Here’s a Glimpse of the Terrifying For-Profit Society Republicans are Trying to Create

profitIn my time studying and getting involved with politics, I’ve had countless debates with Republicans about our economy, regulations and free market capitalism.  The general feeling I get from many of them is that they’ve been brainwashed into believing that liberals are all a bunch of socialists who hate capitalism.  Which, of course, is absurd.

While there are undoubtedly liberals (mainly on the far left) who support socialism, most of the ones I know are supporters of free market capitalism — with sensible regulations.

Republicans, on the other hand, like to perpetuate this idea that regulations are tantamount to “socialism” and are therefore bad.  This belief only proves that the vast majority of conservatives have no idea what the definition of “socialism” actually is.

But what Republicans really want is a society where everything is “for-profit.”  In the perfect Republican society, greed is king.  Isn’t that basically the cliché motto of the 80’s Republican?  “Greed is good!”

You’re seeing it where Republicans are pushing to build private prisons, want to privatize programs like Social Security and Medicare and want to strip public eduction to such levels that the only way to get a quality education will be private school.  Hell, even when it comes to fixing our postal service they refuse to let it happen.

Republicans have based the foundation of their party on the premise that government is awful and the private sector is where all prosperity lies.

So I figured I’d run through a few examples of what a completely “for-profit” society might look like in a Republican utopia.

Let’s just go ahead and privatize roads.  Heck, they’re already doing this with toll roads as it is.  I live in Dallas.  Every new highway being built here is a toll road — and they’re not cheap.  Now imagine if every road was a toll road.  After all, if we had this current tea party Republican mind-set during the 50’s when we built the Interstate Highway system, we wouldn’t have built it at all.  It would have been “too expensive” and “massive government spiraling out of control.”  And if we did have one, in the perfect Republican world, it would be “for-profit” as well.

Imagine if everywhere you drove you had to pay a toll, then if you didn’t pay those tolls, you were fined heavily.  It would cost most people hundreds per month just to do the basics in life.  You know, get to work and run simple errands.

Heck, let’s just go ahead and privatize emergency services.  Need to call the fire department if your house is on fire?  Better hope you’re not late on your bill, otherwise they might not come.  After all, it’s for-profit, right?  They’re not there to serve you, they exist to make money.

“Oh, I’m sorry, it appears you didn’t pay last month’s fees.  We can’t come put out that fire.”  You can go ahead and throw the police in with this as well.  You know, those “overpaid” first responders Republicans often vilify.  Who needs them, right?

Is that so far-fetched?  Isn’t a private prison system what they want and are currently pushing for in many of these Republican controlled states?  You know, big corporations donating to the campaigns of judges and state legislators who create, and enforce, laws.  What could go wrong with that, right?  Oh, and let’s just go ahead and add the awesome idea of a corporation possibly owning both the local police force and prison system.

Buy off a few judges, get state legislators to pass laws that generate the most revenue and boom — you’ve massively increased profits.  Corporations building giant prisons will be in need of residents to fill those cells so they can generate profits from the states legislatures.

State legislatures, by the way, which are populated with politicians who have been more or less paid off by these corporations that own these prisons.  Then all they would have to do is pass laws which are geared toward the profits of the for-profit prison system.  You know, the people who fund their campaigns.

Heck, let’s just go ahead and privatize water.  Who needs public water, right?  Let’s say we use a number 50% less than what Ozarka charges for their bottled water to calculate what they might charge for supplying an entire household with water.

There’s about 4.3 gallons of water in the average 32 pack of 16.9 oz Ozarka bottles which I buy for about $4.28.  The average family of four uses about 10,000 gallons of water per month.

So let’s say $2.14 for every 4.3 gallons of water consumed per household.  If you divide 10,000/4.3 you get 2,325.  So, take 2,325 x 2.14 and you get $4,975.50 per month for a water bill.  See how ridiculously overpriced bottled water is?  And that’s cutting the current costs in half.

Yeah, a for-profit water system would be a great idea, right?

Isn’t that the kind of absurd overcharge we see with our health care now?  An overnight stay can cost thousands. Hell, a quick trip in an ambulance can run a few hundred.  Who thinks it makes sense that having a heart attack can empty a person’s life savings?

Education, another great area of our society that should be for-profit, right?  I mean, what could go wrong?  Big corporations shaping curriculum.  I’m sure if big oil owned a few schools, science courses would still teach about the pollution caused by their companies that’s leading to climate change.  But of course they would.

Big oil being in charge of anything climate change related reminds me of the ads I’ve seen from decades ago about “doctor recommended cigarettes.”  Yes, big tobacco was such a corrupt industry (and still is) that they actually had “doctor studies” that said certain doctors recommended certain cigarettes.

Or imagine huge religious institutions owning schools, teaching creationism over evolution.  Oh, wait — that’s actually already happening.

But that’s where Republican ignorance about many of their beliefs comes into play.  They really don’t get how much of their lives are protected because capitalism hasn’t gone unregulated.  They’ll drive around on public roads, send their children to public schools, drink public drinking water, attend public universities, eat safe foods, live in safe neighborhoods protected by local law enforcement — then claim the government doesn’t do anything for them.

It’s the people who hold up signs saying, “Keep your government hands off my Medicare!”

But the ideal “Republican society” is one where everything is “for-profit.”  Which is why they spend most of their time doing everything they can to ensure anything government related fails.  It’s why they run on a platform that “government is terrible” — while making government terrible.  They’re literally causing the problems in government that they blame government for causing.

All for the primary goal of doing whatever they can to build a society that’s almost entirely run by big for-profit corporations.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • charleo1

    I must admit, that when I first started talking to these anti-government brain
    washed, individuals on comment boards. Especially the Right Winged ones,
    I was shocked. Surely they didn’t believe all they were claiming about their
    own government? Then, I began listening, for as long as I could take it, to
    some of the night time commentators on the Fox News channel, and Rush
    Limbaugh, and learned, this is where they are getting all of this. Yep, these
    guys were all singing from the same song book all right. And mostly the same song. Just changing the beat every now and then. Here is the first verse, same as the second verse, wash, rinse, repeat. Largely based on this inverse universe. Where Wall Street Bankers were the victims, and teachers, and police, and firefighters were the culprits responsible for the economic nose dive. They’ve dialed some of this back. But in 2009-2010, Right Wing T-Party favorites such as Marco Rubio were lamenting how weak the Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid programs had caused too many Americans to become. (Listen to the newly elected Senator’s speech at the Reagan Library, spring of 2011.) The abrupt about face of the entire Republican Party on deficit spending. Without so much as missing a beat, they pivoted from their unequivocal support of Dick Cheney’s, deficits don’t matter. To the post inauguration of Barack Obama, where we now lived under a tyrannical, and out of control government! Engaged in wild irresponsible spending, leading as surely to destruction, as the sun rising tomorrow! Yes, an Apocalyptic end of America, and all that was near, and dear, to every Patriot’s heart! If, we didn’t stop the spending, stop it all, and, stop it now!

    • regressive rightwing trash

      best part? the white trash crybaby regressives listen exclusively to the FOX “news” charlatans and because Obama is black and has a funny name he is muslim/martian/communist/radical Christian/anti American!!!! I enjoyed reading your comment as Im in step with what U say——————— the TRUE republican thinking is bolstered by scum such as KOCH brothers who have enough money; now its a game of power—PERIOD

      • charleo1

        I agree 100%! It is ironic, that what for myself is a source of great personal pride. That I live in such a Country where a person with such a name as Obama, born to modest means, can still rise to lead our Country! I thought that was supposed to be what America was all about! What democracy is all about.

      • mscoyote

        The Koch’s are well beyond just not liking socialism. They are white supremacists. The rest of us – and don’t kid yourself, your bloodlines are probably mixed if you are American – are fit only to serve them.

      • regressive rightwing trash

        totally,,,,,,,,,,,,, ironic that I buy their fresh chicken as Im a self employed chef: still- if I had the opportunity to meet them ALONE with NO witness and an air-tight alibi I would “**ll ” them- along with ( same format) glen beck/sean “puff belly” Hannity,,,,mike SCUMBAG huckabee and michelle “no tits& hating her life” malkin….. SARAH PALIN? waaaay too sexy to remove- I want to sex her a lot but ONLY if she buys be a 12 pack of VERY cold YOO HOOs so I can enjoy them AFTER Im done absorbing her fine body. POWER is omnipotent and the power brokers on the left and the right are supreme in this new American game

      • Mr Mike

        You don’t have to buy their chicken. In fact, you really shouldn’t order anything from Sysco. They are the Walmart of food distributors, and they are the most expensive. – Another self-employed chef. (and you should know that is how I know Sysco sells the Koch chicken)

      • regressive rightwing trash

        I nbuy my chix breast –wings ETC at restaurant depot in south FLA as its 2 blocks from my business and I have a work cargo van ( what a great investment in 2000 for 4400.00!!!) Im not getting anything delivered as when I played that game they burned me on price and ALWAYS were out-of-stock on an item I desperately needed that day
        breast 3 days ago ( skinless) random (LARGE: 14 oz ) 1.31 LB NY strip 3.73 LB ( no roll)

      • jelun

        So you feed your customers chit and you buy chit FROM chit. Stop your whining and admit you are part of their game.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        hey shitbag——————- jelun shitbag: its all about MY business being profitable so I can live comfortably. U have any alternatives? NO? now U can go back to your “job”

      • OregonJimmy

        And… “mighty tegu”. Get a spelling book, a French/English dictionary, a sentence structure guide and clean up your pretend Cajun mouth. Your snobbish French friends will be ashamed of you, and your fake “Cajun” repertoire.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        hey fuckface—– I dragged the “E” on jejune,,,, and its from LATIN: not ‘francais’
        Cajun? hardleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
        Im a native of south FLA ( born: coral gables/ bred FT.L) and Im of german /French/English lineage. Delightfully tall(6’2); athletically built at 210 lbs and light brown hair /blue eyes — subversively and thelyphthorically AMERICAN!!!!
        –care to double down upon thy oligophreniality?
        my friends are NOT French—
        they are martian (c’ept my amercian indian/French girlfriend who has her “sans pseudomastia” chest adorning my avatar
        ==================================
        NOTE: anytime U wish to attempt English syntax with me or debate with my lexiphania; let me know– I will wager my 50K ( cash; escrowed) against your 5K ( if U have it)

      • jonesky

        The only thing I can possibly disagree with is your use of the term “enough money;” to these people, there is no such thing. Never “enough” for them.

      • regressive rightwing trash

        true— mo’ moneeeee give mo’ flexibility 4 power grab

      • buricco

        The world is not enough for them.

      • buricco

        And keep in mind, there’s whites, and there’s whites. Some whites ain’t white enough…

    • meatwad_SSuppet

      Back in the early 1990’s I was a regular listener to various talk radio. It seemed like they were passing around talking point memos for the days propaganda run. They would suddenly bring up some obscure issue out of the blue,,, on each and every one of their liars broadcasts. To come up with these very minor ‘out of nowhere’ issues nobody else was speaking of, gave me those thoughts that they were getting the memo feed from one place at the same time.

    • Thomas Parker

      Rove was the one that said deficits don’t matter.

      • Pipercat

        That was Darth Dick….

    • regressive rightwing trash

      but,,,,don’t forget to TITHE at that tax-free house of superstition/magic ( SEE: church)

      • Raymond Moser

        Jesus Christ do you realize what you’re saying?

      • regressive rightwing trash

        totototally,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and its a tsunami of sarcasm!!

    • Jim Bean

      Detroit.

    • frozen01

      I’d like to posit this thread here (not necessarily your comment, but more so the responses) as Exhibit A for why centrists cannot take us on the left seriously. “White supremacists”, “if i had an air-tight alibi I would **ll them”. Seriously? It reminds me of the comments I see on the Washington Times. Surely we can do better than this.

  • JTaylor184

    Only one comment about the article. You are horribly mistaken in the actual cost of an ambulance ride. A ride to hospital five miles away in San Antonio recently cost $1900. That is with the Acadia Ambulance Service based out of Louisiana. $1900 to go FIVE miles! No wonder America is broke or getting there.

    • meatwad_SSuppet

      And there is no competition for that ride, you take it or die mentality.

    • HTownCrime

      Same in Houston. I was taken in an ambulance to a hospital, none of which I wanted. I told them to just give me a few minutes and I would be okay. They took me any way. I demanded to leave the hospital once we got there. Signed a form that they were not responsible if I left and cost me almost $3000 total. And I didn’t want to go in the first place!

    • anonymous

      And the ambulance workers are likely making minimum wage.

    • frozen01

      I had the same thought. I haven’t had to ride in an ambulance since I was six years old (*knocks on wood*) but my friend had to take one somewhat recently. She was unemployed at the time and her bill was $900 just for the ambulance ride. A couple hundred probably wouldn’t get you to the end of your block *lol*

      • Raymond Moser

        I was charged over $500.00 bucks, after my insurance carrier paid something. I was taken a mile and a half.

      • Bad Bob

        Nashville government charges $900, the last I heard. And, if you aren’t one of the 1%, don’t even think about flying to the hospital!

    • jyoung53559

      Yes and here in Wisconsin We had to use the Ambulance it was only $500.00 and best part they saved my son’s life……..

    • Outtaspc

      Heck… EIGHTEEN years ago, when my dad was in a nursing facility that shared a parking lot with a local hospital, we were charged close to $400 to transport him across the parking lot! It literally would have taken less time to simply wheel him across the lot in the wheelchair than it did to load him into the ambulance. Again, that was in 1996. Can’t imagine what a “parking lot” run would cost today.

  • meatwad_SSuppet

    Those past calls for “charity” to take care of those that need help are also way off their capitalist base. There is no profit in taking care of those “needy” people. Passing laws making it a crime to have empty pockets while taking a dog for a walk.

    The best line of them all they parroted like it was carved in Granite Godspel, “I can do better than Social Security with my money in the Stock Markets”. Of course I have not really spoken to those blindered ones since the Bush years to reassess their minds toward the stock markets. I’d wager they have ignored what took place.

    • mscoyote

      Delhi would be a good place to visit if you want to see how the rich capitalists think the rest of us should exist. Or Mexico city. Or Rio, Or…..

  • Adrienne Simpson

    Don’t forget about public libraries. Image those being for-profit. Getting a library card would cost a monthly fee, whether or not you checked anything out. And the late fees would be way more than they already are, not to mention the possibility that the corporation that owns the library can have you arrested for theft for not returning what you “borrowed”, suing you for tons of money for their loss of revenue for the non-returned item. Kind of plays into the for-profit courts and for-profit prisons, doesn’t it? And, of course, the for-profit prisons can use the inmates as free workers, and any money generated from their labor would go directly into the corporations’ back pockets. So, possibly forgetting to return a library book could get you life in prison as slave labor. Wow, I can hardly wait for that to happen… wait, we’re pretty close to that already with the non-violent drug laws and such.

    • regressive rightwing trash

      another reason DRUGS– and DRUG possession– are such easy2target instruments of placing people in prison as that aforementioned HIRE: drugs rule addicts and they usually never escape its clutches ( include alcohol also) and we are taught that DRUGS and DRUG users are BAAAAAD people! So- when a black man /woman or white trash gets incarcerated for DRUGS,,,,, we just shrug our collective shoulders and are taught2 say ” good riddance”

    • Raymond Moser

      Sheriff Joe Arapiao in Phoenix is charging jail inmates 58 cents per meal and 68 cents for Thanksgiving vegetarian meals featuring soy turkeys.

  • mscoyote

    We don’t have to do this as a mental exercise. Just visit Texas.

  • Matthew Reece

    “Need to call the fire department if your house is on fire? Better hope you’re not late on your bill, otherwise they might not come. After all, it’s for-profit, right? They’re not there to serve you, they exist to make money.”

    In a free society, a company cannot make money without serving the customer, as there are no government subsidies, contracts, or bailouts. In the case of a fire department, they would still have to put out your burning house, lest the fire spread to the neighbor’s house, who did make his payments. Not paying after services are rendered could be punished by lowering a person’s reputation rating, making it harder for that person to engage in commerce to such an extent that paying the firefighters is the only reasonable option. Likewise, the firefighters can suffer a blow to their reputation rating if they charge exorbitant fees.

    • Raeann Thomas

      So, if a country having no government would operate just a you suggest, some sort of “utopia” then why haven’t you already moved to Somalia or Western Sahara?

      Has it ever occurred to you that the reason we have many of the regulations, laws and government programs that we have today is because it was discovered over time that there was a need for it, and these things actually improved people’s lives? But no, just keep spouting the party line. Government is bayad, mkayy?

      • regressive rightwing trash

        I like the MR MACKEY at the end

      • Matthew Reece

        Somalia and Western Sahara are not free market anarchies. They have competing coercive institutions, each of which are led by people who want to lead the next government in those areas. Also note that renouncing citizenship means having no passport, and thus being barred from leaving. Thus, to say “go somewhere else” or “love it or leave it” to an anarchist under current world circumstances is like saying that if a woman in an arranged marriage wishes to divorce an abusive husband, then she must either immediately marry another abusive husband or be kept inside the house with her current husband rather than be allowed to be single and go where she wishes.

        The reason that we have many of the regulations, laws, and government programs that we have today is that over time, statists took over parts of the economy which were once privately owned and operated by interfering with the free market, causing a failure, claiming that the market was responsible for the failure, and providing a government “solution” to the problem that government created.

      • PoppaDavid

        You want to establish a “stateless society”. Somalia and Western Sahara are examples of what follows the “stateless society” after it has been established. Your utopia is interesting, however, it doesn’t deal well with thugs who “have competing coercive institutions”. The thugs do exist, they represent a small fraction of every human population, they do believe in using coercion, and your theory fails to account for them.
        The state is not “good”. The free market is not “good”. Both are human institutions that reflect the morals of the people who dominate them.
        BTW, an anarchist cannot own land. Land ownership is a function of being allied with the winning government (army). If you are on the losing side, you lose the land. Without sufficient land to grow the food you need to live, you MUST participate in the market, and because it is mandatory that market is not “free”.

      • Matthew Reece

        In a free market anarchy, defense of property could be provided by private police forces and private military companies. Legal claims could be dealt with through polycentric legal systems. Also note that those who violate the rights of others would be estopped from claiming those rights for themselves, so it would be open season on their lives and their property.

        If there is no government, then land ownership could not be interfered with by a government.

      • Raeann Thomas

        Yes, with no government, the big corporations would be free to do to everyone as they wish, taking people’s land and property with impunity, forcing us to slave away for them for no pay as feudal servants on their land. And “private” police forces? Sounds like henchmen and mobsters to me. Sounds wonderful.

        Your “utopia”, as nice as you make it sound, is so totally unrealistic, it reaches into the realm of being ridiculous.

      • Matthew Reece

        Corporations are a creation of government to shield executives from liability for their misdeeds. A stateless society would not have such structures. Your accusations of what corporations would do without government sound exactly like what is done through government today. If the worst case scenario of anarchy approximates the current situation, then the other possible scenarios are improvements on the current situation. This is a strong argument for trying statelessness.

      • Raeann Thomas

        Ok, forget I said the word corporation. Without government, wealthy, powerful people would be free to abuse people less wealthy and powerful people.

      • Raeann Thomas

        Imagine what big businesses would do. They could spew pollution into the air and poison our food, they could kill people, and the victim would have no recourse. Don’t tell me that the “magic hand of the free market” would somehow right all the wrongs. In the meantime, people will be dying for the sake of your precious free market.

      • Matthew Reece

        Stefan Molyneux has an excellent article about dispute resolution organizations which addresses your concerns. The victims of pollution do have recourse in the form of pollution insurance and damage claims against polluters.

      • PoppaDavid

        I am pleased that you appear to deny corporations the right to exist. That is a positive aspect of your proposal.

        What method is used to bring the offending party into the damage claims court? If you fall back on “economic ostracism” then I know that the real answer is “nothing”. For example British Petroleum bought $500 million in advertising to deal with the “economic ostracism”, that did nothing for the damaged parties. The $26 Billion to cover damages came through court action that required BP to accept jurisdiction of the courts.

      • Matthew Reece

        The offenders can be tried in absentia if they refuse to come to court, and they can lose their contract insurance for failing to make restitution once they have a ruling against them. With no contract insurance, no one who has an agreement with the offender has to honor it, leaving the offender in quite a precarious position. Economic ostracism is far more powerful than you seem to think, as being unable to find a customer means being out of business.

      • PoppaDavid

        BP had no contract insurance with the people of the Gulf Coast, so BP would have nothing to lose. There was no agreement that specified that BP would not destroy their ability to make a living, so there was nothing to support a contract tort. BP has not been ostracized thanks to their advertising blitz. BP owns much of their supply chain, so failure to find suppliers isn’t much of a lever. What else do you have?

        They did $26 Billion in damages followed by record profits. Your theory fails the “what happens in the real world?” test. That suggests that you are putting too much weight on the wrong factors.

      • Matthew Reece

        This is an example of what happens when a government interferes with private property rights, not an example of what would happen in a stateless society. The government illegitimately allowed BP to drill there, when BP should have had to contract with people who lived and worked in the area, and therefore had earned property rights there through the homesteading principle.

        Again, you need to read Molyneux’s writings about dispute resolution organizations and how they could deal with pollution.

      • PoppaDavid

        Do you realize that BP drilled in the waters off of the Gulf Coast and the oil spill damaged coastal fisheries and resorts? They had no direct contact with the damaged parties before the spill, and the parties had no opportunity to engage BP in any contracts before the spill.
        Molyneux’s DRO’s? Fine. You show me how an oil rig in the Gulf Coast gets a signature from everyone who could be injured by their pollution. Be aware they did impact five states. And while you are working on that tell me how the CO2 producers are going to get DRO’s established with the 154 million residents of Bangladesh who live on swamp land less than four feet above sea level?

        DRO agreements are a theoretical possibility, and a practical impossibility, so they won’t be used in the important cases. And insurance? Pollution is not an accident, it is intentional. There is no reason a victim of pollution should pay the cost of mitigation by buying insurance. The polluter should pay, and that requires the ability to enforce payment even when a DRO has not been contracted.

      • Matthew Reece

        Some industries are not going to get to operate if they cannot show that they can operate without damaging the environment beyond a reasonable level, or reach an agreement with all property owners who might be affected.

        Given the safety records of each company drilling in the Gulf, my guess is that free people would have worked out agreements with the other drilling companies and refused to give access to BP.

        By your logic concerning insurance, you should not get insurance against someone engaging in arson, burglary, or vandalism against your property, or insurance against someone assaulting you and causing bodily injury. The polluter should pay, and they can be made to do so through lowering their credit and contract ratings to make it difficult or impossible to do business until the damage claims are settled. And as there are no corporations, the individuals are facing these consequences, leading to more accountability than in the current system.

      • PoppaDavid

        “Some industries are not going to get to operate if they cannot show that they can operate without damaging the environment beyond a reasonable level”
        What stops them? They proceed without permission from the impacted parties.

      • PoppaDavid

        “Given the safety records of each company drilling in the Gulf,”

        How did you get access to their safety records to make such a decision? Truth is, they don’t share it. And how many of the potentially affected people need to agree before BP may drill? 100%? 10%? 1%?

      • PoppaDavid

        “By your logic concerning insurance, you should not get insurance against someone engaging in arson, burglary, or vandalism against your property, or insurance against someone assaulting you and causing bodily injury.”
        No. I may choose to carry insurance, but I should not have to rely ONLY upon insurance to “make me whole” after the fact. I should be allowed to join with others who object to the threat of that behavior and criminalize that behavior. I should not need to wait for credit ratings or contract ratings to influence them to modify their behavior. In the absence of a government that detains the arsonists, burglars, vandals, and assailants, I should be allowed to hunt them down and shoot them. Question is: which is more moral, a society of law or a society of violent retribution?

      • Matthew Reece

        Private military companies can stop them if all else fails.

      • PoppaDavid

        Let me know what you are describing. Are you saying that some private military company is going to clean up the oil spill? Or are you suggesting that private military companies are going to go to England and invade the home office of BP?

      • Matthew Reece

        Private military companies could guard the Gulf and stop BP from setting up a drilling platform which would infringe upon the property rights of those who live and work in the Gulf.

      • PoppaDavid

        Oh. Pirates. Like they have off the coast of Somalia. Not a good policy.

        Or were you proposing that people with private property interests could band together and pay for a military to defend their assets. What would we call it? The United States Coast Guard would be a good name, and it already exists.

        Your theory doesn’t do a good job of handling area wide pollution involving multinational organizations. The various parts have been tried and the current system grew out of the experience. It isn’t perfect and it can be improved but there is no reason to resurrect to the failed parts. Your theory is out of its league and over its head on this.

      • Matthew Reece

        I am proposing that people with private property interests could band together and pay for a military to defend their assets. The problem with the US Coast Guard is that it is funded in a coercive manner (compulsory taxation). I envision there being several smaller forces like the US Coast Guard which are supported through voluntary means and who have to compete for the business of customers by providing the best military defense at the least cost.

        There cannot be multinational organizations if there are no nations. But perhaps the US becomes stateless and the rest of the world does not. In such an event, state-sanctioned corporations from elsewhere could be banned on principle (through a refusal by the residents to allow them into the property) or given unfavorable terms of business (by the residents giving local stateless competitors better contracts of business).

      • PoppaDavid

        You object to compulsory taxes to fund a defense program. Would you oppose a mandatory tenant levy to fund fire suppression in a wood structure condominium? Let their apartment burn because they didn’t pay a voluntary fire fee? Duh. Everyone pays because everyone is at risk. It is still worthwhile to address those who smoke in bed, or children who play with fire, but everyone still pays.

      • Matthew Reece

        The fire department would still have to put out the fire to protect those who did pay for protection. A tenant levy is not necessary; as a professional service is being rendered, it must be paid for. Those who receive a service and refuse to pay for it can have their credit ratings lowered and/or be economically ostracized until they pay for the service they received.

      • PoppaDavid

        You are suggesting that a free ride be given to all tenants who don’t want to pay for protection until AFTER they need it. And the fire company must wait for payment until the freeloader decides to pay. And if they died in the fire, there will be no payment, EVER. The fire company’s business plan will put those costs into the charges for their customers.

        If sufficient tenants decide to be freeloaders, the monthly collections will not be sufficient to support the fire company and they will drop the customer, leaving the condo unprotected.

        The Condo board has the choice of putting the entire property at risk, or requiring regular payments from the tenants sufficient to maintain the protection, whether it is used or not.

      • Matthew Reece

        The “free rider problem” has no solution, therefore it is not truly a problem at all; it is merely an unpleasant fact of reality.

      • PoppaDavid

        You object to government as inherently immoral. There is no solution to that, “therefore ( to quote Matthew Reece) it is not truly a problem at all; it is merely an unpleasant fact of reality.”

        The free rider problem has a solution. Require every rider to pay. You don’t want to pay, no problem, leave.

        You don’t have anywhere to go? Just another unpleasant fact of reality.

      • Matthew Reece

        Free market anarchism is the solution to government evil.

        There is no way to make sure that every rider pays every single time. Someone somewhere is going to find a way to freeload. It can be made difficult, but not impossible.

      • PoppaDavid

        In every historic example of free market anarchism ended under the control of government, most of which were pretty evil. When offered the theoretical creation of a peaceful free market anarchy in Presidio county, you said that it ends in failure. What you offer is a doorway from our current government to a government that is likely more evil. That is not a solution.

      • Matthew Reece

        Free market anarchy only ends in failure if statists destroy it from the outside. Governments, on the other hand, can end in failure from both the outside (military conquest) and the inside (economic collapse, civil war, popular revolution).

      • PoppaDavid

        In every historic example of free market anarchism ended under the control of government, most of which were pretty evil. When offered the theoretical creation of a peaceful free market anarchy in Presidio county, you said that it ends in failure. What you offer is a doorway from our current government to a government that is likely more evil. That is not a solution.

      • PoppaDavid

        First, the United States is not going stateless and the world is not going stateless. We both know that.

        You are arguing that the principles of your theoretical utopia are better than the pragmatic principles of a representative democracy. Maybe they are. The principles of Mohandas Gandhi were far superior to Sun Tzu. But, six thousand years of history tells us that people create states, and any political or economic theory that ignores that is useless. You said that anarchists are trying to identify what caused the failure of prior stateless cultures. Hint: anarchy creates a vacuum, and something will fill it.

        You were not willing to discuss the fate of Presidio County if it went stateless because knowing how it fails could threaten your faith in anarchy.

      • Matthew Reece

        Anarchy does create a vacuum, and that is why private sector institutions must fill it.

        Presidio County would probably be reconquered by the US, as it is not large enough to produce the resources to defend itself from such a foe. For free market anarchy to work here, the US government needs to fall first. Fortunately, it looks like at least that much will happen in my lifetime.

      • PoppaDavid

        The structures that fill the vacuum, are not necessarily benign. And the foes are not just nation states.

        If Presidio were given peaceful stateless status, those interested in growing an economy that is unfettered by U.S. or Mexican jurisdiction would move there. Including drug cartels and organized crime. The existing residents of the area would be powerless to stop the expropriation of their land, because a few hundred Texas landowners don’t have the economic resources to purchase guns or soldiers to compete with the private army of the international drug trade. And criminals don’t care about economic ostracism.

        Mexico would be temped to invade as part of their ongoing battle to capture the people attacking their police.

        Presidio would eventually be retaken by the U.S., to prevent Mexico from taking it, of course.

        In the end, many of the existing residents would be dead or displaced, and the vacuum would be filled again by a government.

      • Addie Smith

        Dayum you are dense – the people down there where the BP oil rig was at did not own the ocean.

      • Matthew Reece

        The people there should have property rights in the Gulf of Mexico, as they have mixed their labor with the natural resources.

        Insults are admissions of defeat and ignorance.

      • PoppaDavid

        “The offenders can be tried in absentia if they refuse to come to court” is hardly in agreement with the Matthew Reece who argues for polycentric legal systems where the parties involved choose their courts. This sounds like a coercive system where one party gets to choose a court and the other party can be tried in absentia even if they do not acknowledge the jurisdiction of the court.

      • Matthew Reece

        Before entering into a contract, both parties would need to agree to the particular courts to be used for dispute resolution, as well as what appeals process (if any) should be available. If such a problem as you describe comes up after the contract is made, then the people who wish to thumb their nose at a process and/or ruling that they agreed to accept in advance are going to have a hard time with hiring a contract insurer or dispute resolver in the future. The pain of this would not be worth the gain, in much the same sense that not paying small debts today is not worth the lowered credit rating.

      • Raymond Moser

        Ayn Rand wacko bird alert.

      • Matthew Reece

        Ad hominem is an admission of defeat and ignorance.

      • Raymond Moser

        Unless the speaker is as bonkers as his message.

      • Matthew Reece

        Ad lapidem is also an admission of defeat and ignorance.

      • PoppaDavid

        You neglect to mention what happens when the parties do not form a contract. That is especially significant when the parties have never met before the “transaction”, or one of the parties is unable to make an informed decision.

      • regressive rightwing trash

        why do U reply to this clown? his expostulatory discussions are akin to saying that ( theoretically) warp drive works in outerspace,,,,,,,,,,,,,

      • regressive rightwing trash

        why do U discuss with him? he pretends his philosophies either WILL work on this planet or there HSAVE worked,,,,hes an idiot

      • PoppaDavid

        Private property was introduced into the Western Hemisphere following 1492 by the Spanish government and their army. Private property was introduced into New England by the English government and their colonial army after 1600. In 1971 the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 and the U.S. Army introduced private property to the majority of Alaska.

        You reference private police forces and private military companies, yes, Blackwater in Iraq showed us how they operate in the absence of a working government. I am not impressed.

      • Matthew Reece

        Blackwater did not operate in the absence of a government, as they were sent in by the United States government. The institutions of a free society are not going to look like the institutions of a statist society.

      • PoppaDavid

        I didn’t say that there were no governments in the world, I said that Blackwater in Iraq didn’t have a working government in Iraq. The presence of an occupying American army is not the same as a functioning government. Blackwater was specifically exempt from oversight by the Iraqi provisional government, so they demonstrated what private military units do in the absence of oversight by a popular civilian government.

      • Matthew Reece

        In theory, they were supposed to be overseen by the American civilian government. That did not work. And do not forget that they were there at the behest of the American government. A free society would not have a PMC being sent to the other side of the world for an aggressive act of occupation, as no one would want to pay for it, and would take their business to a competing PMC which only provides defense, which is cheaper than offense.

      • PoppaDavid

        “A free society would not have a PMC sent to the other side of the world for an aggressive act of occupation”. You are aware that the British East India Company was a private company? As was the Hudson’s Bay Company? The investors paid them to go to the other side of the world for aggressive acts of occupation.

        Private armies work for money. Based upon strict market principles they will work for the highest bidder. You may hire a private army, but if I pay more, they will work for me against you. Especially if I have the resources to pay them for a long time and you don’t.

        If you have questions on that, read the history of American organized crime. Some were very concerned for their “honor”, most followed the money.

      • Matthew Reece

        These private armies were funded partly by governments, and were certainly part of corporations registered with their kings. Therefore, they are not an example of what would happen without a state.

      • PoppaDavid

        Actually, they were privately funded corporations formed with the approval of the king.

        They are an example of the sort of activities taken by private armies. They were quite aggressive in their occupation of foreign lands. In a stateless society they would be free to operate without any outside review.

      • Raymond Moser

        What did the phrase: “taming the wild west” come from? Why have a local sheriff, when hired gunslingers could contract with local people for the same thing. Are you saying that all those homesteaders had to do was engage in commerce to tame the marauding criminals? Isn’t that what the mafia does in many communities: pay us protection money and we won’t other bad guys harm your business or property. We saw what private security companies did to coal miners and steel mill labor where I come from. Mr Reese: What do you do when not intellectually masturbating.

      • PoppaDavid

        The sheriff WAS a hired gun contracted by voluntary conscription to protect business interests. Exactly as predicted by the his theory. What he ignores is that the position became “statist” when people realized that extending protection to everyone with public control was even better. The anarchy proposed did exist, it was an intermediate step on the way to civilized society. As contrast, leaving the hired gun in charge was the path to the warlord society that he calls a failed state.

    • PoppaDavid

      “In the case of a fire department, they would still have to put out your burning house”

      No.

      South Fulton, Obion County, Tennessee has a for-fee fire protection program for the rural areas surrounding Fulton. In 2011 Vicky Bell lost her house over non payment of $75 annual fee. In 2010 Gene Cranick lost his house over non payment of the annual fee.

      “Likewise, the firefighters can suffer a blow to their reputation rating if they charge exorbitant fees.”

      Surprise, Maricopa County, Arizona. In 2013 Justin Purcell lost his home to fire in an area not served by fire protection, and then got a bill for $19,825 from Rural Metro for the “service” of dousing the hot spots.

    • frozen01

      Kind of like how if my cable company does a crap job, I can switch over to one of their competitors, right?

      Oh, wait.

      There are no competitors that serve my area, and if my cable company screws up, or I can’t pay my bill, the worst that happens is I might lose my internet for a little bit. If my FIRE DEPARTMENT sucks or I can’t pay my bill, I LOSE MY HOUSE, all my belongings, and possibly the lives of my loved ones and/or pets. But hey, it works out because they my cat dying will cause the private fire department to “suffer a blow to their reputation”, right? This assumes, of course, that there will be multiple fire departments in my area vying for business, which there likely will not be for the same reason there aren’t multiple cable companies in my area competing for business.

      • Matthew Reece

        There are probably some regulations which are keeping cable competitors out of your area. Remember that with no government regulations, the barriers to entry that prevent competition from entering the marketplace are almost completely removed.

      • PoppaDavid

        Perhaps a study of general economic theory would be in line. The “barriers to entry” include startup costs, market/brand loyalty, supply chain creation, existing vendor contracts, economies of scale held by companies with large market share, franchise restrictions, etc. Which you discount.

        They also include government regulations like patents, copyright, and other protections on expropriation of personal property.

        They also include government monopoly, tax benefits, mandated purchasing and direct subdues, which you focus upon.

      • Matthew Reece

        I do not discount the first paragraph at all. If I ignore it, it is because these costs will always be present, and there is no way to eliminate them. A problem which has no solution is not really a problem at all; it is just the way things are.

        The second and third paragraphs discuss the barriers which would not exist without government. Note that “intellectual property” is not a valid form of property, as its enforcement violates physical property rights.

      • PoppaDavid

        You said, “with no government regulations, the barriers to entry that prevent competition from entering the marketplace are almost completely removed” and then you say “there is no way to eliminate them”. Pick one. You don’t get it both ways. There are barriers to entry besides government regulations, and they are significant.

        Otherwise, I get to say that government actions are there and you can just accept them.

      • Matthew Reece

        Almost completely removed, because most of what stops would-be entrepreneurs is government interference, not startup costs.

      • Addie Smith

        You’re just an anti-government putz who probably inhabits Infowars with another handle. I’ve seen the same kind of drivel over there that you spew. If you don’t want government, then get the h3ll out of this country.

      • Matthew Reece

        Insults are admissions of defeat and ignorance.

        Following your “love it or leave it” logic, a woman in an arranged marriage who wishes to divorce an abusive husband should be forced to either immediately marry another abusive husband or be kept inside the house with her current husband rather than be allowed to be single and go where she wishes.

      • Frozen01

        “Probably.” In other words, you guess, because that guess promotes your theory that if government steps out of the way, everyone will magically play nice, that no company would ever dare utilize tried-and-true practices that work wonders at killing competition before it even has the ability to take root, and that the “winner” will always be better for the fight.

        There are tons of areas in the US which only have one cable company. Pick any one you would like, and tell me precisely which government barrier was erected to create that monopoly. I would imagine, with the amount of choices you have, this would not be difficult to find… if it were true.

      • Matthew Reece

        The most “tried-and-true practice that works wonders at killing competition before it even has the ability to take root” is getting government to regulate an industry to increase compliance costs beyond what a small business can afford.

    • Addie Smith

      Matthew – your posts make you sound like some of the nutbags that post on Infowars. That’s all I’m going to say as it’s obvious you just hate government and want an anarchist society that’s for profit.

      • Matthew Reece

        Attacking me and dismissing my arguments just implies that you are intellectually incapable of rational discourse with me. In a debate, I will take a victory by default, but it is nicer when people actually show some ability to reason.

  • Matthew Reece

    “Education, another great area of our society that should be for-profit,
    right? I mean, what could go wrong? Big corporations shaping
    curriculum. I’m sure if big oil owned a few schools, science courses
    would still teach about the pollution caused by their companies that’s
    leading to climate change. But of course they would.”

    False dilemma. You should look up Khan Academy as well as the idea of unschooling.

    • Jan

      Please get your head out of whatever cloud it’s in. The Koch Brothers are already influencing schools by backing voucher friendly, segregation minded candidates to school boards. They also donate heavily to select colleges, for a say in the curriculum. As far as public safety is concerned (fire, police, ems), that is also already happening. At least one home was allowed to burn intentionally for non-payment. In the case of more heavily populated areas, they could soak the surrounding homes that did pay. Police are not responding to crime prone areas which only make the criminals more brazen. The house of Representatives is pleased as punch that the EPA has been severely handicapped and would like to see it totally gone. Guess who benefits from that? What could possibly go wrong if they succeed in their opposition to Fracking regulations? I commend Mr. Clifton for shedding light on these issues. Those of us who see the light need to share our knowledge. Hopefully it’s not too late.

    • frozen01

      And you should look up the statistics showing what happens to the value and quality of charter schools once vouchers are implemented. It’s not pretty.

      • Matthew Reece

        And you should actually read my post. I am not advocating for private schools. I am advocating for self-directed learning. I want children to be educated through their natural curiosity. I want children to ask questions, which they invariably do, and be given honest answers when they do. This alone will create a much happier and more productive civilization.

      • PoppaDavid

        It might actually do that. Except for the children put into the fields and factories by their parents. Except for the children who have no available adult who knows the answers. Except for the kids who join the gangs. Except for children with certain disabilities. There are a variety of learning styles and self directed learning may not be for everyone. Some will do well, others will do poorly. Abe Lincoln came out pretty well. Lee Harvey Oswald came out pretty bad.

      • Matthew Reece

        All of those events happen or have happened with a state, so it is not like anarchy will make things worse.

      • PoppaDavid

        All of those event do happen now, and the current process works to address their learning issues by offering a variety of teaching methods. Your proposal writes off those students who are not self directed or not in the household of a nurturing parent. I happen to believe that society benefits from an learned population, you are not concerned with that.

      • Matthew Reece

        Statism writes off those students who are self directed and are in a nurturing household. I know this because I have lived it.

        Your accusation is false. I understand that a voluntary free market provides services of higher quality at less cost than a coercive monopoly, and this is why I want to abolish mandatory public education.

      • PoppaDavid

        The government is well aware that this nation has a market economy. The market economy wants good workers and good consumers for most of the positions in that economy. If your education system had written you off, the economy requested it.

      • Matthew Reece

        The corporate economy, created by government interference, wants obedient workers who are just smart enough to do the work and just dumb enough to accept getting screwed over, and this is what government-run schools try to give them.

      • Frozen01

        Promoting “self-directed learning” doesn’t negate the concerns of the author, though, and appears to have very little to do with what you quoted in the first place.

  • Why5ks

    There is a basic tenet of economics, which seems to go over everyone’s head. If it costs X dollars for the government to do something with zero profit. It will cost X dollars PLUS the profit margin for some for profit organization to do the same job. Don’t give me the “they will do it more efficiently” crap, what they will do is cut corners and be slightly less responsive or accountable than they are required to be. Businesses cut corners and avoid the laws every chance they get. It is a calculated risk to maximize profits. Catch me and make me pay a fine, but in the mean time the company has made a ton of profit and no one goes to jail.

    • Matthew Reece

      There is no reason why X would have the same value in the government case versus the private case.

      When private business owners do as you say, people can support a competitor. When government agents act similarly…

      Remember that corporations are a legal fiction created by the state to shield wealthy business owners from liability. This has nothing to do with the free market.

      • PoppaDavid

        I agree with the description of corporations as a shield for the owners. By restricting liability it skews the profit/loss calculations and so the existence of corporations interferes with the functioning of the free market. They should be abolished if we are to obtain the benefits of a free market.

      • frozen01

        When private business owners do something shady, you can go to their competition… who will be doing the EXACT SAME THING.
        When government agents do something shady or a program isn’t working well, you can organize protests, mass write-ins, and use the power of the ballot to change it, for what that’s worth.

        You have just about the same amount of power in both options. Except with government… you were right, it wouldn’t be the same value… “X” tends to cost LESS.
        See: Medicare and VA versus private healthcare costs.

      • Matthew Reece

        When private business owners do something shady, you can go to their competition. And if they are doing the exact same thing, you can start your own business, compete with them, and not do the same thing. Try starting a competing government and see what happens to you. (Or don’t, because I don’t want to be held liable for you getting hurt or killed by following my advice.)

      • PoppaDavid

        If you want to start a competing “government” call it a Home Owners Association, Condominium Association, Golf Club, or any other organization that charges dues and controls property owned by the members. You want to leave this government, peacefully cross the border.

      • regressive rightwing trash

        “start ur own business” U f*cking idiot——–U TRY 2 assume that everyone who gets screwed by the FREE MARKET can simply poop capital and start a business?? Hmmmm,,,, should I start a car dealership? or a law firm,,,,or a hospital? U “live” in a vacuum

      • Bine646

        bring your business plan and try for a loan- nugget- how do business start up every day if you cant “poop” capital- investors queerbate, investors.

      • regressive rightwing trash

        queerbate?? shall we atrophy back to the 6th grade??? HEY BRAINIAC: I am a self employed chef who didn’t need any loans!!! ( I do a very unique application of my contracting: ergo 100% cash-ola!!!),,,,and: U wont get any INVESTORS or BANKS giving U money for investing unless U have collateral– and another FACT which is eschewed by small brained regressive crybabies on the RIGHTWING. You crybabies have ANSWERS ( theoretical) for everything,,,,but your DOCTRINES and policies are catastrophic ( witness Reagan selling our debt to asia,,,outsourcing manufacturing JOBS overseas,,,,,”TRICKLE” down economics which again has been proven is a LIE and con job.,,,,and those silly UNPAID wars!!—-plus the GOVT SHUTDOWN earlier?? great policy!!) GRRRRREAT policies!!! shall we now include JESUS in our government? U FUCKING IMBECILE

      • Bine646

        Your a line cook bro- ease

      • regressive rightwing trash

        awwww,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and do U know how much I have AVERAGED ( cash-ola) in past decade??? ” do U want cheese on your sandwich”? how about whipped cream on your tiramisu??? IF U knew what I make AND……AND,,,,,,,,,,,,,,WHERE I do My business U would be crying even louder!!! YAAAAAY ME!

      • Bine646

        good thing you keep voting democrat so they can take more and more in taxes hahahaha.

        No college degree necessary for added cheese right hahahahahaha- yeah i know you do business by serving people- congrats and enjoy

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        hey crybaby- my business is 100% cash: ergo-no tax paid!!! my taxes are paid by capital gains in my stock ( and option) portfolio) and my residential and commercial properties incomes
        …………………….. care to cry some more??
        I love selling ” cheese” to losers such as U who are smart enough to “pay”

      • Bine646

        you just said- two posts ago that your 100% cash business is not tax exempt- and that you pay taxes on it. So please- like i have said many times before- go away and stop following me

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        hey little little fella— Im not “following ” you- these articles appear upon my facebook,,, I see them again; read new ( and older) posts and I see U ( again) crying. try again here lil fella: my CASH business reports ZEEEEE-RO: hence- nO taxes. My income derived from the other mentioned sources are taxable( minus deductions of course)
        ,,,,is financial chat that difficult for you?
        ===================================
        following you? I wish I could never see thy insipid un educated posts ever- BUT as they often appear; I simply do what is best- I spray them

      • Bine646

        appear on your facebook? this article is from 2013- november. I havnt responded in over a month- get a life bro

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        not particularly bright,,, are ya??? “Right off a cliff” by way of ‘Forward Progressives’ occasionally has A Cliftons ( and others) articles re-appear upon the Facebook page of those of us who are attached to that.
        As you remain as xylocephalous as nearly all white trash regressive Christian crybabies of your ILK I would be remiss in “thinking” you would know of that capacity upon social media networking.
        also– again: MY CASH business is TAX FREE: as I do NOT report my cash( don’t haf2) whilst the income generated by residential and commercial properties rents and capital gains in the stock/option portfolio I hold IS taxable and thus keeps uncle sam off my back: I known the :formula” that the IRS uses.
        Seems U are devoid of many socio-economic current events ———– tithing at a church?

      • Bine646

        so you were lying acouple days ago when you said you pay taxes on your “cash” business- good for you man. I wonder what I have to do to get you to leave me alone, you are like that annoying kid in school

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        evidently U do drink daily,,,,,,,,, U cannot/willnot read what I write.
        annoying? My day is now brighter!!

      • Bine646

        can go away at any time now

      • OregonJimmy

        Alright already. Go to the far end of the playground and have a righteous fistfight!

      • white trash religious teaparty

        not my style: im bright enough 2 know that I will do what I can to have ANYONE toss 1st blow- then I get free access to his body. jail aint 4 meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

      • Bine646

        and i quote- from you 5 days ago “I pay taxes- I pay enough 2 keep IRS from annoying me: NOTE: cash income is never tax deferred. Try to learn that”

        So please- get a life instead of scrolling thru old messages trying to find someone to troll

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        do your eyes fade after 2 paragraphs??? I never says any of my income is deferred. I pay tax upon capital gains/ rental property incomes….my cash income is a phantom to the government. I have no roth IRA as it is a bogus way to keep taxes from accruing and I am a better investor than the clowns who CHARGE for ‘keeping’ IRAs in their greedy hands
        wanna try a 4th time?

      • Bine646

        the IRS has an incentive program for turning in evaders right?

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        yep!!!! give it your best(??) shot little man,,,,,,
        proving it will be near impossible. I ( again) know what formula they use– and I adhere to it.
        wanna get IRS on your ass? buy expensive stuff which exceeds your stated income. Claim MORE than you should. have your itemized deductions NOT available in receipt,,,,
        shall I continue? U certainly do NOT scare me– my accountant is former IRS manager

      • Bine646

        so easy to trace IP addresses these days Victor- IRS has the right to access email, facebook, messageboards- pretty much in it with the NSA

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        turn me in crybaby—- im waiiiiiiiiiting!!!
        no proof/ no penalty—— keep crying broke fella

      • Bine646

        ohh wow- irs even has a part of their site dedicated to this

      • Guest

        Dude, proofread.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        no errors in above verbiage
        wanna is slang. ” wanna ” double down??

      • OregonJimmy

        You seem to be a pretty square-up guy “mighty tegu”! It only takes a couple of finger movements to quit using capital letters instead of words.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        thank U james………………..
        please note: my pet TEGU is typing ( silly quadruped) as I am dictating
        the antedeluvian reptile is quite limited other than speed and a very pretty coat 🙂

      • OregonJimmy

        Yes You make sense, but change your name and pic. “mighty tegu”.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        eschew obfuscation
        ,,,,,,,,,didn’t want to drag my pet argentine TEGU into the fray

      • Frozen01

        We “start a competing government” all the time. Except we call it “running for office”.

        If your cable company becomes a monopoly and jacks up rates to the point of absurdity, which do you think will be more effective: Trying to start a new cable company from scratch to compete, or petitioning your government to have them broken up under anti-monopoly laws?
        What about if your local cable company refuses to pay fair wages or offer benefits, and employs so many people in the area that it drives down wages and benefits for other businesses as well? How will your competition, which realistically won’t even get off the ground, solve those issues?

      • Matthew Reece

        I would take a third option in this case by getting satellite TV service.

      • Devin_MacGregor

        LOL, just like that. Starting a company up in an industry already dominated by major corporations is not poof I go down to a bank and get a loan.

        You do know how cable/satellite works with subscribers vs advertisement vs fee collections from content providers?

    • Raeann Thomas

      For profit basically means the least amount of quality for the highest price you can extract from people.

    • OregonJimmy

      Well said!

  • Matthew Reece

    The criticisms of private prisons are legitimate, but miss the root of the problem. To privatize the punishment of criminals without privatizing the enactment of laws is only to lend efficiency to evil. The state monopoly on the law must also be abolished for private prisons to work morally and stop caging people for victimless “crimes.”

    • frozen01

      Exactly the opposite.
      If you privatize the enactment of laws, and you privatize the system into which law-breakers are kept, that gives the enactors incentive to put as many people away as possible, even when they aren’t really breaking the law. We saw this in, oh I believe it was Texas, where they had a privatized facility for young offenders which was paying off a judge to keep its cells full of youth who were being locked away for the pettiest “crimes” imaginable.

      • Matthew Reece

        I am talking about a polycentric legal system with competition in the enactment and enforcement of laws. If I do not believe that victimless activities should be punished, then I should be able to sign up with a dispute resolution organization and a private defense company which will not punish such activities, or allow anyone else to punish me for them.

      • PoppaDavid

        I observe that you believe that your opinion will have more weight under the stateless system than it does now. Frozen01 referenced the situation in Texas and you blew right past it. Why do you ignore the real world examples of the system you propose? Read the history of the Pinkerton Company.

      • Matthew Reece

        The problems with similar institutions under statism are the result of government actions, and a free society would not have these government actions.

        I blew past his example because it is not an example of what I am advocating.

      • PoppaDavid

        We already have a polycentric legal system with competition in the enactment and enforcement of laws. You happen to be under the Texas system, you could move to the Oklahoma system or the New York system. Within the Texas system you have the choice of the Austin subsystem or the El Paso subsystem. You get to move to the one you like. You don’t get to carve territory out of the existing one to create your new one without the permission of the existing one.
        BTW, you presumption that people in a free society don’t form governments needs some evidence. Do you have any examples where free people haven’t formed a government?

      • Matthew Reece

        I am talking about more than one legal system being available in the same geographical area. That is not the current situation.

        There are cases where stateless people did not form a government, but in those cases, conquerors forced a government upon them. (They did take longer to subdue than governed peoples, however, which says something about the possibility of private military defense.) It is certainly a problem in need of a solution.

      • PoppaDavid

        Stateless people took longer to subdue than people with organized resistance? Who was that? The Greeks at Marathon, Thermopylae and Plataea were fighting for city-states.

        We have multiple legal systems in place in the same area ( federal, state, municipal ) You really are asking for the option to “opt out” of legal systems you don’t like while enjoying the benefits that system provides. It appears that you want to be stateless within the United States so that you may enjoy the fact that some other conqueror doesn’t enslave you while you avoid meeting the requirements of a citizen of the United States.

      • Matthew Reece

        False assertion, in that stateless people can mount an organized resistance. Society and government are not the same thing.

        Federal, state, and municipal are part of the same legal system, and they have been at least since the 14th Amendment. I really am asking for the option to “opt out” of legal systems I don’t like while taking my own risk concerning the possible lack of benefits that system provides.

      • PoppaDavid

        Organized society that extracts allegiance in exchange for protection is “government”. Organized resistance that has any hierarchy of command and control is “government” if it directs people to risk their lives for the “higher good”.

        You may opt out of the legal system, and you may take your own risks concerning the system benefits. You just need to leave to indicate that you have done so.

      • Matthew Reece

        Government is a group of individuals who exercise a monopoly on the initiation of force within a certain geographical area. The coercive nature of such organization is what makes it immoral.

        There is no need to leave, as no one within a geographical area has a right to force their system on anyone else.

      • PoppaDavid

        Oh. Government is a monopoly on initiation of force. Anarchy is a system where anyone may initiate coercive force. How is that more moral?

      • PoppaDavid

        “No one with a geographical area has a right to force their system on anyone else.” You live in Texas. Feel free to explain your attitude toward the use of force to impose private land ownership on the non-land owning natives of Texas. Especially as you are a direct beneficiary of that theft, and you wish to enshrine that coercive action as a “moral” system.

      • Matthew Reece

        Anarchy (at least the free market kind; anarcho-communists tend to differ on this point) is a system where no one may legitimately initiate coercive force, and the only legitimate use of force is in self-defense.

      • PoppaDavid

        But you have no mechanism to deal with those who would initiate coercive force against those unable to afford a private military.

      • Matthew Reece

        We have no idea what private military defense would cost because the government monopoly has destroyed free market price information. Going by other services, we should expect it to be much cheaper than maintenance of the US military and to provide better defense without the irrational offense. It may be that there is no one unable to afford protection.

        Even so, one can take up arms and defend oneself, persuade neighbors to join the cause, and inform everyone of the injustices one suffers and of the culprits to get them economically ostracized.

      • PoppaDavid

        At the scale of a neighborhood your proposal is another name for armed gangs.

        At the scale of a city your proposal would be akin to organized crime or the 1900’s Klan.

        At the scale of Texas it is like any of the militias running around in Libya, Syria, or Somalia. A proposal to create failed states.

      • Matthew Reece

        Armed gangs are not a problem if they only defend the rights of the members and take no unprovoked aggressive actions.

      • PoppaDavid

        That “IF” is larger than Texas.

        Obviously you believe that governments make people bad, and that removing government will make people good. I don’t.

        Obviously you believe that all issues come down to economics, and all solutions can be found in economic action. I don’t.

        Economic ostracism may be part of a solution, but it is neither sufficient nor complete because people operate on a variety of levels besides economics.

      • Matthew Reece

        I believe that each person has a capacity to do evil, and removing government removes the potential for amplifying that evil. The evil is not going away, but the most powerful method for carrying it out and magnifying it is going away.

      • PoppaDavid

        If government is capable of amplifying human capacities, then it may amplify the good as well as the evil. The organization of government can be improved.

        Organized business is capable of amplifying human capacities. Do you wish to remove business because we know that it may amplify human evil?

      • Matthew Reece

        Organized business tends to amplify voluntary interactions, while government tends to amplify coerced interactions. Business may or may not amplify evil, but government will always amplify evil because it is inherently immoral.

      • PoppaDavid

        Your assessment of government as “inherently immoral” is more a statement of your personal belief than a demonstrated fact. You will see what you look for, and you absolutely refuse to see any problems with business while you see only problems with government. That is bias, pure and simple.

        The nation of the Philippines had a terrible natural disaster and the military units are performing significant disaster relief. That effort is not evil.

      • Matthew Reece

        Everything done through government is done with the threat of violence against peaceful people and funded by money stolen through the threat of violence against peaceful people. It does not matter what results from the violation of property rights and the non-aggression principle because the morality of an action does not depend on its consequences.

      • PoppaDavid

        No. Hard as it may be for you to believe, people actually do form governments peacefully because they see more benefit from government jurisdiction than they see from an anarchistic free market.

        For example, in the time period between 1843 and 1859 the members of the peaceful anarchistic free market of the Oregon country met and made a contract that created a government with jurisdiction over the entire territory. The contract was voluntary as was the decision to fund that government by taxes.

        The people who did not join that government reserved their land from the territory. That land is still called called “Reservations” even today.

        Those who chose to enter the Oregon country following that time knew of the Oregon government and voluntarily chose to come under the jurisdiction of that contract. Those who were born in the territory were under their parent’s agreement until they reach majority, then they may stay under the jurisdiction or leave. Most choose to stay.

      • Matthew Reece

        People cannot form a stateless society if they do not have any idea that such a thing could be possible. Free market anarchist theory only dates back to 1949, when Murray Rothbard rejected statism. (Earlier anarchists were left-wing radicals, not advocates of free market capitalism.) Pointing to people of earlier times who chose to form governments and saying that we must still do this is somewhat like pointing to doctors who practiced bloodletting and saying that we must still do that.

        Taxes are by definition not voluntary. Voluntary means no coercion. Not paying taxes leads to coercion by tax collectors or tax statute enforcers.

      • PoppaDavid

        The example given HAD as stateless society, and they chose not to continue in that form because a state gave them benefits that they did not enjoy in the stateless society.

        They formed a state by making a contract. Other people were attracted to the state because it WAS as state. Every person who entered the state knew of the contract and by entering the state agreed to become members of that contract, otherwise they were not welcome.

        The contract specified privileges, duties and the methods for making changes to the contract. So far, there has been no successful attempt to end the contract.

        Do you have a problem with voluntary contracts?

        This one happened to include a method of fixing the dues collected from the members of the contract. They chose to call the contract a Constitution and the due were called taxes.

        Since you may avoid the taxes by leaving the state, and you may abolish the tax structure by amending the contract, taxes are as voluntary as most parts of a “free market”. Which is to say, none of them are truly free. Sorry about that.

      • Matthew Reece

        My point was that if people have no theory of how they can have a functional civilization without a state, then they will form a state because they do not know better.

        A contract cannot legitimately be enforced upon anyone who did not consent to its terms, but all contracts of government are. Anyone who lived within the state’s geographical claim at the time of the making of such a contract should not have been compelled to leave, as this would violate the logical right of private property ownership.

        Contracts of government are not voluntary contracts.

        A contract also cannot be binding if everyone who signed it is dead, as is the case with the Constitution. Thus the Constitution has been logically null and void since 1836.

        You may not avoid taxes by leaving the state. The US government collects taxes even on expatriates, and the state that is present in the place to which they go will tax them. A single person has no power to amend the Constitution. You are essentially saying that if an unjustly imprisoned person does not like the conditions in his cell, then he is free to move to another cell within the prison. This does not address the problem.

        The institutions of a free market, on the other hand, respect the logical rights of free association and private property ownership. In a free market, if one does not believe in a particular activity, then one is free to withdraw one’s support from those who do it.

      • PoppaDavid

        You speak of the “logical right of private property ownership” without providing any logic for the private ownership of land. You didn’t create the land, so how can you claim to own it?

        In the example of the Oregon country, the impetus for the movement from an anarchistic free market economy to a state was was land.

        A pioneer named Ewing Young had died intestate in 1841. He held a huge land claim, market, store, factory, bank, and many instruments of credit and debt. The other settlers gathered to determine how his estate would be handled in a peaceful manner. They made a contract to form a government and chose to follow the New York legal code until a local set of laws were adopted.

        Every settler who has taken or purchased land in that region comes under the system that was adopted. Whether the original signers of the contract live is not a valid question because every person who buys land receives a title based upon a clear chain from that time. They don’t get title to the land if they don’t agree to the system of government that provides the title. That is a contract.

        Check your property title, it originates with a government action that provided title to land that the government retained jurisdiction over. When you purchased that land, you agreed to the contract. You want out? Give up the claim to the land.

      • Matthew Reece

        Ownership of land is obtained through homesteading. You own land because you own the product of your labor, and this is because you own your body and thusly are responsible for the consequences of your actions. You must own your body because trying to argue against that principle results in a performative contradiction.

        The other settlers should have re-homesteaded Young’s holdings if he died without heir or will, as they would have returned to an unowned state of nature. Setting up a government was unnecessary, though they probably did not know this.

        A contract cannot legitimately be enforced upon someone who did not sign it. But without this principle, the contract can still be defeated by refusing to buy property in the area under title, instead opting to let it be abandoned, return to a state of nature, and re-homestead it.

        A government cannot legitimately claim land because it cannot think or act, and therefore cannot homestead or contract. Only an individual person can do those things.

      • PoppaDavid

        No. You own your life, you own your labor, and consequently you own that which is created by your labor.

        There is nothing created when you make a claim that didn’t exist before the claim. No creation, no ownership. So, you don’t own land by making a claim. Otherwise you could own the sunset. You wasted some energy nothing more.

        In the case of Ewing Young, there were financial contracts to be resolved, as some settlers had bills owed them, and others owed bills. Some of those bills may have had liens upon property. All of that required adjudication because Young did not have an appointed executor to conduct his business after his death.

        His land was not vacant or unused, it was not in a “state of nature” which simply does not qualify for homesteading. It may have lost an identifiable owner, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have one. Adjudication would determine that.

        Adjudication was important, because there were multiple competing parties all desiring to “homestead the vacant property” and the settlers didn’t want violence.

        If homesteading were simply claiming land before anyone else does, then the land claims made by humans like Christopher Columbus would qualify. As would the land claims by all other “explorers”, since all of them made claims on the land they “discovered”.

        You may wish to make arbitrary requirements and “it would be nice” qualifications on homesteading to satisfy your desired outcome. For example, there is no way for you to enforce the premise that “only an individual person can do those things”. A group of people did choose to form the Hudson’s Bay Company and claim land rights to all the land that drains into Hudson’s Bay. Your theory is impotent as it is powerless to prevent that sort of action.

        The reality is that land claims are based upon military force, threat of military force, or people who band together in a government to avoid having to deal with outside military force. Based upon your prior comments on the morality of violence, private ownership of land would be immoral.

        If you don’t believe otherwise, provide some examples where private land ownership did not rely upon force, threat or government.

      • PoppaDavid

        Didn’t Rothbard continue to evolve his thinking, just as societies would continue to evolve past his 1949 free market anarchy to his 1960’s socialist anarchy?

        If the guy who invented it moved beyond it, why are you stuck there?

      • Matthew Reece

        Rothbard wandered all over the political spectrum looking for allies, but he was not a socialist. He had his failings, and It took some later thinkers, such as Samuel Konkin III, to get people to realize that pure libertarianism is anti-political, and that (philosophical) libertarians trying to ally with various political groups makes about as much sense as strong atheists trying to ally with religious groups.

      • PoppaDavid

        Morality transcends theism and atheism, so working together makes more sense than some would expect.

        I understand that Rothbard came to the question of “homesteading” for both land and other properties. This appears to have led him to a better appreciation of the beneficial attributes of socialism. The justification for taking vacant land was about the same whether there was an absentee land owner or a communal ownership by a tribe.

        I haven’t seen a valid theoretical rationale for private ownership of land or other resources that were not the product of human effort. And I haven’t seen a theoretical rationale for the transformation of land held in common by a tribe to land held by individuals without the interference of a state.

      • Matthew Reece

        Land that is vacant and not being used for any purpose is in a state of nature, and is not legitimately owned by anyone. If property is abandoned, then it returns to a state of nature and can be re-homesteaded and re-owned. This is not an act of theft, unlike eminent domain.

        A tribe does not think or act, therefore it cannot homestead. Only an individual person can do those things.

      • PoppaDavid

        “Land that is vacant and not being used for any purpose is in a state of nature”

        Vacant land is used to recharge aquifers. Vacant land grows vegetative plants that convert CO2 to O2 and fuel. Vacant land provides habitat for animal species. The person dependent upon water, fuel and animals is using that land to maintain their life. That is a purpose.

        “and is not legitimately owned by anyone”

        You are applying a legal term without having any laws. Actually, you are presuming a law about ownership and imposing it on others.

        “If property is abandoned,”
        Does the property become abandoned when the owner dies?
        Who gets to decide the length of absence that qualifies as “abandoned”?
        There are many burglars who wait for the owner to leave the house before they declare the property abandoned, and remove what they want. Your standard approves of that action.

        “then it returns to a state of nature and can be re-homesteaded and re-owned.”
        A property with house, barn, fences and animals hasn’t returned to “a state of nature”. Do we have to wait for the buildings to fall in to disrepair? Who gets to make these decisions?

        “This is not an act of theft, unlike eminent domain.”
        Of course it is a theft. The difference is that eminent domain takes land from a known person by a specific act, your plans takes land from groups of people by disenfranchising them.

        “A tribe does not think or act, therefore it cannot homestead.”
        That is a cultural bias, not a fact. You have no use for society, so you discount social action. There is no justification for your bias.

        “Only an individual person can do those things.”

        Groups of individuals can work in concert for common goals. That is the basis of contracts. Pity that you ignore the benefits of social contracts.

      • PoppaDavid

        No. Hard as it may be for you to believe, people actually do form governments peacefully because they see more benefit from government jurisdiction than they see from an anarchistic free market.

        For example, in the time period between 1843 and 1859 the members of the peaceful anarchistic free market of the Oregon country met and made a contract that created a government with jurisdiction over the entire territory. The contract was voluntary as was the decision to fund that government by taxes.

        The people who did not join that government reserved their land from the territory. That land is still called called “Reservations” even today.

        Those who chose to enter the Oregon country following that time knew of the Oregon government and voluntarily chose to come under the jurisdiction of that contract. Those who were born in the territory were under their parent’s agreement until they reach majority, then they may stay under the jurisdiction or leave. Most choose to stay.

      • regressive rightwing trash

        unless they have bigger guns and seek the commodities that another area of land-or sea- possesses

      • PoppaDavid

        For the sake of discussion, I offer the following:
        Presume that Texas and the United States cede Presidio County, Texas between Highway 90 and the Rio Grande to anarchist principles and that they withdraw government jurisdiction and government jobs from that area to make Marta the point of entry to the U.S.

        This is done peacefully. The area is greater than Rhode Island and Delaware combined, has a aquifer, direct connection to both Mexico and the U.S., and a small resident population.

        I understand that the school system would close, border restrictions would be lifted, and Presidio could develop economically as a combination Amsterdam/Las Vegas/Golden Triangle with brothels, casinos, and drug production.

        How would you envision such a stateless area developing?

      • Matthew Reece

        The area would develop in whatever manner the locals wanted and could manage, and they would have the right to use force in self-defense against anyone who tried to coerce them in another direction.

      • PoppaDavid

        Is the possibility of having to deal with real situations just too much for the anarchistic theory? For starters, in the absence of a state, it no longer is just the “locals”, it is all of the immigrants. If you have doubt, review the history of the stateless residents of the Atlantic coast as they dealt with the immigrants from England. Superior fire power overwhelms the right to use force in self defense.

      • Matthew Reece

        The Native Americans may not have had nation-states in the European sense, but they certainly had monopolies on coercive force. As for the failure of their institutions, it took from Jamestown in 1607 to Wounded Knee in 1890 to subdue them all. If a central government had been instituted long ago among all natives in North America, like the Aztecs and Incas farther south, the conquest would have been much easier, as no state structures would have had to be set up from scratch to control them; the conquerors could have simply become the new government officials.

      • PoppaDavid

        So, in the 6 thousand years of recorded history, you can find no examples of an archaistic society that succeeded?

        BTW, nice observation that organized systems can be taken from the top.

      • Matthew Reece

        Historically, stateless societies have been better for their inhabitants while they have lasted, but they have eventually been conquered by statist societies. The goal for anarchist theory is therefore to determine what went wrong in those cases and keep it from happening next time.

      • regressive rightwing trash

        why do U argue/discuss with that cretin?

      • PoppaDavid

        My wife doesn’t allow me to discuss politics/economics at home.
        🙂
        Actually, it doesn’t hurt to learn the strong and weak points of both sides to a discussion. That doesn’t come from talking with people who agree with you.

      • regressive rightwing trash

        as colonies of ants do,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, we humans aren’t as “sophisticated” as ants

      • regressive rightwing trash

        what U claim to advocate has NEVER been implemented on this planet– ergo it is fantasy. try to come back to reality b4 opening your jaw

      • Frozen01

        Your Pinkerton example is actually even better than mine.
        And I love the response about it being the government’s fault, and if the government would just step out of the way that wouldn’t happen… despite that, in both our examples, it was precisely the government’s lack of involvement which allowed it to happen.

      • OregonJimmy

        What a bunch of horse pucky coming from these right wing fantastasists here. Capitalism has become a gross failure when the population of the world rose to numbers that would cause any soul to cringe. Here’s my take on the entire argument: Republicans believe sternly in the mindset of rich capitalists. The primary word to describe their credo is “profit”. Profit at the expense of all others that don’t have the privilege of wealth. They refute the right of all citizens to a proper education, because that would result in future competition in the business arena, by “nobodies” with no “proper” channel of wealth ascribed to them. So, they want the masses to remain ignorant, so that they pose no danger and will continue to serve them burgers at the drive-thru, making wages that place them below the poverty level, while the rich drive their foreign made cars around without understanding the limited atmosphere of potential prosperity available to the “commoners”. The Republicans also hate all government. Why you ask? Because a government by the people and for the people represents a threat to their dominance. They may have to make a few million less than the previous financial tally of their ever increasing wealth, If the “Liberals” establish appropriate taxation and contributing norms in the way of fees for use of public resources like roads and other infrastructure that are paid for mostly by the working class, which the rich use to make their wealth, their lives will not suffer. Their privilege will not be deterred, and they will remain the people with the biggest stick to beat away their opponents. Some basic reform must occur however for the average citizen in the United States, so that all citizens are protected from exploitation, guaranteed a minimum wage that allows them to live above the poverty line, and afforded equal rights under the Law of the Land. The inherent greediness calmly and casually displayed by the Republican Party must be limited by appropriate laws and appropriate sanctions applied to their risky shenanigans with our National Economy, which, when done, don’t inhibit their growth in wealth. Enough is enough! I would gladly join any group that espouses these goals. We all must realize the ruse put forward to us by the ads sanctioned by corporations and other right wing groups, that continue to saturate our media, and promote the needs of the ultra rich. Don’t be fooled People! These greedy individuals want every last one of your dollars, so that they can effectively control you, right by your ying yangs.

      • Matthew Reece

        Please look up conservatism and free market anarchism and learn the difference.

      • OregonJimmy

        Please take a dose of common sense and then go fawn over your rich friends cars and wives. And get some white paint. Your red neck is showing and your hood and robes need touching-up.

      • Matthew Reece

        Insults are admissions of defeat and ignorance.

      • OregonJimmy

        And such reply’s to the truth are admissions to a lack of veracity, and common sense.

      • OregonJimmy

        Such a slight and shallow response has been offered here. Conservatism as a word connotes conserving. Conserving what? Privilege for the wealthy, continuation of the class discrimination that currently exists in the U.S., the lack of a properly funded and equal education for ALL the people, an inequitable tax system benefiting the wealthy, leaving the common man to foot the bill, an economic system that rewards lawmakers who toe the line for the rich, ETC.? Please “look up” unbridled greed, social elitism, and cognitive dissonance on the part of the wealthy in regards to the good of the commonwealth in a democratic society. THEN, respond with a falsely glowing defense for a class of people who care for no one’s welfare but their own. For those who yearn for “De good ole plantation days”, they always may relish what have been roughly and variously described as some of the stanzas of “Dixie”;

        “I wish I was in the land of cotton, old times there are not forgotten, Look away, look away, look away, Dixie Land”.

        Also question the use of the phrase “Free Market Anarchism” and ponder what that really means. One can posit that it already exists in the United States of America, where Corporations and wealthy individuals wield an inequitable influence in a government “Of The People, For the People, and By The People”. Republican rhetoric is a passel of lies for lies sake, counting on the poorest of our citizens to believe the lies in the spirit of false promises that offer the fake redemption of the ego needs of many of our citizens. Fakery is the key word in the Republican verbal line. “Tell them any lie that appeals to them” is the Republican credo. “Saturate the media with these lies in an appealing way, and they’ll all believe them to be be the truth. Yes, saturate the people with lies propagated and perpetuated by the “Free Market Anarchists” (Republicans under false pretenses) and they will go in single file to the livestock chute for a final destiny of sub economic serfdom. Republicans are not fooling anybody with elitist rhetoric for long. The reality of the situation WILL sink in, and then the shit WILL hit the fan, and the common man will pravail.

      • Frozen01

        Well, serves me right for giving you the benefit of the doubt, I guess.

        So if you don’t like Company A’s laws, or how they enforce them, you’ll do what exactly? Take your business to Company B? And how precisely does that help you (or anyone else) when you or they are sitting in Company A’s court or jail cell for breaking one of their laws, especially when Company A stands to benefit financially from your incarceration? What exactly is Company B going to do about that, to make it so that they won’t “allow anyone else to punish you for them”?

        We’re talking about *enforcement* of laws and what happens when you hand the keys to the legal system to the same organizations in front of whose face you’ve just dangled a carrot by giving them financial incentive to lock you up. In other words, how is “competition” going to stop victimless activities from being punished, when both the active company and any competing companies have every incentive in the world… in fact, may even have the responsibility to shareholders… to increase their profits by following the same nasty principles that you didn’t like from the first company?

        My example still stands of why a for-profit system for creating, maintaining, and enforcing laws is faulty. In that example, the company in question didn’t even have to own the entire system… they just had one private facility, and one bought-off judge. The second you put the profit motive in there, you change the incentive from justice and keeping the peace to making a profit. That may work fine and dandy when you’re talking about the transaction of clothing and electronics, where the worst thing that could happen is someone is out a couple hundred dollars, but now we’re talking about people having their lives disrupted, their freedom taken away. If Company A finds locking people up for petty crimes profitable, then what makes you think Company B won’t follow suit? And even if they don’t, and are on the up-and-up, how on earth would Company B stop Company A? You have no higher authority in this system of yours, except a never-ending line of companies whose motives are all the same, and whose power to stop other companies from ruining your life is… well, you never quite got around to explaining that.

        I’m a she, by the way. Oh, and I read off your comment to my SO, who is from England. They’ve been having a lovely time lately with their government farming out everything left and right to private companies, so he had an absolute field day with your comment. It took him a good couple of minutes to stop laughing, before he said “tell them to Google G4 Security. Tell him to take a look at how utilities, far from benefiting from competition, have skyrocketed in cost and service has become a joke since those were privatized. Tell him to look into how the NHS is going towards privatization like in the US and as a result it’s being gutted, closing hospitals, reducing staff, etc. Tell him to read up on the direction the Royal Mail is going in.”

        So I guess I should thank you for a few moments entertainment. Your fantasy land was certainly strange and interesting, but it wouldn’t pass the BS detector of someone reading a low-rate sci-fi novel, much less function as a system of justice.

      • Matthew Reece

        If Company A sends people to incarcerate me and I am with Company B, I (along with people from Company B) can use force to resist them. Company A’s customers are not going to want to pay extra to cover the cost of attacking me, so they will look for competitors who offer cheaper services. Also, holding prisoners is expensive. It is only a financial benefit in the current system due to government influence.

  • Matthew Reece

    “Let’s just go ahead and privatize roads. Heck, they’re already doing this with toll roads as it is. I live in Dallas. Every new highway being built here is a toll road — and they’re not cheap. Now imagine if every road was a toll road.”

    But you must also imagine that there are no taxes on fuel or vehicles, leaving you with more money with which to pay the tolls.

    • PoppaDavid

      Actually, it doesn’t work that way. You don’t get to use government to collect land to use as roads and then give that collection to private road companies. That is a direct government interference with the market. The existing roads should go back the the landowner from whom it was taken, and no new takings should be tolerated. Eminent domain by any agent is a violation of private property rights. If you want to cross my land, you ask my permission and pay what I ask, and when you get to my neighbor, you ask them, and so on as you cross every single piece of property on the way from your home to your destination. If someone wants to build a road that’s great, I will lease them a right of way, and I will be paid for everyone who uses it.

      • Matthew Reece

        Most of what you say is correct, but we aren’t going to take up every single road in existence and start from scratch after we abolish government. That is completely impractical.

      • PoppaDavid

        When you abolish government, you abolish public roads. There are two kinds of public roads. Those that are public “rights of way” over private land, and public owner ship of the land under the road.

        When you abolish government, the principles of the free market require that the public owned properties be sold at fair market to the highest bidder with the land divided in such manner as to maximize the profit of the sale with the proceeds going in proportion to the members of the tax paying public who actually paid for them. Anything else is theft. The roads don’t get sold at “fire sale” prices to the cronies of privatization.

        When you abolish government, the principles of private property require that the public “rights of way” be extinguished, because one party to the contract no longer exists. There is nothing there to sell to a private road company. Each property owner gets full and complete use of their property. I own land with a ROW on it. I will now be able to charge toll on every vehicle that crosses my property, and I happen to own both sides of a road that has no other access. People wishing to access their properties using my land will pay what I require.

        If you recognize that the hassle of getting permission from every private property owner along your route is “completely impractical”, then you should appreciate that theoretical libertarian economics like theoretical communist economics doesn’t do well in the real world.

      • Matthew Reece

        My point is that when government is abolished, the people who begin the stateless society will work with what is there, not scrap everything and start over from a state of nature.

      • PoppaDavid

        Yes and when government is abolished, the contracts between individuals and government will vanish, including those that require a property owner to allow people to trespass on their private property because it is a “public road”. Without government, roads will be treated the same as beaches, “private property, keep out”. What makes you believe it would be otherwise?

        Unless of course you believe that “the people who begin the stateless society” will retain the power of the government to use eminent domain to force people to give up their land for public use as a road. Or do you espouse the use of force by those who wish to cross property against the will of the owner? Our history contains sufficient examples of travelers who took shots at natives who objected to unapproved trespass over tribal lands.

        I suspect that the “stateless society” is just a variation of “the state withering away”.

      • Matthew Reece

        In most cases, public roads run between private properties rather than through them. In these cases, there is little to worry about. In the case of a stubborn landowner who owns property on both sides of a road and wishes to close it, people could go around his land, pay him a toll, or economically ostracize him until he relents.

        If people are really as unreasonable as you believe them to be, then clearly a government composed of these people is far too dangerous to be allowed to operate.

      • PoppaDavid

        You side step the problem. If you abolish government ownership of roads, there already are established procedures for disposition of the asset. In most cases the road reverts to the adjacent property. In the case of ROW over private land it goes in total to the owner. They would then be able to use as little or much of the old road as they wish, with as little maintenance as they wish. The people who start the stateless society get to start with that.

        If you need to see what urban roads will look like after a few years look at the slums of any third world city. If you wish to see what the rural roads would look like find a dirt road.

        Since I own land that controls access to a few miles of road with no alternative access, I can charge what the market will bear, and I don’t even need to maintain the road. Except for the guy whose dog killed my goat. He doesn’t get access at all. Governments exist to look at the larger scale issues of society, independent land owners look to their own issues.

      • Matthew Reece

        The disposition of the asset would need to be determined by an auction for the cases of roads between properties. Maybe there would be less roads if private landowners shut down roads through their properties, but this would lead to fewer unnecessary roads. If someone tried to shut down a vital avenue of travel and business, they could expect some intense economic ostracism and social demonization, to the extent that doing so would not be worthwhile.

        Again, these examples illustrate a failed state situation like Somalia, not a post-state situation.

        True, you can charge what you want or deny someone access if you have a toll road. Of course, if people clog up ground traffic too much from such methods, other people will invest more time and money into making flying cars affordable, and then we don’t need roads nearly as much.

      • PoppaDavid

        If you wish to maximize the revenue from the sale, the roads would be divided into many small parcels with neighboring landowners able to bid on them. If you wish to preserve the road system the roads would be auctioned a a whole which would severely limit the potential bidders and reduce the revenue received. If the system is sold intact, we can expect the buyer to parcel out and sell off everything that is excess to their interests to pay off the purchase price.

        So, the question would be, are you trying to follow the free market and maximize revenue, or follow the principles of crony capitalism and sell a public resource to a private owner for less than the full market value?

        The true free market process would be to restore the land to the local taxpayers and then allow entrepreneurs the option of buying what they want for the market price.

      • OregonJimmy

        What a bunch of horseshit. If you want to drive a car on one of YOUR roads, who’s going to pay the public royalties on the raw materials used to construct the roads/vehicles and motivate a car on your utopian Capitalistic roads? You most likely would charge a surcharge for raw materials (ownership based on highest bidder), cumulative estimated fuel usage and nonrenewable resource mitigation, farmland diversion for ethanol production, as well as sound and aesthetic degradation alowances for possibly wealthy adjacent land owners, as well as a common “private citizen” charge (for the good of the public/corporate welfare) levied, based upon the privately brokered odometers leased by each driver for their privately/corporately (based upon income needs) rented/leased/owned and approved (handling charge) and sanctioned automobiles, and bonded by third party vendors via subcontractors with their own sanctioned fees…etc… You could offer monthly “specials” like a “Reader’s Digest” of vehicle subscriptions as well as the private nation surcharge as well, assessed by income class, and “driver’s needs classifications”, right?… Any way you choose to tilt at this windmill, its going to get uglier and uglier and only benefit someone who is an executive or investor in the magic company, already rich at the expense of those short on wealth, and the cycle revolves ad infinitum… But…That’s OK with you right? After all, its a better system…Right? No matter how you look at it, a private government would be just as full of horseshit (for the sake of profit) as the public NON-PROFIT government which is already in place, which would be cheaper, and more fair to the majority populace. Have you ever met a rich person who was willing to give up 1/3 of their accumulated wealth towards the betterment of the State regardless of the fact that they can’t spend the money they earn via their wealth? Yet, Republicans and die-hard capitalists would be more than happy to extract that same tally from you and I (assuming I’m talking to “commoners” such as myself). Bottom line as far as I’m concerned…Capitalistic ideals are primarily based on individual greed and lust for power (ie. Koch Bros.). To Hell for everyone else as far as they are concerned!!! They simply won’t stop until they have every bit of wealth there is. Then, they will compete with each other until there’s nothing left to acquire. “What a revolting development this is” (Life of Riley TV Show 1955).

      • OregonJimmy

        If that is your point, then why not? Isn’t that what Ayn Rand’s little babies want? You can’t have your roads and use them too.

      • Matthew Reece

        I don’t follow Ayn Rand. In fact, I have never even read one of her books. I became a libertarian anarchist by reading Murray Rothbard, Walter Block, and Stefan Molyneux.

    • Raeann Thomas

      You truly believe they have any sort of intention of abolishing those taxes? Then how would the conservative politicians who run on a platform of hating government ever get paid if taxes were abolished?

      • regressive rightwing trash

        they would cry about abortion and gays marrying,,,,, and the “war on Christmas”

      • Matthew Reece

        I am a free market anarchist, not a conservative.

    • OregonJimmy

      Yeah. Why don’t we privatize toilets. Whenever you take a dump, the company rings up a charge for disposal of your feces/urine, and issues a little printout of your bill, (Public Information mind you), that you can use in some sort of capitalistic anarchist scheme wherein you will get a handling charge refund of 1 cent on the dollar of your turd fees. You can then elect to donate that turd credit to the capitalistic candidate of your latent Ayn Rand whimsey. Bear in mind that the turd disposal company can raise fees at its own discretion. Pretty soon, you will become constipated because your privatization scheme has negated peristaltic action in your gut due to being a anarchistic free market turd hoarder.

      • Matthew Reece

        That is nonsensical. Toilets are already privatized. If you want to see non-private toilets, look back to Ancient Rome.

  • commonman

    Believing that Republicans want everything to be for profit is equally as stupid as saying all liberals are sociallists. Why doesn’t this author read his own first paragraph and realise his whole article is “absurd”. He is not an author, he is just an ass.

    • Raeann Thomas

      But, they do want most everything to be for profit. They are on record as supporting just that, particularly this new breed of uber crazy tea partiers. The few sane, moderate REpublicans that are left seem to be leaving the Republican party.

    • Raymond Moser

      Correct, Republicans just want nonprofit, middle class supported local government to outsource work to for-profit companies. Meanwhile their accounts arrange tax abatement for business to spur the hiring of low paid workers, who have to burden the government with providing food assistance programs, since they don’t make enough to afford groceries.

  • George Harvard

    There is no need for a “for profit” entity, in today’s U .S.A……we LIBBIES have seen to putting an end to that type of thinking…

  • Bobati

    Don’t we already get a water bill anyway? I don’t think privaticing things will necessarily make them more expensive. It depends on how much you use them. Someone who doesn’t own a car might be outraged that they have to pay taxes to keep up roads…so they might be happy if highways are privatized.

    • frozen01

      Yes, we get a water bill. But it’s a miniscule sum of what the costs would be if it were privatized (though I don’t agree with the sum calculated in the article – nobody is going to charge… much less PAY… bottled-water prices for the water that goes through their toilet, showers, and garden hoses).

      If you don’t think privatization makes things more expensive, then I invite you to compare the costs between USPS and FedEx or UPS, or between how much is spent on Medicare per patient versus the private sector.

      Lastly, even if you don’t own a car, you still USE the roads. You use the roads when you take the bus, ride your bike, or take a taxi. When you walk, you use the sidewalk, which was built and maintained using taxpayer dolalrs. The roads are also used to get your groceries and clothing to where you purchase them. If the roads were privatized, your grocery store and your local WalMart or Target or wherever you shop will have to pay to use those roads, and they will pass the costs on to you. For this reason, I highly doubt your hypothetical non-car-user would be happy at all.

      • Bobati

        “WalMart or Target or wherever you shop will have to pay to use those roads, and they will pass the costs on to you.”

        Good. Maybe then people can finally stop supporting slave labor.

      • Frozen01

        Except that they wouldn’t. Making these companies pay for the use of the privatized roads won’t make them give their employees living wages. In fact, it might do the opposite; they may, instead of passing costs onto the consumer, simply lower the wages of their employees even further.
        And we all know what happens when major regional employers lower their wages: Other companies follow suit.

  • KeysorSoze

    Indiana leased it’s toll road(I-80-90) to a private company for 50 years.

  • Jim Bean

    Here’s a glimpse of the non-profit society Democrats are trying to create: Detroit.

    • OregonJimmy

      Go find a city that isn’t such a poster child of unbridled capitalism please. Your example is ludicrous.

  • FaintCryofFreedom

    I recently had a “discussion” of sorts with some nitwit on an internet forum who supports the idea of school vouchers. I insisted it was a misuse of taxpayer $$$ -that if HE wants to send HIS kids to private school, fine, just not on MY dime. I pay my taxes for a public education system. PUBLIC. The reasons for why we developed a public education system are myriad & he apparently had no appreciation for those (historical & well-documented) reasons whatsoever. He wouldn’t let go of the idea, he would not see past it.
    THIS IS WHAT’S COMING, AMERICA. Many of you are unaware of the subtle tactics the right-wing/Republican guard are using to create the appearance of a need to privatize. WOE BE TO ALL OF US for putting more time & energy into getting ready to shop on the Friday after Thanksgiving -than we are into involving ourselves in matters of our national security.
    It IS our national security that is at stake. Our country is being stolen out from under us. Just look at what’s been done in Michigan. JUST LOOK. Michigan is a poster-child for the Republican wet-dream. Shame on ALL of us for allowing this to happen.

    • frozen01

      There’s also the fact that this is not a new thing: We have statistical evidence showing vouchers don’t necessarily work. The very things that made the charter school better than the public school in the first place… small class sizes, being selective about who can attend… disappear the moment the school opens itself via the voucher program. In areas where vouchers became available, they saw the charter schools’ performance drop BELOW what the public schools were at.

  • Samuel Ramos

    The GOP wants a return to the Robber Baron days of the late 19th and early 20th Century USA. Complete, with child labor, no health insurance, and indentured servitude!

    • regressive rightwing trash

      and JEEEEESUS on the flag

  • peter

    I agree with almost everything but the people here are talking about the wrong thing. What this site, and every one of us should be speaking about is GETTING THE VOTE OUT! You can count on one thing. The opposition will consistently get the vote out. We are the party of too many excuses on why we didn’t vote. Here is a perfect example. the recent Virginia elections. The conservatives were running a true, imo, nut that most normal people should have been afraid of. this guy was a kook! He barely lost under a very low turnout. I know the new voting rules have partly made and impact, but that was what they were designed to do. We let it happen.. Here is what every one of us needs to do. Do not let friends, family, anyone who thinks along the same lines, ever get away with some excuse why they couldn’t vote. Get on their case…period….and stay on it.

  • MLR

    The problem is their constituents are so damn gullible! It always amazes me when I read ignorant comments from right-wing crazies that think all liberals are living off of their “hard earned tax dollars” when it’s actually the other way around. They say “be careful what you wish for you might just get it.” I say if republicans want everything in their red state to be for profit then let them get a taste of what it would be like.

  • CherMoe

    Republicans don’t like rules & regulations because there is LITTLE about them that is civilized. And actually, ANIMALS have better instincts than they do. They would like to take every penny they can steal from Americans, turn us all back into serfs and re-establish a more Neanderthal kind of time with men beating their chests and dominating everyone and everything around them.

  • GaLiberal

    A free market will ultimately result in a very few uberrich controlling the economy with a very large uneducated desperate poor labor pool. This has happened several times in US history most notably during the robber barons period in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Only when monopolies were outlawed and laws were passed on stock manipulation did some semblance of fairness come to the common worker.

  • oldngrumpy1

    The part that both sides miss is the vast difference between them in their ideas of ownership of the resources. The right wing believes that the end all of capitalism is jobs, and that means industry getting as many breaks as can be lavished upon it. If we just gift all of our resources to corporations they will reward us with the “right” to labor at adding value to them.

    Socialism isn’t so much anti industry/capitalism as it is pro citizen. If citizens were properly compensated for the extraction of resources they would be able to avoid the threat of poverty, starvation, illness and death without performing labor for a corporation. Once those threats are removed as bargaining chips for corporation then workers can bargain for a fair wage in a “real” free market capitalism.

  • OregonJimmy

    OK…Again I complain and totally disparage greed. Personal greed is the ultimate downfall of organized societies throughout our planet. For reasons of survival, (I think), we all retain this perilous feeling and project it to our fellow men. It breeds envy, revenge, superiority, and most of all, conservation of power in the hands of the individual who retains the most wealth. I am sure, that at some point in time, greed will be seen as an absolutely negative feeling for our our species, and will go the way of our old prejudices and discriminatory practices. The sooner this happens, the better off we all shall be. If I were an advanced species from outside our solar system, I would completely discount any thoughts of visitation due to the nature of man to be self destructive, and bent on greed.

  • uncleRick74

    .. while I agree with much of what you’re saying, I would like to point out that many of us are, indeed, Socialists, and do hate capitalism.. and we’re patriots, and Vietnam Veterans, and good citizens.. and we’re believers in our American system (or what’s left of it), but that we have to adopt many of the qualities of Euro-style Democratic Socialism to thwart the complete destruction of democracy, which is antithetical to capitalism which is a form of governance that depends entirely on the subjugation of the masses for the enrichment of a few.. and that’s not sustainable, as evidenced by mankind’s history of cyclical revolution/purge…

  • Dawn Hilton Oliveira

    I have been saying the same thing as Allen for a while. But, I am not a fool to believe that it is just the Republicans. I was an Obama supporter until the BP oil spill in the Gulf. I live in Florida and it is our way of life, the Gulf is what brings us revenue. The Gulf is dirty and they are still pouring chemicals in the water to hide what is there even after they said they stopped. The EPA even approved this chemical. A gentleman did an independent study and found a large plume of oil covering about 45% of the Gulf. He mysteriously died a few days after he publicized his report. Obama did nothing about this, in fact, allowed them to drill more. I am disgusted with both parties! They only worry about the money.

  • ObserversDickIsAFatwa

    A “for profit” society is FAR better than a “by influence and pull” society

  • mgoodri

    I pray my son will never have to live in such an America! You brain-washed, ignorant lemmings are helping this become a reality.

  • Eg Kbbs

    Admittedly it is hard to define fascism. But the growing absolute control of the corporation over the people (and resulting govt run on the principle of making a profit, usually for the corporations) is a likely example.

  • Bear Brinkman

    Already happening in Kansas…..

  • Jason Semple

    There are places that will let your house burn down if you haven’t paid for the service of the fire dept.