is the belief that privatization
is wonderful, we don't need a military
, that no government
is the best government
(even though some government is necessary), and that any public service
should be fully paid for by those who use it (such as public transportation
, public parks
, police forces
, and so on). Government should not interfere in the day to day workings of mankind, victimless crimes
should be abolished, and that you should not be forced to do anything you do not want to do. These are all laudable
goals. (See libertarian
for more information, before reading the rest of this node.)
The only problem is, libertarianism won't work.
If Libertarians ran the country, then there would not be any way to maintain a currency -- there would be no taxes, therefore there would be no central monetary supply. Banks would be forced to take on the duty of creating money (this is actually their function -- loaning out money that has already been deposited, thereby making it look like there's more money in circulation), but because there would be no central bank that could regulate the value of that money, it would be difficult to maintain confidence in the money supply.
Even if this wasn't true, there would be no money to maintain public works -- water, electricity, phone -- and there would be no way to prevent the companies that took over those functions from charging more than the public could bear. (Per-minute rates on phone service, electrical service, massive per-gallon charges on water, gas, heating oil...)
Businesses exist to make money. Corporations exist to make money for their stockholders. Corporations do not exist to have a sense of ethics, and they will not use the money that they have to maintain the environment. They will not, unless forced to, share the natural resources that everyone is entitled to under current law.
As I was driving on I-5 between the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles, I saw a few signs. "Farm Water Feeds the Nation", they said... and this got me to thinking about what Libertarians would do. There would be no governmental support for maintaining the environment. There would be no governmental support or mandate for wolf reintroduction, or elk reintroduction, or any of the other habitat preservation and endangered species protection services. The environment would get more and more polluted, the car companies would go back to creating less fuel-efficient automobiles that produced more pollution, the electrical companies would end up saving too much energy in their huge batteries (since they would be charging too much for people to use the electricity in the first place), and either shut down power production at some of their plants, or overload the power grid and shut the entire thing down...
Regulation exists to protect us all. I'm all for less government, but I cannot accept the idea of no government.