Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I wonder if Rand Paul...

...read David Brooks's column in the Times today. Brooks talks about "disorder, violence and man-inflicted suffering" in the developing world (my emphasis):

People in many parts of the world simply live beyond the apparatus of law and order. The District of Columbia spends about $850 per person per year on police. In Bangladesh, the government spends less than $1.50 per person per year on police. The cops are just not there.

In the United States, there is one prosecutor for every 12,000 citizens. In Malawi, there is one prosecutor for every 1.5 million citizens. The prosecutors are just not there.

In a world without functioning institutions, predatory behavior and the passions of domination and submission blot out economic logic.

Libertarianism may be fine for an Ayn Rand novel, but I'm not so sure it would work in reality.

1 comment:

Ed Crotty said...

David Brooks doesn't even realize he is calling for "big government".

Here is *the* classic rant on libertarianism:


everyone close your eyes and try to imagine a private, profit-making rights-enforcement organization which does not resemble the mafia, a street gang, those pesky fire-fighters/arsonists/looters who used to provide such "services" in old New York and Tokyo, medieval tax-farmers, or a Lendu militia.

Now try it the wishful thinking way. Just wish that we might all live in a state of perfect liberty, free of taxation and intrusive government, and that we should all be wealthier as well as freer. Now wish that people should, despite that lack of any restraint on their actions such as might be formed by policemen, functioning law courts, the SEC, and so on, not spend all their time screwing each other in predictable ways ranging from ordinary rape, through the selling of fraudulent stocks in non-existent ventures, up to the wholesale dumping of mercury in the public water supplies. (I mean, the general stock of water from which people privately draw.) Awesome huh? But it gets better. Now wish that everyone had a pony.