Author Topic: The most libertarian country in the world?  (Read 25367 times)

doczinn

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #50 on: October 01, 2007, 04:20:43 PM »
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Like I said though, I'm open to an example of any free-market highway, built free of compulsion.
If there are none, is that because it's impossible or inefficient, or does that mean that government compulsion precluded the possibility?

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And if you want to do anything more than politely ask, yes, it will cost money.
Which I can spend or not as I see fit, and most likely get a better result for less money than government-provided security.

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having to spend all day at home personally warding off the millions who don't believe in property rights
Yeah, because that's the choice, isn't it? Government police forces or spending all day at home protecting your property. We couldn't possibly find a free-market solution to security problems, any more than we can find a free-market solution to educate our children or feed ourselves. Oh, wait, we can.

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So the only rational scheme under which I will contribute to a highway, a public police system, or a similar good...is if I know everyone else will be forced to pay, so that no one can free ride on my dollar.
Or maybe it doesn't have to be "public."

D. R. ZINN

De Selby

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #51 on: October 01, 2007, 08:16:45 PM »
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If there are none, is that because it's impossible or inefficient, or does that mean that government compulsion precluded the possibility?

Well, the argument for why it is inefficient and impossible in the end is posted above.  You are free to critique it, and you'll probably make yourself quite famous if you definitively refute it.  How is it that you get all the individuals required to sell their land for a highway, to forget the profit motive and forget their interest in holding out to be the last sale?

The fact that there is no example of a private highway, even though there are lots of places where there is no barrier to a private person buying tracts of land and putting private roads on them, is powerful evidence in support of the above argument.  But again, I'm happy to see your argument as to how governments are actually the reason there has never, ever been a privately built highway.

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Which I can spend or not as I see fit, and most likely get a better result for less money than government-provided security.

Most likely? Who else is going to pay to protect your property?  And why would anyone else pay for a collective property protection service, knowing that you will have to pay to involve him in the system anyway if you wish to have any recourse against him for his violations of your property rights.  Quite simply, you can't have private courts that extert authority over people who don't agree to be bound by them...and if no one else agrees to be bound by your court, it is a waste of your money.

It's market economics that make private solutions to things like courtrooms impossible, not magic.  It's in no person's interest to pay for a system that fairly adjudicates claims, because, quite simply, if they believe everyone else will volunteer money...then it's irrational for them to volunteer their own.  Free riding, again, makes great economic sense.  And if they think "Hey, everyone else will think like me and free ride", it's even less rational to do so.

So which is it? Do you just not believe that personal gain motivates people in a free economy, or is there something to your argument in support of private rights enforcement systems that you haven't posted?
"Human existence being an hallucination containing in itself the secondary hallucinations of day and night (the latter an insanitary condition of the atmosphere due to accretions of black air) it ill becomes any man of sense to be concerned at the illusory approach of the supreme hallucination known as death."

Warren

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #52 on: October 02, 2007, 01:35:35 AM »
Re: roads

This is half-way there. It is an 'almost', a 'not quite' but it is moving in the right direction.

http://www.thetollroads.com/home/about_history.htm

The Holdout problem was conqured by the railroads way early on, if I was to build a non-coercive roadway (no eminent domain etc.) I'd do what they did.

Say you want to build a road form Irwinville to Bogieland there is plenty of land on which to lay the road. So much that you can pick any number of routes. What you do is make an announcement that your plan is to build this road and you highlight your routes and say that whatever group of property owners along a given route can make the deal first and fast they get a premium over assesed value. This motivates the land owners to work together to sell you their parcels. Easy.

With multiple potential routes the hold-out problem disappears. The more routes the better.

An alternate method is the Walt Disney World model. They wanted a big chunk of the Orlando area and if they went in as Disney they would get reamed by everybody. So they created numerous front companies which purchased the land quietly which kept prices down and allowed them to get all they needed with little relative fuss.

In a situation where geography constrains you, the Disney method is best, but when things are wide open just being up-front is your best move.

Back in the early days of this great land there were plenty of privately funded toll roads. It was rare that they ever paid much back to their subscribers but yet people continued to invest. Why? Because making a profit off the road was not the point. the point was to open the area to commerce. If you have a road leading to Budneyburg it is a lot easier to get your product to market and to encourage others to come visit you and spend money.

If that is your goal then free-rider issues go away, you want people to come to town.

TIf your plan is to make money off the use of the road it is difficult if you cannot keep out free-riders. One way to do it is to make everyone who pays eligible for a prize of some sort. Say every X number of times a day a transponder number is recorded and that car owner or driver gets awarded $100 (whatever, it could be donated money cards to a mall or concert tickets).
 
Another way would be to make it known that if you free-ride and are in an accident you will be sued for the cost of the clean-up and rescue teams etc.

Another way is to have gates that only open for those with a transponder, it would slow things up a bit but would be nearly 100% in solving for free-riders.

If people would privately fund lighthouses when they really did not have to, people will privately fund roads. I'm assuming most everyone knows that quite a lot of lighthouse were built with private funds. If not wel...The More You Know...

Len Budney

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #53 on: October 02, 2007, 02:49:48 AM »
Yes.  Because even if I don't come after your money, there are millions of people out there who don't think you have any property rights, and who won't deal with a system that relies on the honor code method.

I think you sell your fellow man short. However, if one of them insists on invading my person or property, he will be resisted with deadly force.

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It would be nice to think that asking other people to respect your property would lead to a successful society, but unfortunately it is hopelessly unrealistic.

I'm willing to back up my request with jacketed hollowpoints.

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I'm willing look after my own person and property. (Hint: look at the upper-left corner of this page.)

The problem is that, thought through, this position will reduce both your enjoyment of your property and profits.

Let me worry about that, thanks.

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I've provided myself with 9mm protection of my own.

This is useful for one limited scenario: a thief who sneaks into your house in the night.

Security is a product like any other, and can be provided cheaper and more efficiently by the market.

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. Why do you insist on "giving" me things I never asked for, and then trying to force me to pay for them? Sounds like a protection racket.

Because I am rationally self interested-I realize that without compulsion on some level, there are some services that will never be provided.

You are mistaken. But if you weren't mistaken, how would that justify your decision to rob or enslave me?

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If I pay to take care of property rights, the economically rational thing for you to do is not pay...

The free-rider problem is the easiest thing in the world to resolve. If you pay a security company to protect your property, they can protect yours and refuse to protect mine. It's really quite simple.

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So the only rational scheme under which I will contribute to a highway, a public police system, or a similar good...

Private turnpikes actually have an illustrious history in the US and England. Sorry.

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It's unfortunate that you're convinced you can't accomplish those things without subjecting me to your protection racket.

I'm convinced alright, because the track record of the human race and some pretty insightful economists have made a fairly unbeatable case for it.

They've done no such thing. If they had, however, this would change nothing: you have no right to rob or enslave me. You can insist that "it's the only way," but that doesn't justify anything.

--Len.
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K Frame

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #54 on: October 02, 2007, 06:02:59 AM »
"Say you want to build a road form Irwinville to Bogieland there is plenty of land on which to lay the road."

NO ROADS! Roads are the work of Satan!
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doczinn

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #55 on: October 02, 2007, 06:04:26 AM »
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How is it that you get all the individuals required to sell their land for a highway, to forget the profit motive and forget their interest in holding out to be the last sale?
The same way you get all the individuals to sell their land for a mall, or for any other large project. You buy it.

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Who else is going to pay to protect your property?
You still don't get it, do you? I don't want to force anyone else to pay to protect my property.

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Do you just not believe that personal gain motivates people in a free economy, or is there something to your argument in support of private rights enforcement systems that you haven't posted?
Yet another strawman, and they're really old coming from you. It is because people are motivated by personal gain that they will choose protection, and find the best protection they can for what they're willing to spend.

http://www.lp.org/lpn/9901-triumph.html
D. R. ZINN

doczinn

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #56 on: October 02, 2007, 06:12:38 AM »
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One way to do it is to make everyone who pays eligible for a prize of some sort. Say every X number of times a day a transponder number is recorded and that car owner or driver gets awarded $100 (whatever, it could be donated money cards to a mall or concert tickets).
 
Another way would be to make it known that if you free-ride and are in an accident you will be sued for the cost of the clean-up and rescue teams etc.

Another way is to have gates that only open for those with a transponder, it would slow things up a bit but would be nearly 100% in solving for free-riders.
Thee are a number of toll highways in Orange County ( I wasn't going to bring them up because I'm not sure if they're entirely privately-owned or some "public/private partnership.") Cars with transponders breeze through and the toll is deducted from the account. Cars without transponders can stop at a toll booth instead. Cars without transponders that don't stop and pay are pulled over and fined. Private property rights, right? If for some reason a private company couldn't levy a fine on trespassers, they could at least escort them back to the point where they entered the property, then file a lawsuit for the amount of resources expended in doing so.
D. R. ZINN

Len Budney

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #57 on: October 02, 2007, 06:46:44 AM »
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How is it that you get all the individuals required to sell their land for a highway, to forget the profit motive and forget their interest in holding out to be the last sale?

The same way you get all the individuals to sell their land for a mall, or for any other large project. You buy it.

Right. And Walter Block (among others) has proposed a solution to the holdout problem. It's really quite simple and elegant. The road builder considers multiple routes from A to B. Along each route, he buys not property, but options on property. If a holdout along one route refuses to sell options, another route is used instead.

The number of possible routes is sufficiently large that holdouts face a prisoners' dilemma: by selling the option and being selected as the route, they stand to gain; by holding out, they stand only to lose.

--Len.
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De Selby

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #58 on: October 02, 2007, 01:17:55 PM »
Well, let's see. Some other interesting examples of projects that involved public land, public resources, and public compulsion....to result in sometimes private profit (although not to the exclusion of public benefit.).

Railroads:
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The Holdout problem was conqured by the railroads way early on, if I was to build a non-coercive roadway (no eminent domain etc.) I'd do what they did.

To do what the railroads did, you would need..armies of congressman willing to give public lands, and grants over private lands, and huge public subsidies to your project.  That's how you would copy their model.

It's hard to imagine how you could even conceive of a railroad project of the size undertaken in the United States without the vast swaths of public land and government grants of land to the railroads.  Even today the railroad industry is only semi-private; it's never been a fully private enterprise, and it certainly wasn't when it was successful.


Here's some background info on it:
http://cprr.org/Museum/Construction_1883.html


Toll roads:
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Back in the early days of this great land there were plenty of privately funded toll roads. It was rare that they ever paid much back to their subscribers but yet people continued to invest. Why? Because making a profit off the road was not the point. the point was to open the area to commerce. If you have a road leading to Budneyburg it is a lot easier to get your product to market and to encourage others to come visit you and spend money.

The first toll roads were in feudal systems and used basically to extort commerce between parties not involved with the owners of the roads.  Eliminating the toll systems was one of the big selling points for centralized monarchies-one of those cases where the marketplace favored centralized control and regulation over letting private landowners have total control of their property.

Your analysis of the free rider problem only addresses concerns about use of the highways and roads, something I think market systems actually do take care of fairly well.  But what's to stop the very last guy, with his plot of land needed to complete the highway, from demanding an inordinate amount of money and free access to any road that crosses it? 

Your idea of competing groups of investors doesn't work, because each individual group will face the same holdout problem: knowing that for the whole group to make x billions, each individual plot needs to be sold, every individual owner has a strong profit motive to hold up the whole group by demanding a premium for his own personal participation.  Using that system will just make the investor groups the cause of failure, rather than the inability of the railroad/toll-road company to get all the individuals involved to sell.


Edited for grammar
"Human existence being an hallucination containing in itself the secondary hallucinations of day and night (the latter an insanitary condition of the atmosphere due to accretions of black air) it ill becomes any man of sense to be concerned at the illusory approach of the supreme hallucination known as death."

De Selby

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #59 on: October 02, 2007, 01:26:38 PM »
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One way to do it is to make everyone who pays eligible for a prize of some sort. Say every X number of times a day a transponder number is recorded and that car owner or driver gets awarded $100 (whatever, it could be donated money cards to a mall or concert tickets).
 
Another way would be to make it known that if you free-ride and are in an accident you will be sued for the cost of the clean-up and rescue teams etc.

Another way is to have gates that only open for those with a transponder, it would slow things up a bit but would be nearly 100% in solving for free-riders.
Thee are a number of toll highways in Orange County ( I wasn't going to bring them up because I'm not sure if they're entirely privately-owned or some "public/private partnership.") Cars with transponders breeze through and the toll is deducted from the account. Cars without transponders can stop at a toll booth instead. Cars without transponders that don't stop and pay are pulled over and fined. Private property rights, right? If for some reason a private company couldn't levy a fine on trespassers, they could at least escort them back to the point where they entered the property, then file a lawsuit for the amount of resources expended in doing so.


There are many privately owned highways-but none of them built without public authorities to gather up the land. 

You're addressing only the use of the highway, not the process required to build a highway in the first place.  Those are two very different things.
"Human existence being an hallucination containing in itself the secondary hallucinations of day and night (the latter an insanitary condition of the atmosphere due to accretions of black air) it ill becomes any man of sense to be concerned at the illusory approach of the supreme hallucination known as death."

De Selby

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #60 on: October 02, 2007, 01:31:23 PM »


Right. And Walter Block (among others) has proposed a solution to the holdout problem. It's really quite simple and elegant. The road builder considers multiple routes from A to B. Along each route, he buys not property, but options on property. If a holdout along one route refuses to sell options, another route is used instead.

The number of possible routes is sufficiently large that holdouts face a prisoners' dilemma: by selling the option and being selected as the route, they stand to gain; by holding out, they stand only to lose.

--Len.


The simple problem with this argument is that it presumes that it's easier for a huge group of investors to cooperate in putting their land sales all together, than it is for a small group of holdouts to cooperate to foil the multiple-highway plan scheme.  So not only is this hugely inefficient (because you have to get enough capital to buy options or land along multiple routes to make the threat believable), but it can easily be defeated by a small group of landowners who conspire to holdup all of the projects, and then share the profits between themselves of the superpremium paid to the conspirator who lives along the final route. 

It's easier to organize four landowners to foil four possible highway plots, than it is to organize the thousands of others required to pay for and make any of the individual highway plots feasible.

And that doesn't even begin to address the problem of getting investors to put together so much capital that multiple highway sites become realistic...there's a free rider problem if there ever were one, coupled with the problem of dividing up the benefits amongst significant investors.  I don't think it's even clear that you could attempt a project like the one you described privately, and it's pretty clear that holdouts will be able to defeat it even if you did get the investors together.
"Human existence being an hallucination containing in itself the secondary hallucinations of day and night (the latter an insanitary condition of the atmosphere due to accretions of black air) it ill becomes any man of sense to be concerned at the illusory approach of the supreme hallucination known as death."

Warren

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #61 on: October 02, 2007, 03:00:46 PM »
But yet the Milwaukee (Rail)Road, with no grants and no ED'ing of any property managed to do what you say is impossible. HMMM.

It has been done and it can be done.

Also the Walt Disney World method worked great, are you saying a hiway or turnpike company could not manage the same results?

I think you grant too much hypothetical cooperation to these hold-out owners. If there are multiple routes to choose from and all the owners of the potential end patches got together to form a cabal it would be in one of their interests to betray the group and sell out. Cabals always break down due to cheating by the members. It happened with the railroads and it would happen here.

If I was a representitive of the hiway men I would make sure each memeber of this land cabal was paranoid and jealous of the others. In time this would lead to divisions in the membership and after that a sale. If it took bribes and or blackmail well...I wouldn't talk about those methods.  grin

And wouldn't be ironic if a roads company went through all of this and then someone came up with an inexpensive, practical and easy to use flying car?

De Selby

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #62 on: October 02, 2007, 03:59:00 PM »
here2learn,

From some McReading on the Milwaukee railroad, I found:http://www.mrha.com/history.cfm

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Kilbourn and his associates, after dropping the idea of the canal, then obtained a charter in 1847 that granted them rights to build a rail­road over the 20 miles between Milwaukee and Waukesha . Later the charter was amended so that the railroad could be extended to the Mississippi River .

and:

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Construction was held up for a while when cash-not something to trade-was needed for getting iron rails. This problem seemed solved when the mayor of Milton stood up at a meeting, offered to mortgage his farm to help raise cash, and then reportedly asked "are there not one hundred men between Mil­waukee and Rock River that can do the same? If so, here is your money."

There were a hundred men, and more, but the problem wasn't solved. Eastern money centers weren't much interested in loan security that was in the form of mortgages on farms in a nearly un­developed region. Eventually the city of Milwaukee had to issue bonds that were used in helping finance the railroad's cash needs.


As for disneyworld:

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Also the Walt Disney World method worked great, are you saying a hiway or turnpike company could not manage the same results?


Well, you're ignoring significant public sector work involved in the Disney project, again revealed by some McReading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reedy_Creek_Improvement_District
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On March 11, 1966, several landowners, all fully-owned subsidiaries of what is now The Walt Disney Company, petitioned the Circuit Court of the Ninth Judicial Circuit, which served Orange County, Florida, for the creation of the Reedy Creek Drainage District under Chapter 298 of the Florida Statutes. After a period during which some minor landowners within the boundaries opted out, the Drainage District was incorporated on May 13, 1966, as a public corporation. Among the powers of a Drainage District were the power to condemn and acquire property outside its boundaries "for the public use". It used this power at least once to obtain land for Canal C-1 (Bonnet Creek) through land that is now being developed as the Bonnet Creek Resort, a non-Disney resort.

But even assuming Disneyland had been built entirely privately, yes, that's exactly what I'm saying.  Acquiring a large plot, and acquiring a continuous chain across the entire country, are two entirely different projects.  It's possible for walmarts to get large plots of land for stores and warehouses too-I think you are making the mistake of assuming that because one large project can be undertaken by private companies, all large projects can.  You are talking apples and oranges.

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If there are multiple routes to choose from and all the owners of the potential end patches got together to form a cabal it would be in one of their interests to betray the group and sell out. Cabals always break down due to cheating by the members. It happened with the railroads and it would happen here.

If cabals always break down, how do you get the original group together that's going to sell all of its options/land to the company?

How is the original group needed to sell all the plots for a highway less a "cabal" subject to this problem, than the group of renegade option conspirators?
"Human existence being an hallucination containing in itself the secondary hallucinations of day and night (the latter an insanitary condition of the atmosphere due to accretions of black air) it ill becomes any man of sense to be concerned at the illusory approach of the supreme hallucination known as death."

Len Budney

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #63 on: October 02, 2007, 04:19:47 PM »
The simple problem with this argument is that it presumes that it's easier for a huge group of investors to cooperate in putting their land sales all together, than it is for a small group of holdouts to cooperate to foil the multiple-highway plan scheme.

Buying options on land along multiple routes is hardly any additional work above what's required to plan the highway in the first place. Conversely, I'd like to see how you manage to coordinate a "small group of holdouts" such that the highway plans can be held hostage. You're fantasizing.

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So not only is this hugely inefficient (because you have to get enough capital to buy options...

Options are cheap.

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...it can easily be defeated by a small group of landowners who conspire to holdup all of the projects, and then share the profits between themselves of the superpremium paid to the conspirator who lives along the final route. 

Again, that's fantasizing. If you would like to look into the matter more, a good starting place is to learn as much as you can about cartels. Hint: cartels never work, unless enforced at gunpoint.

--Len.
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De Selby

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #64 on: October 02, 2007, 04:28:53 PM »
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Buying options on land along multiple routes is hardly any additional work above what's required to plan the highway in the first place.

So how is it that you get people to ignore the incentive to hold out on the option? 

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Conversely, I'd like to see how you manage to coordinate a "small group of holdouts" such that the highway plans can be held hostage. You're fantasizing.

Exactly the same way you got everyone to sell their options together: by communicating.  When you tell them "Hey, if you don't all sell me your options, I'll go elsewhere", it only takes one person in the land-chain to go "elsewhere" and say "hey, when he comes to you...we'll both shake him down for extra cash." 

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Options are cheap.

Options prices are determined by the market value of the right to be exercised.  They are not cheap when the last guy you offer to buy from, realizing that you've bought a hundred other options and you need his option to make the highway feasible, says "Well, mine's worth more than those..." and demands an exhorbitant price, realizing that you will forfeit all the other option money you spent if you don't pay him what he wants.

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Again, that's fantasizing. If you would like to look into the matter more, a good starting place is to learn as much as you can about cartels. Hint: cartels never work, unless enforced at gunpoint.

That is exactly what I've been saying here: You can't get something like a "cartel" of landowners to cooperate on a highway, without compulsion.  And even if you could get people to coordinate their sales freely, that would be a toughter cartel to run than a cartel of holdouts. 

What I'm confused by is how you don't recognize the group of people who have to sell together to make the highway as a cartel (or potential cartel).  If you need everyone's participation to get something done, the last person to participate can hold out against the rest for huge benefits (which is why cartels, absent compulsion fail)...ie, the individual incentives in the marketplace favor monkeywrenching cooperation, not participation. 

But somehow, this problem only applies to people that want to thwart highways-not the groups who have to sell in concert to build them? Hmmm...
"Human existence being an hallucination containing in itself the secondary hallucinations of day and night (the latter an insanitary condition of the atmosphere due to accretions of black air) it ill becomes any man of sense to be concerned at the illusory approach of the supreme hallucination known as death."

Warren

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #65 on: October 02, 2007, 04:34:39 PM »
For the Milwaukee I neglected to mention it was their westward expansion that I was talking about. They bought the land, some of it a jacked up prices, from private suppliers. They still managed to do it. So it can be done.

Cabal: (per wikipedia) A cabal is a number of persons united in some close design, usually to promote their private views and interests in a church, state, or other community by intrigue.


So the hold-outs would be a cabal while the others who were trying to get a group sale together to earn the premium would not be as they were being up-front about their goals and were not trying to scuttle anything or resort to price-fixing.

Hold-outs =  cabal.

Up-fronts = routine business deals


There is also another angle: what if the idea of a super highway was so attractive you had land owners approaching the roads men and offering great deals on land in order to make sure the road passed nearby an existing or planned travelers' money-sink? It could be anything from a very nice resort area to a cracked patch of asphalt with a crappy motel and gas & go stuck on it.

This might make aquiring the land much easier, eh. Even if it was only links in the chain, it would help.

As to Disney World I am less interested in the fact that it was one geographic patch of an area and more interested int the tactics of buying the land.  For a cross-country project their might be 100s of front companies working to tender options on land or to buy land directly. It would be sneaky, but if it could be kept quiet it would work.

Of course  in the US right now there is no point to do this as it would not be profitable I am talking about a hypothetical land where the Interstate system does not exist.





Len Budney

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #66 on: October 03, 2007, 04:43:13 AM »
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Buying options on land along multiple routes is hardly any additional work above what's required to plan the highway in the first place.

So how is it that you get people to ignore the incentive to hold out on the option?

There is no incentive. Each owner knows that you can easily route around him, but has no idea what other routes you're considering.

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Conversely, I'd like to see how you manage to coordinate a "small group of holdouts" such that the highway plans can be held hostage. You're fantasizing.

Exactly the same way you got everyone to sell their options together: by communicating.

But my job is much easier than yours, because I know what routes I'm considering. You don't. And furthermore, the options I'm buying include a clause that reduces the land price by 50% if the homeowner violates the NDA.

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When you tell them "Hey, if you don't all sell me your options, I'll go elsewhere", it only takes one person in the land-chain to go "elsewhere" and say "hey, when he comes to you...we'll both shake him down for extra cash."

Where "elsewhere" means "every property along a path from Canada to Mexico," since my road from NY to CA can take ANY route. You grossly underestimate how much effort is involved in arranging this conspiracy--especially considering how fragile these conspiracies are: everyone along your path has an incentive to sign onto your conspiracy and then secretly sell to me; the conspiracy increases the attractiveness of his property over yours. But since the same is true of ALL of your co-conspirators, which is precisely the prisoners' dilemma: they all have overwhelming motivation to sell to me.

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Options are cheap.

Options prices are determined by the market value of the right to be exercised.

I plan my highway where options are cheap. Your efforts to keep the price out of my reach are doomed, because the variety of routes open to me is practically infinite.

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That is exactly what I've been saying here: You can't get something like a "cartel" of landowners to cooperate on a highway, without compulsion.

Contracts provide the only legitimate form of "compulsion," since the property owners freely entered into them. Once agreed upon, contracts are enforceable, yet remain consistent with libertarian principles.

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But somehow, this problem only applies to people that want to thwart highways-not the groups who have to sell in concert to build them? Hmmm...

The odds are heavily in the buyer's favor. You own one piece of property; I can choose to make offers on any of millions of properties.

--Len.
In a cannibal society, vegetarians arouse suspicion.

MechAg94

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #67 on: October 03, 2007, 05:36:37 AM »
Honestly, out of all the stuff to take away from the govt and put in the private sphere, roads are way down on the list.  Smiley

We just need to invent hover cars, repulsors or anti-gravity and then we won't need roads.  Cheesy
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Len Budney

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #68 on: October 03, 2007, 05:42:38 AM »
Honestly, out of all the stuff to take away from the govt and put in the private sphere, roads are way down on the list.  Smiley

Agreed. They're not my most burning concern. On the other hand, they make a nice philosophical litmus test: if someone finds any alternative to socialized roads unthinkable, then that suggests a fundamental belief in the indispensability of the state. Which doesn't make one a bad person, but certainly clarifies the philosophical difference to be addressed. Cheesy

--Len.
In a cannibal society, vegetarians arouse suspicion.

Warren

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #69 on: October 03, 2007, 11:43:32 AM »
Honestly, out of all the stuff to take away from the govt and put in the private sphere, roads are way down on the list.  Smiley

We just need to invent hover cars, repulsors or anti-gravity and then we won't need roads.  Cheesy

Absolutely.

Even in the case that tech does not advance to that point if someone said to me, "You can get the Libertarian area you want, the only drawback is that the roads will suck." I'd take that deal in a micro-second.

Len Budney

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #70 on: October 03, 2007, 12:59:05 PM »
Even in the case that tech does not advance to that point if someone said to me, "You can get the Libertarian area you want, the only drawback is that the roads will suck." I'd take that deal in a micro-second.

If Libertopia weren't immediately bombed into oblivion by statist forces, we probably wouldn't have roads at all. We'd get around by transporter or, if we want to sight-see, by shuttlecraft. Most "roads" would be bike paths, and marginal land would be left in its natural state. Environmentalists' brains would explode trying to figure out how all that natural beauty exists without a government to create it.

--Len.
In a cannibal society, vegetarians arouse suspicion.

De Selby

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #71 on: October 03, 2007, 01:28:11 PM »
Even in the case that tech does not advance to that point if someone said to me, "You can get the Libertarian area you want, the only drawback is that the roads will suck." I'd take that deal in a micro-second.

If Libertopia weren't immediately bombed into oblivion by statist forces, we probably wouldn't have roads at all. We'd get around by transporter or, if we want to sight-see, by shuttlecraft. Most "roads" would be bike paths, and marginal land would be left in its natural state. Environmentalists' brains would explode trying to figure out how all that natural beauty exists without a government to create it.

--Len.


Here's an idea: invest in "free market solutions" to the statist forces. 

If the pure free market is such a wonderful thing, how come it can't provide you with any protection from statist forces?

Edit: that's actually a serious question for the libertarian theory.  If it's something you admit can't ever maintain itself against competition from others, why should anyone support it?
"Human existence being an hallucination containing in itself the secondary hallucinations of day and night (the latter an insanitary condition of the atmosphere due to accretions of black air) it ill becomes any man of sense to be concerned at the illusory approach of the supreme hallucination known as death."

Len Budney

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Re: The most libertarian country in the world?
« Reply #72 on: October 03, 2007, 01:51:48 PM »
Here's an idea: invest in "free market solutions" to the statist forces. If the pure free market is such a wonderful thing, how come it can't provide you with any protection from statist forces?

"Protection" is a pretty broad term, which makes it harder to answer your question. Security is defined in terms of a specific threat model. PGP makes you "secure" against (most) unauthorized reading of your email messages, but it doesn't secure you in any way against muggers with guns.

There are lots of free-market services out there to protect people from the state. Defense attorneys can secure you against false accusations, luckily for the Duke lacrosse players. Audit defense services protect against IRS harrassment--and cheaply, too. The National Audit Defense Network tried to charge $600/yr for the service, but you can now buy audit defense per-return through TurboTax for about $30.

If you include the black market in the "free market," then various sorts of protection can be had there, such as off-shore bank accounts, money laundering, goods prohibited by the state, etc.

But what you probably mean is, "Why can't the free market provide guaranteed protection against the US army and Federal, state and local police forces?" Your question could be refer to individuals like the Browns, or to foreign nations. I'll stipulate up front that the free market doesn't offer protection against a division of American infantry, or a squadron of fighter planes, or a nuclear-tipped cruise missile.

The tactical answer to your question is simply that lovers of freedom are outnumbered. One million lovers of liberty (to pull a number from the air) can't hope to fight off 300 million slaves. Freedom is morally superior, but it doesn't confer a 300-to-one tactical advantage. In addition, the side that's willing to maim, kill, slaughter and enslave has a tactical advantage over the side that refuses to do those things. The state can and does wage preemptive war on free men, using gun control laws and all sorts of other immoral means.

Most libertarians have no intention of waging war for freedom. They believe that their fellow man really does love liberty, but is confused by habit, history and propaganda. They believe that liberty can and will defeat the state by converting a majority of mankind to liberty. From their perspective, liberty can defeat the state; it just hasn't yet because we're early in the game. I don't think we should scoff at that, at least not if we can easily swallow the claim that we're "winning" in Iraq despite how hideous the current situation there is.

--Len.
In a cannibal society, vegetarians arouse suspicion.