A blog by Patrick Crozier


August 15, 2004

What about the losers?
Patrick Crozier

I am a libertarian. I believe that freedom leads to a better world in the long run. But not necessarily in the short run. If the state were removed from the picture tommorow, it is not difficult to think of people who would be losers and often big losers.

So, what should be done? Should anything be done? After all, if anything is to be done it is to be done by the state. But we know that the state screws things up, so why should we think it is any less likely to screw up the transition? And then, if compensation is the order of the day, there is a good chance that the state would be unable to pay it.

A further problem is the length of time and hassle involved in creating a fair system. In a democratic system, you don't have much time to get results. And I don't want to get rid of democracy.

Are there, perhaps, some generic ways of disengaging the state and making that transition a smooth one; a set of principles that could be applied quickly and cheaply to all situations? Or do we just have to say "tough"?

August 06, 2004

Why will Bush win?
Patrick Crozier

Because he's the sort of guy you'd like to have a beer with. Cafe Hayek's Russell Roberts takes his Presidential Election Ready Reckoner out for a test ride.

August 02, 2004

Spot the difference…
Patrick Crozier

…between:

Ilkley Moor baht mitre - headline from the Telegraph leader column

and:

On Ilkley Moor baht mitre - headline from the Times leader column:

August 01, 2004

The state almost always fails
Patrick Crozier

The belief that the state is not very good at, well, anything, is pretty implicit in my piece over on Transport Blog on bus deregulation. It is also one of the primary reasons why I am a libertarian, though, there are others.

I believe this mainly because there is no shortage of state failures. Of course, you can debate precisely what it means to fail but I can think of few state services which I would rate as more competent than, say, the average supermarket.

Why is this? I have to say I am very shaky on the theory (cue a rude comment from Andy Wood, to the effect that I really ought to go and read something sometime) but I was very impressed by something that Brian said in a comment to another posting I wrote sometime ago:

Markets enable knowledge to be found. Price signals enable lots of people to discover what punters want…

And so when price signals dry up (as they do when the state gets involved) organisations no longer know what the punters want and so service almost always suffers.