jobs, political hand outs, etc.

With fire deparments, again you are assuming we’ll have the same system with the same equipment. The beauty of the free market is in the pursuit of profits companies innovate to make themselves more efficient and cost effective. Who is to say the fire truck wouldn’t be better and cheaper than it is now, and who is to say it would be needed? How do you know, better systems wouldn’t be developed to prevent fire and to put fires out. With government, you have things the way they are. If a new technology is going to cost gov’t jobs, that technology will not survive. The innovators in society say, well gov’t already handles fire protection, so I’m not going to invest my talent and creativity to making better fire fighting.

When you say you couldn’t afford to live under a private system, now I know you really are trapped in the Matrix constructed by the government. You really do believe they are frugal, intelligent, and looking out for you. The cost of everything the government does is more expensive than it otherwise would be in the private sector. You are assuming you’ll have the same income and have to pay for these services on top of all the money government already confiscates from you. How is that possible when you just replaced the inefficient services of government with efficient services of the private sector.

Also, you are assuming you will have to get a bill for these services every month, and that doesn’t have to be the case. I already mentioned that insurance companies could pay for fire protection, since it will minimize their risk exposure. The same could be said for some policing services. As far as roads, if businesses pay for roads, so people can get to their businesses, how would you end up with a bill? If a developer builds roads, so you’ll buy the house he built, how will you get a bill? You seem to think these services are free now, but you already get billed through government confiscation, and you have no say in it. When you have no say, there is no motivation to do things efficienty, which means ultimately you are paying more now than you would under a private system.

I think you missed the point of the entire post. The post wasn’t meant to be the solution. It was meant to point out how blinded we are by what government claims only they can handle these services. No one including me can say what solutions would come about if government wasn’t in the way preventing it. Chances are you would not have fire departments in the form we do now. You claiming it would be inefficient is already assuming it’s the same system. You also underestimate the power of competition. When there is competition there is innovation. Who is to say we’d use the same equipment, procedures, number of employees, etc? In the pursuit of lower costs, new technology would be developed and productivity would increase. When gov’t imposes it’s system of the way things are done, innovation is extremely slow. There is too much money in inefficiency. Money is instead diverted into politics. Instead of innovating, you spend your money on lobbying.

You always have to look at what is being incentivized in the current system. If your goal as a bearucrat is to grow you budget (that is how it works in gov’t), are you going to look to have the smallest staff possible and the most cost effective technologies? If you find you can put out just as many fires with half your staff are you going to say that? If you don’t need a new police car, but its in the budget and you buy them from the mayors friend, are you going to say no? Of course now, you are not rewarded for thrift. You are reward based on how big your department becomes, and how big your budget is.

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“The beauty of the free market is in the pursuit of profits companies innovate to make themselves more efficient and cost effective”

I was just thinking about that.

In the world of competing police and fire departments, those companies are at some point going to look for greater efficiency and economy of scale, probably by acquiring one another.

The resulting merged firm will pay for the acquisition by raising prices and cutting back service levels – and who wants a police or fire department that’s only in the office from 9-5, M-F?

(You may think you had a deal, but I have never dealt with a service company that didn’t reserve the right to tear up the contract and rewrite it if it saw fit to do so.)

“As far as roads, if businesses pay for roads, so people can get to their businesses, how would you end up with a bill?”

You of all peopel should know that businesses don’t eat any costs they can pass on. I’ll get a bill, all right – it will just be priced into the cost of everything else I buy, sort of like a VAT for private industry.

” If citizens were required to fund out of their own pockets what the police will consider crimes, do you think people would be willing to pay for tracking down and imprisoning pot heads?”

That’s an interesting concept. I’m a guy, so maybe I don’t want to pay for tracking down and imprisoning rapists. After all, that’s not a crime that affects me.

“You really do believe [government is] frugal, intelligent, and looking out for you.”

No, I don’t. That’s the whole thing: I don’t think anyone is. One of life’s little lessons is that no one is any better than they have to be.

And a business isn’t a means for providing wonderful goods and services to the general public or for providing employment to the masses: a business is a tool for maximizing return on investment, and that’s all. There’s nothing base or evil about that, but there’s nothing holy either.

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James your argument that under the free market, business drive down services is without merit. Where does that happen. In the technology field, we are always getting more for less. It is only when gov’t intervenes that you get less. Even when it is supposed to be private, gov’t steps in and says that you have to be certified or you have to be licensed in order to limit the market. It is then with less competition, that service is decreased.

Also, you say businesses can always changes the terms of their agreements. If there is uninhibited competition, they will be punished for those actions. Their competitor would say, hey come to us, we have never changed a contract.

“One of life’s little lessons is that no one is any better than they have to be.” You might want to tell Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, etc that. I guess they are only being no better than they have to be.

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interesting debate so far, devoid of the normal invective that usually goes along with doctrinal disagreements.

It’s interesting that you bring up technology, since many of the goodies we have exist despite, not because of, the entrepeneurial impulse. I’ll leave Apple aside since it’s a world unto itself and I haven’t used their products in many years – and I agree that The Steves (Jobs and Wozniak) have been very innovative.

Mr. Gates and his associates, on the other hand, have certainly given us products that are no better than they have to be. Competition? Don’t say that word in Redmond – they’ll run you out of town!

So I’m looking at what I’m doing now – typing a comment on a weblog – and here’s what I see:

What we call The Internet started as a defense department research project called ARPANET in the late 60s. The early developers were university engineers working with government grant money. Would we have an internet today without ARPANET? Maybe, but there were no signs that any farsighted entrepeneurs saw an opportunity there.

Riding on the techniques pioneered by the ARPANET group, the foundations of the World Wide Web were developed by a research physicist named Tim Berners-Lee who worked at CERN, the supercollider facility in Europe. (We could have had one of those but Congress in its wisdom eliminated funding.)

And the first widely-used “browser” software designed to display HTTP files was a thing called Mosaic, developed by a student named Marc Andreesen at the University of Illinois National Center for Supercomputing Applications – a state school, you’ll notice. Mr. Andreesen would later found a company called Netscape and learn the perils of messing around in Microsoft’s market. Would we have browser software today without NCSA? There were no signs that any farsighted entrepeneurs saw an opportunity there until Andreesen made Netscape available – then Microsoft was all over it!

Currently, some of the most innovative software around is “open-source” – developed and maintained by people interested in such things and freely downloadable; LINUX is probably the best current alternative to Windows, and I use an open-source alternative to Photoshop called GIMP.

On the other hand… it has required the best efforts of antitrust enforcers on two continents to curb Microsoft’s practice of eliminating anything that might even look like competition. And I’ll note here that that is just what a profit-maximizing capitalist is supposed to do: eliminate the competition and achieve complete dominance in its market. You don’t maximize shareholder value by letting someone else sell to your customer base. Intel? Same thing – they don’t welcome competition either.

Moving from those specifics back to the basic debate… I don’t think private enterprise or the government are all good or all bad. Both are human institutions. It’s a mistake to conceive of “government” as some monolithic malign entity that exists solely to crush the entrepeneurial spirit, and it is also a mistake to see private enterprise as a bunch of greedy bastards out for nothing save their own self-aggrandizement.

In your original post you said, “If everyone had a gun, do you think people would be more polite, less inclined to be violent, and commit less crime?… Then again, if we can secure our liberties without government, there would be no need for government.”

That’s a big “if”. I’m a gun owner, I have enjoyed the shooting sports for over 40 years, I’ve fired exactly three rounds in self-defense in that time (all were warning shots), and I don’t think for a minute that I’d be safer without a police force. I’m with Thomas Hobbes on that – without government we don’t have a paradise where we all cooperate to build a better world. Without government, we have Somalia.

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James, I concur on the debate so far. As far as the police go, I believe I did say there is a good argument for the police, as gov’t is supposed to be instituted to protect our liberties. With that said, I still believe we’d need less police and less gov’t if gun rights were unquestioned and were not smeared by the media. Too many people now frown upon guns. All you get when you disarm people is easy targets. Also, there would be less need for police if we didn’t criminalize so many things. One last thing on police, I don’t have a problem with gov’t police in general. The biggest problem is its all about creating jobs. It’s about creating more work, so you have more gov’t employees and grow the state. There is no reason you couldn’t cut the number of police and have them focus on real issues. They don’t need to be getting their speeding ticket quotos and setting 25mph speed limits to entrap people.

Anyway, back onto the topic of competition. You raise some great points, and I have no problem admitting I’m wrong if you prove me wrong. When I started this blog just months ago, I was much more of a neocon. Now I’d probably be called a anti-war pacifist by my former neocons, because I think we shouldn’t have bases all over the world.

You raise good points about technology coming out of government institutions. That is always a hard argument to dispute since many of our initial technologies come from the military, universities, NASA, etc. Assuming that this technology would only come about because of gov’t, assumes that the people who’s ideas they were would just not be innovative anymore without gov’t. It assumes the cost of developing these initial technologies are worth it, and it assumes that if that money was left in private hands, that same amount of money couldn’t create more and better technologies. That is assuming a lot, and it is ignoring the opportunity costs. What innovations were given up in pursuit of these gov’t dictates?

While you see Microsoft as an example of stiffling competition, I see it as proof that competition works. While you can stiffle it for a short period of time, it does not last unless you create a better or cheaper product or you use gov’t force. Mozilla and Google are eating them up a little at a time on the browser front. Apple beat them on the media front. Google is beating them online. I am reading article after article about Microsoft being clobbered because they have lost their innovative edge. Without gov’t, it is almost impossible to maintain a monopoly unless you deserve a monopoly. Will there be companies trying to corner a market? Yes, but you have that under gov’t where they can actually do it by the force of gov’t. Without gov’t they may achieve it, but it won’t last. While you talk about Microsoft’s practices, which were voluntary on both ends, I can show you case after case where large companies prevent small competitors from entering the market with gov’t regulation.

It may seem that I think all gov’t is bad, but I don’t. I believe our founders setup a good government with limited powers. The now is our government has become a government of the connected and bribed. It is not a gov’t of the people, and it is not looking out the the “general welfare”. They steer private and public money to their friends and sponsors. It is corrupt to its core, and it is costing us more than any private system ever would in both lost liberty and financial.

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[...] how the market could better handle defense from foreign agression than government. As I said in my post the other day, defense whether domestic with police or foreign with military, can be defended as a government [...]

[...] I posted a blog about the free market providing roads, police and fire services. You can read it here. While on my way to work this morning, I got to thinking about the roads again. Where I live, we [...]

[...] are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.In  my post on every day socialism, I only talked about police, fire and roads. I guess I shouldn’t have left out 911 service, [...]

You’re a fucking moron. Socialism is not a re-distribution of wealth, that’s a term made up by right-wing politicians and pundits. Socialism is any service provided by the government with tax payer dollars. Sure, police and fire are covered by property tax–but people living in apartments don’t pay a property tax and are still covered.

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Walt,

Thanks. Come back and read some more. Would love to have some more of your enlightening comments.

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Great debate you guys! Well, right up to the point where walt jumped in with his lovely salutation. Walt, people in apartments do pay property taxes, as they are most often considered in the cost of rent and passed on to them through the landlords, usually when property taxes are raised, rents will also be raised. Ever notice that?
James brings up some really great points, many of which I agree with. What is overlooked is that many smaller towns and municipalities have volunteer fire departments, some even have voluteer police or share police with another town, it is done in a few towns in my state. They also rely on the state troopers/police to fill the void and it has resulted in increased crime in those areas. I might also mention that gun permits are easier to get than a fishing license here and I do not know many who do not carry, including my own family members. This does not seem to deter the rising crime, much higher in the areas with little police patrol. Something that nobody else has brought up is ambulance service and medics. A family member is a medic, he works for a non profit ambulance service. He is paid, but there are no profits being taken by the company he works for. Not once has he ask someone what insurance they have before working to save them. Anyone that they encounter that is in need has a right to their services and they are obligated to do everything possible to help them. The government already has had it’s hand in medical services for a long time, through the federal funds recieved for ambulance and rescue. When health insurance companies were first started, they too were non-profit. The people were paid that worked for them, but there were no multi-million dollar ceo pay and bonuses. It was not until they turned to profits and escalating pay that health care itself became unaffordable to everyone. I just hope that the bill, if it passes, is not just another give away to the insurance companies, but it sounds as though it is.

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[...] that they would not establish services to handle fire protection. If you’ve ready this post, you know fire protection could be provided by your insurance [...]

HAHAHAHAHAHA! GIVE EVERYBODY GUNS AND THEN WE WON’T NEED POLICE! OH THAT IS HILARIOUS….AFTER THAT IT WAS HARD TO TAKE A SINGLE SENTENCE SERIOUSLY….OH MY GOODNESS HOW UTTERLY IGNORANT!

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