Privatization boosts free market

It is strange to see how many people object to the idea of ending the government monopoly for any service or product that is even marginally now provided by government.

Some people seem to really believe things can be best done by government, using coercive wealth confiscation known euphemistically as taxation and by not allowing anyone to opt out and choose a free market alternative.

That is an odd belief that goes against years of observations and experience.

In my last column where I wrote about privatizing the firefighting profession, some people seemed to believe it was wrong to monetarily reward firefighters for doing a good job. They also seemed to think I was implying that firefighters need more incentives to do what they do. I have no doubt that most firefighters would choose to keep doing what they do with or without financial reward, but let’s face the facts: It takes money to survive in the world today and there is no more practical way to say “thank you” than to pay for a job well-done. Who could be reasonably opposed to that?

The same goes for schools, security/police, roads, libraries, zoos, or anything else that is currently provided by a tax-imposing entity. There are privately financed alternatives to the government institutions in all these categories already. Let the market take it further by allowing people to economically support only the option of their choice, without any government interference, and see where it leads.

This isn’t to say that those who choose to continue operating on a similar basis to what we have now would be prevented; they wouldn’t. It is just that there would be a way for people to opt out and choose a service that better fits their specific needs. This means if you choose to subscribe to a private service you can no longer be taxed to support the government option.

If the government institution is truly that much better, after the market has tried and failed, they should be able to reimpose a universal tax and re-establish a monopoly with no trouble at all. Of course, if as I suspect, the private options crush the coercively financed option, both in cost and in service, it would be really hard to justify taxation any longer.

All the rest of government might soon come under the same scrutiny and be held to the same standards, which just might be the reason for the resistance to this liberty-enhancing change.