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How would free market prisons work?

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Freedom4Me73986 Posted: Thu, Oct 27 2011 3:25 PM

I know a lot of socialist anarchists want to abolish prisons and end punishing criminals all together which I think is insane. I support having a free market prison system with competing prisons. Only I've encountered some problems with this view. First of all, who would pay the private prison company? Who is the "customer?" I know there's solutions here but I want to ask others.

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Clayton replied on Thu, Oct 27 2011 3:33 PM

Yeah, those "problems" are a good indication that prisons are entirely a creation of the State. No State, no prisons. It's really that simple.

If the crime was so bad that private law does not specify any payment which can settle the matter (e.g. murder) then it can be taken care of through outlawry and bounty hunting, etc. Otherwise, the crime/tort is something that can be settled with a monetary payment. Inability to pay damages is handled through co-liability (i.e. insurance via family or impersonal 3rd party commercial insurers) or outlawry.

Finally, even if victims were willing to pay to house, feed and clothe their aggressors in prisons, I doubt that private law would recognize caging people as a valid form of "payment" for damages. That is, a crime victim could no more demand that he be permitted to cage the aggressor as punishment for his crime than he could demand to be permitted to perform live vivisection on the aggressor as punishment. Imprisoning someone would, I believe, constitute a new tort in its own right, even if the victim of imprisonment had previously aggressed against the person doing the imprisoning.

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MaikU replied on Thu, Oct 27 2011 3:58 PM

Freedom4Me73986:

I know a lot of socialist anarchists want to abolish prisons and end punishing criminals all together which I think is insane. I support having a free market prison system with competing prisons. Only I've encountered some problems with this view. First of all, who would pay the private prison company? Who is the "customer?" I know there's solutions here but I want to ask others.

 

 

Not sure about socialists, but most ancaps (as I experienced) do not favor prison system at all. It is counterproductive, it is costly and it is cruel. There would be much less prisons in libertopia if any at all.

As for paying... well, those, who want to keep criminals caged would pay. First in a row - victims. But then again, I doubt prisons can be sustained without massive and coercive taxation system. Fuck prisons, I want my restitution. Leave retribution to God and karma, hehe.

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(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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How about this: if A murders B, then B's family/associates are entitled to as much of A's wealth and/or property as they want in return. A is essentially forced to pay for his crimes.

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Clayton replied on Thu, Oct 27 2011 8:23 PM

How about this: if A murders B, then B's family/associates are entitled to as much of A's wealth and/or property as they want in return. A is essentially forced to pay for his crimes.

Too complicated. Outlawry or lump-sum payment are much more efficient and have been used in many cultures and still are used in a couple even today.

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Autolykos replied on Fri, Oct 28 2011 11:10 AM

Freedom4Me73986:
I know a lot of socialist anarchists want to abolish prisons and end punishing criminals all together which I think is insane. I support having a free market prison system with competing prisons. Only I've encountered some problems with this view. First of all, who would pay the private prison company? Who is the "customer?" I know there's solutions here but I want to ask others.

I don't think incarceration would be used directly as restitution in a stateless society. Instead, I think it would be used on captured outlaws.

Let's say the accused leaves town before his trial. After doing due diligence in trying to contact him, he's tried in absentia and found guilty. If the injured party so desires, he/they (or someone on his/their behalf) can place a bounty to capture the convicted. Now let's say the convicted gets captured by a bounty hunter. In order to insure payment of the restitution, he's essentially incarcerated in a work facility. This facility could be its own business or part of a larger one. Either way, it could earn a profit through the labor(s) of the prisoners housed there.

Basically this would be a form of involuntary debt slavery. There might also exist facilities for the criminally insane.

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MaikU replied on Fri, Oct 28 2011 12:03 PM

Autolykos:

 There might also exist facilities for the criminally insane.

 

You mean, for politicians?

 

(sorry, couldn't resist).

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limitgov replied on Fri, Oct 28 2011 2:12 PM

"Fuck prisons, I want my restitution. Leave retribution to God and karma."

 

Right when I read this, Alice Cooper - schools out just came on.  Makes sense.   There will be many many questions, though:

what if group of people murdered your brother?  What do you do? 

What if someone stole your car and then wrecked it.  And you caught him, but he says "f*ck you, I ain't payin you sh*t"?

What if someone breaks your mailbox and you catch it on camera, but they say  "dude, if you come on my property I'm gonna beat the sh*t out of you"?

 

 

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Clayton replied on Fri, Oct 28 2011 2:35 PM

@limitgov: All three of those scenarios fall under what I call "The Bully Problem" here. A certain amount of division-of-labor and specialization in the production of security services is required to solve these problems. However, it should always be kept in mind that the State makes problems worse in this regard. Hiring a private bodyguard or private security agency to provide protection makes sense for a lot of people but the market is extremely restricted and generally non-existent at the low end (just like with low-end private education... you can't compete with free). Hence, the State creates a scarcity in the production of security services for the protection of the life and property of private individuals, while it creates a sufeit of security services for itself and its buddies in the private sector.

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In a related question, what happens in a criminal restitution system when, thanks to all that economic growth in a free society, people become too rich to care about the fines?

"They all look upon progressing material improvement as upon a self-acting process." - Ludwig von Mises
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MaikU replied on Fri, Oct 28 2011 2:55 PM

limitgov:

"Fuck prisons, I want my restitution. Leave retribution to God and karma."

 

Right when I read this, Alice Cooper - schools out just came on.  Makes sense.   There will be many many questions, though:

what if group of people murdered your brother?  What do you do? 

What if someone stole your car and then wrecked it.  And you caught him, but he says "f*ck you, I ain't payin you sh*t"?

What if someone breaks your mailbox and you catch it on camera, but they say  "dude, if you come on my property I'm gonna beat the sh*t out of you"?

 

 

 

wait, I didn't say I advocate lawless society or anything like that. Either I don't get your question or you didn't get what I wanted to say.

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(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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Clayton replied on Fri, Oct 28 2011 2:58 PM

what happens in a criminal restitution system when people get too rich to care about the fines?

Does it really matter? What matters is whether victims are happy with the restitution they are paid. From my article on law:

"This process [the law] of feedback on the choices people make continually drives the gangly process of cooperative, catallactic exchange in dispute resolution closer to a process of pure, catallactic exchange – the act of taking a legal risk becomes, more and more, an entirely conscious trade-off based on calculation of costs and benefits."

What I mean by this is that the first time two people get into a completely new kind of dispute (say, the technology involved is novel or some unique circumstance has arisen), there is no clearly right resolution of the dispute... instead, the two parties involved may sue and counter-sue in an attempt to maneuver for legal advantage, etc. However, as more cases of this type are heard and resolved by whatever means, some sort of precedent is bound to emerge. Some arguments are bound to "stick" and these begin to take on normative force and become law. As they become recognized as law, the choice of whether to engage in a behavior that is in violation of the law is a conscious tradeoff between costs (if someone sues you) and benefits.

In a private law society, the law is not a list of "Thou shalt nots" to be enforced at any cost. Rather, it is a body of knowledge regarding the reasonable and effective resolutions of disputes and the conscious use of this body of knowledge by the individual making cost-benefit tradeoffs is not only allowed but desired. The Thou-Shalt-Not approach to law is symptomatic of the State. Its dictates are rigid and ideological. They must be of the form Thou-Shalt-Not because of what the State pretends to be... the Enforcer and Creator of Social Order.

If the State said "you can speed as much as you like and we won't take your license away but it will cost you $100 for every 10 mph you go over the speed limit each time we catch you", this would be inherently deligitimizing of the whole concept of a speed limit. It would make it clear just how arbitrary and useless speed limits are. Instead, the speed limit is issued as an unquestionable dictate which has been crafted as the result of a long process of deliberation by the appointed and wise caretakers of society.

Private law is completely different. There are no "speed limits" in private law, there is only individual judgment, prudence and unlimited legal liability. It is then up to the individual to weigh the potential that his chosen course of action will result in a costly lawsuit against the benefits he expects to gain by engaging in it. The potential for human flourishing that would be unleashed by a transition to private law society is impossible for us to comprehend. Just like entrepreneurs take business risks and weigh the expected chances of bankruptcy against the expected benefits of success, we would see the same kind of calculation process applied to every aspect of human life under private law. 

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In all probability, even the most heinous people would be ostracized.  It is cheaper that way. 

 

Free market prisons will work in the same way that leper colonies work: the people living there will deal with it on their own. 

Before calling yourself a libertarian or an anarchist, read this.  
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I see it that way too, Clayton. I actually attempted to make that very point the other day.

As such I agree with your theoretical framework. What I asked was more of a practical concern. Punishment of crimes, be it prison or restitution, is mostly disincentive. I don't think most people could ever be happy about the restitution they received for the death of a loved one, the purpose of the punishment is to disincentivize that murder in the first place. And that disincentive would disappear once people get too rich to care about the fines, which we can expect in a undistorted market. Let's use texting while driving on a private road as an example. Say to drive on a private road you have to agree to the following clause: "If I am caught texting while driving on this road, I agree to pay 1000 Dollars to the owner." That should keep people from texting, right? But say you are a billionaire, would you care about the fine? You wouldn't care about lousy 1000 bucks, so you'd just be texting. The whole system of fines loses it's effect once people become too rich to care about it.

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Clayton replied on Fri, Oct 28 2011 5:42 PM

I don't think most people could ever be happy about the restitution they received for the death of a loved one, the purpose of the punishment is to disincentivize that murder in the first place.

I disagree. The purpose of legal payment is to settle the dispute, that is, prevent open conflict. I should have used more exact language... when I said "happy with" I meant "willing to settle the dispute." You may be right that there might not be any price at which the family of a murder victim is willing to settle. In this case, open conflict is inevitable.

As for disincentivization, I think that it is impossible to consciously design incentives or disincentives - it is a form of central-planning. To the extent that settlements act as a disincentive, this is a reflection of the human urge to retribution... we cannot know the particular reasons that people demand more retribution for this behavior than that behavior and I think it is a mistake to try to improve upon human nature by "designing" incentives and disincentives. The correct way to view the private law market in arbitration is that arbitrators are (inadvertently) "discovering" the "going price for settlement of XYZ" in the process of independently settling many disputes over XYZ. I believe there is more than an analogy here to how market prices are discovered by buyers and sellers. Law is really the market in torts.

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z1235 replied on Fri, Oct 28 2011 6:33 PM

EmperorNero:
Say to drive on a private road you have to agree to the following clause: "If I am caught texting while driving on this road, I agree to pay 1000 Dollars to the owner." That should keep people from texting, right? But say you are a billionaire, would you care about the fine? You wouldn't care about lousy 1000 bucks, so you'd just be texting. 

Billionaires don't drive, they have drivers. They also don't text, they have secretaries. wink

 

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Wheylous replied on Fri, Oct 28 2011 9:16 PM

Plus, in that case you can make some income-based system. Even better, make the price outrageously high and then give a panel the ability to bring the price down in cases of emergency/low income, etc. The possibilities are endless.

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Bert replied on Sat, Oct 29 2011 9:26 AM

I'm still not completely convinced some people shouldn't be jailed.  If some gang member robs a place with a gun threatening people, gets caught, and is able to come up with the money, but still free from confinement to do it again, and again, and again, and then kill someone in the process, I think paying fines is not enough.

Especially if after the payment the people are still free to engage in the same exact act.  What if someone's caught doing something, and they have to pay a fine, and then out of anger at another time attack the person who they had to pay a fine to?

I don't hold the death penalty out of question either, it's just who's doing it.

Free market prisons?  They could be financed by insurance and security agencies for the few people who commit harmful crimes.

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Clayton replied on Sat, Oct 29 2011 12:58 PM

I'm still not completely convinced some people shouldn't be jailed.  If some gang member robs a place with a gun threatening people, gets caught, and is able to come up with the money,

Then the matter is settled from the point of view of the victim and that's what really matters. The person who committed the tort does not "lose all rights" and does not have a duty to "be made an example of", that is, to be punished disproportionately or viciously for the purpose of "warning others." Such behavior on the part of the victim constitutes a new tort of its own against the original aggressor.

Deterrence is a fortuitous by-product of the resolution of disputes.

but still free from confinement to do it again, and again, and again, and then kill someone in the process, I think paying fines is not enough.

It is not the responsibility of a victim (or "society") to subsidize the security costs of the community by confining criminals. Crime is a much more dangerous occupation in a private-law society. For example, an aggressor has no rights in the process of committing his crime unlike in the current system where killing or injuring a home-invader can land you in jail. An aggressor who is unable to pay the settlement will find himself back in court in short order and eventually outlawed for his refusal (or inability) to pay. Once outlawed, he is "fair game" and all the enemies he's created in his life are free to put a bounty on his head to find him and kill him.

Especially if after the payment the people are still free to engage in the same exact act.  What if someone's caught doing something, and they have to pay a fine, and then out of anger at another time attack the person who they had to pay a fine to?

There's nothing in the prison system that prevents this. In fact, it is my belief that many of the most dangerous criminals that we keep alive in prison today would simply be outlawed and killed in a private law society.

I don't hold the death penalty out of question either, it's just who's doing it.

Free market prisons?  They could be financed by insurance and security agencies for the few people who commit harmful crimes.

It seems your thinking is trapped in the box of "the way things are". Why is caging a dangerous person a good security policy? Why not hold property-owners responsible to secure the things they want to keep secure (e.g. put bars in the windows, put fences up, security cameras, etc.)? The only way that caging people makes sense is if every criminal was jailed for life but that seems like an incredibly expensive policy, leaving aside the injustice of forcing innocent people to pay to feed, clothe and house known criminals in cages. It is socialism to force the public to pay to cage offenders when property owners should bear their own security costs.

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Bert replied on Sun, Oct 30 2011 10:59 AM

If we assume everyone has the same mindset in a private law society, then known criminals would be ostracized by the community, but I don't expect some to have a "lesson learned" attitude and my reference is to repeat offenders with a gang of unknown supporters.  The point to where someone (known or unknown) becomes a nuisance to the community.  I don't expect someone to be killed from it, but I expect more than him just be ostracized from the community (does he just get passed along to the next community?).  What about those who psychologically cannot be "upright citizens" and constantly resort to petty crime?

I just don't see the idea of paying for the crime working out for the criminal himself* (not saying inprisonment would be better), but if a community or if the insurance and law companies have alternatives to jail a repeat offender for a given amount of time that option should be available for those willing to pay (if those companies have that option then it would not be mandatory, as I was not referencing to some mandatory payment for jail as I think you assumed).

*I'm thinking of those who probably would just end up in jail multiple times, I don't see how just paying fines and getting into debt, and owing multiple people money that would never get paid be beneficial and appeasing to the victims of the crimes committed.  What options would be viable?  Seems like it's only pay fines, ostracized from the community (if everyone has the same mindset in the entire community), and killed.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Malachi replied on Sun, Oct 30 2011 11:17 AM

>>>>repeat offenders with a gang of unknown supporters.>>>>

as Clayton has pointed out at least twice, these individuals would likely be killed while committing aggression against a person with legal standing, or their legal standing would be removed and they would cease to become a problem because of a bounty on their head. If you come up with a third option, then by all means launch a justice/security company with that as an option. But incarceration is vile, ineffective, and expensive and has no place in civilization.

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Autolykos replied on Sun, Oct 30 2011 11:25 AM

Bert:
If we assume everyone has the same mindset in a private law society, then known criminals would be ostracized by the community, but I don't expect some to have a "lesson learned" attitude and my reference is to repeat offenders with a gang of unknown supporters.  The point to where someone (known or unknown) becomes a nuisance to the community.  I don't expect someone to be killed from it, but I expect more than him just be ostracized from the community (does he just get passed along to the next community?).  What about those who psychologically cannot be "upright citizens" and constantly resort to petty crime?

Such people - also known as psychopaths - would either find their lives cut short or they'll be forced to pay off their restitution debts. In the latter case, if imprisonment is necessary, so be it.

Bert:
I just don't see the idea of paying for the crime working out for the criminal himself* (not saying inprisonment would be better), but if a community or if the insurance and law companies have alternatives to jail a repeat offender for a given amount of time that option should be available for those willing to pay (if those companies have that option then it would not be mandatory, as I was not referencing to some mandatory payment for jail as I think you assumed).

Imprisonment per se doesn't seem to be a deterrent for the individuals you mention above. Otherwise, why would they keep landing in prison? But look at it this way. A repeat offender (assuming he's been rightly convicted) will find it increasingly more difficult to get and hold a job, as well as other things he may want. In the limit, his repeated criminal offenses will render him utterly destitute. Obviously his ability to repay restitution debts would similarly become increasingly diminished. If he can't make restitution immediately, then he'll be forced to work until it's been made.

Bert:
*I'm thinking of those who probably would just end up in jail multiple times, I don't see how just paying fines and getting into debt, and owing multiple people money that would never get paid be beneficial and appeasing to the victims of the crimes committed.  What options would be viable?  Seems like it's only pay fines, ostracized from the community (if everyone has the same mindset in the entire community), and killed.

Again, the idea I have is that, if a person can't pay off the debt as a matter of course, then he'll be forced to work until it's paid. Psychopathic individuals, who'd just as soon "skip town" entirely than submit to such indentured servitude, would likely be imprisoned during the course of it. But note that this isn't imprisonment for the sake of imprisonment - the point is to better ensure that the restitution debt is paid off.

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Clayton replied on Mon, Oct 31 2011 12:15 AM

The history of prisons, as we know them today, is very short going back only to the 19th century. For al of human history before the advent of prisons, how were criminals dealt with? They were generally either killed or fined. No one except a government would engage in the folly of paying to feed, clothe and house a known criminal for years on end.

If we assume everyone has the same mindset in a private law society, then known criminals would be ostracized by the community, but I don't expect some to have a "lesson learned" attitude and my reference is to repeat offenders with a gang of unknown supporters.  The point to where someone (known or unknown) becomes a nuisance to the community.  I don't expect someone to be killed from it, but I expect more than him just be ostracized from the community (does he just get passed along to the next community?).  What about those who psychologically cannot be "upright citizens" and constantly resort to petty crime?

But I think you're confusing separate issues - one issue is security which I've addressed in the post above... prisons are a piss-poor way to enhance the security of a community. Rather than holding private owners responsible to secure their own property, we're building a socialized fence and puting all the (supposedly) bad guys inside that fence. Of course, it would strike anyone as unjust to jail a petty thief for life, so we eventually let them back out again. But where's the sense in that? If they really are a threat to the security of the community and the purpose of prisons is to make the community more secure, then they should be jailed for life, regardless of the size of their crime.

The other issue is the issue of property rights and justice... is it a crime to imprison someone? I think the answer is generally "yes" - except in limited circumstances that would be spelled out in a private law society, confining or impeding someone would be a serious offense. So, even if you could find people crazy enough to feed, clothe and shelter their aggressors for years on end, I doubt that it would stand up to legal challenge. No, you can't confine someone as "punishment" for what they did. You either get a payment from them in the customary amount or, if they refuse to pay, they eventually are no longer recogized to have legal standing and become fair game to be taken out by a bounty hunter.

I just don't see the idea of paying for the crime working out for the criminal himself* (not saying inprisonment would be better), but if a community or if the insurance and law companies have alternatives to jail a repeat offender for a given amount of time that option should be available for those willing to pay (if those companies have that option then it would not be mandatory, as I was not referencing to some mandatory payment for jail as I think you assumed).

You keep ignoring the fact that feeding, clothing, sheltering and confining someone for years is costly. I don't see that cost could be recouped, let alone exceeded (allowing the imprisoned to pay off his debt). Debtor's prisons, for example, were not about punishing the person so much as pressuring the family to cough up the money to pay the debt. But this seems to me to be extortion so not sure how that could operate in a private law society.

*I'm thinking of those who probably would just end up in jail multiple times, I don't see how just paying fines and getting into debt, and owing multiple people money that would never get paid be beneficial and appeasing to the victims of the crimes committed.  What options would be viable?  Seems like it's only pay fines, ostracized from the community (if everyone has the same mindset in the entire community), and killed.

I don't think that ostracization is compatible with private law society unless we're talking about some kind of gated community or other enclave where there exists a covenant or contract of some sort between the inhabitants. So, I see just two alternatives: pay a fine or be outlawed (hunted down and killed).

I think you're neglecting the fact that the character of private law society would be quite a bit different than modern, Western society... it would be a lot more conservative. I don't think most criminals would ever have much success... one or two offenses and that would be game over. It's much less dangerous to be a criminal in modern society than in private law society.

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James C replied on Mon, Oct 31 2011 2:52 AM

justice is a private matter, and how justice is achieved should be decided solely by the victims themselves through private courts. society has no say in the matter, and if someone actually wants to send their aggressor to prison rather than seek restitution, then they can pay for it themselves. in the case where the victim is personally unable to seek out justice(i.e. murder), thats where families, insurance companies, and law firms working pro bono come in. they can seek compensation on their behalf. if the victim had a will prepared, then it will be executed as such. if the person had written that they wanted financial restitution, retribution through prison sentence, or even forgiveness for the murderer, that is their prerogative.

in a stateless society, reputation becomes invaluable. i think something similar to a credit score would come about-a trustworthiness rating or maybe a reputation score. it will have a record of all your encounters with the courts. for example, in the absence of the state, no one can be compelled to answer a subpoena. however, it will show up on your reputation score, and people will wonder why you didnt, and bring doubts about your character.

overall, letting people decide how they want justice to be served is much more preferable than to the current government monopoly that is extremely politically motivated in all its cases, where their "batting averages" are more important than actually discovering the truth.

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Individuals would be insured with protection agencies. Each protection agency could agree, in theory, to use different courts with different laws. If the victim did indeed wish to have the perpetrator of a crime sent to prison, they would insure themselves with a protection agency who promised to go to a court which sentenced people to prison.

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Autolykos replied on Mon, Oct 31 2011 10:25 AM

Vladimir Ulyanov:
Individuals would be insured with protection agencies. Each protection agency could agree, in theory, to use different courts with different laws. If the victim did indeed wish to have the perpetrator of a crime sent to prison, they would insure themselves with a protection agency who promised to go to a court which sentenced people to prison.

Insurance and protection are two different things, Volodya. Furthermore, the choice of court depends on agreement between the plaintiff (the alleged victim and accuser) and the defendant (the accused). With all due respect, what you're describing sounds like geographically overlapping governments.

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One insures themselves witha protection agency. If a crime is committed against the protection agencies client, it will pursue the criminal in the course of justice.

One can imagine an idealised bargaining process, for this or any other disput as follows: Two agencies are negotiating whether to recognize a pro- or anti-capital-punishment court. The pro agency calculates that getting a pro-capital punishment court will be worth $20,000 a year to its customers; that is the additional amount it can get for its services if it includes a guarentee of capital punishment in case of disputes with the other agency. The anti-capital-punishment agency calculates a corresponding figure of $40,000. It offers the pro agency $30,000 a year in exchange for accepting an anti-capital-punishment court. The pro agency accepts. Now the anti-capital-punishment agency can raise its rate enough to bring in an extra $35,000. Its customers are happy, since the guarentee of no capital-punishment is worth more than that. The agency is happy; it is making an extra $5,000 a year profit. The pro agency cuts its rate by an amount that costs it $25,000 a year. This lets it keep its customers and even get more, since the savings is worth more than enough to make up to them for not getting the court of their choice. It, too, is making $5,000 a year profit on the transaction. As in any good trade, everyone gains.

'' The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.'' Stephen Hawking

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Conza88 replied on Mon, Oct 31 2011 10:56 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzYJYSm-MfI

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Joe replied on Mon, Oct 31 2011 11:37 PM

I am always a bit skeptical of the mythical reputation agencies theory.  I just don't see how its practical. Obviously a credit score is practical because a bunch of money is involved, but to go into a store and buy a pack of gum, it would seem kind of strange to require a certain reputation score for entry.  Maybe in 20-50 years when you can just have it linked  to some sort of id scanner than emminantes from your wallet, or even better, quick reading, non-invasive and accurate facial or retina scanners.  Then whenever you go onto a peice of private property, you enter through the door, get scanned and instantly approved or denied based on your reputation score and that companies specific thresholds for reputation scores. But without that level of technology, it would just seem to cumbersome.  Stores without it would attract more customers do to the convience plus not have to pay what I am sure would be a decent amonut of money to have the equipment, plus paying for yearly services fees to all the reputation agencies.

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Joe replied on Mon, Oct 31 2011 11:45 PM

I also think that we can't emphasize enough how much less crime there would be in general.  All drug related crime would cease more or less overnight.  Also, there would be a clearer path toward success without the government holding back the poor.  It would be much more obvious to people that the way to get ahead in life would be to save and work hard.  The ricer people are, the lower their time preference, and with a lower time preference, there is going to be less crime. I think you would mostly see crimes of passion, and even rarer crimes of psycho and socio paths.

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Clayton replied on Mon, Oct 31 2011 11:59 PM

I think that Murphy's out on a limb on this one. In any case, he agrees that prisons could only exist by voluntary agreement and only if it was a profitable arrangement to all parties involved. I just think he overestimates the probability that such a situation could exist.

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I don't agree. If, for example, people refused to pay or were unable to, there would be no other option than prison. Forced labour would not work either, in my opinion, because criminals would realise that the firm needs them to produce enough to turn a profit. Large amounts of criminal would likely go on ''strike''.

Although I don't necessarily think that this situation would occur; it is a possibility.

'' The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.'' Stephen Hawking

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MaikU replied on Tue, Nov 1 2011 5:32 AM

so you would be ok with putting criminal in the hotel? :D Great

 

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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MaikU:

so you would be ok with putting criminal in the hotel? :D Great

 

 

No. Prisons and hotels are not exactly the same thing. And I never said that I want prisons; I simply stated that they could exist.

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Vladimir Ulyanov:
One insures themselves witha protection agency. If a crime is committed against the protection agencies client, it will pursue the criminal in the course of justice.

Why would one necessarily insure himself with a protection agency? Why would protection agencies necessarily offer insurance too, instead of just, you know, protection?

I agree with you though that the insurance company that pays out in the event of a tort would be highly motivated to pursue restitution.

The problem is that in most cases, the identity of the perpetrator is unknown. In terms of legal formalism, the identity of the perpetrator is always unknown until due process has run its course. In a criminal case, the legal process successively deals with the suspect, the accused, and the convicted or aquitted.

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Insurance companies providing insurance would be beneficial in several ways.

First the market could be quite similar to heath in some respects. If, for example, someone was raped and they wanted restitution, it could be quite expensive to launch an investigation and find the perpetrator. For this reason, it would make sense to have insurance.

Also, the fact that insurance companies are one of the major losers when it comes to crime. When a car is stolen, who pays? When property is damaged due to vandals, who pays? When someone has to go to hospital due to stab wounds, who pays? Obviously, not all victims of crime will have insurance, but alot will.

Insurance companies would also minimise collateral - in, let's say, a shoot-out with a criminal gang - because they would quite possibly damage a property that they insure, and as a result, reduce this property's value and, thus, premium.

The safer areas would also be more lucrative, and as a result, property in these areas would be more valuable - increasing premiums.

Also, insurance companies have vast resources; which may be needed to start up a protection agency.

All of this would make it impossible for a criminal to insure themselves; meaning criminals would target fellow criminals and avoid insured individuals. This could quite possibly cause would-be criminals fear the concequences of committing a crime.

'' The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.'' Stephen Hawking

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Joe replied on Wed, Nov 2 2011 11:09 AM

I find it odd for Austrians to use the word 'insurance' to describe what these companies do.  Because you can have a very meaningful effect on the outcome, this is most certainly not insurance qua insurance, meaning pooling resources amongst people with an equally likely chance of randomness happening, with no previous knowledge of who exactly it will happen to.  You can get your house insured against a tornado hitting it, or a flood whipping it out, but we wouldn't call prepaid collision liability coverage 'insurance.'

 

http://mises.org/daily/2021

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Clayton replied on Wed, Nov 2 2011 11:35 AM

+1 Joe... I always refer people to that article and yet I find that a lot of people simply don't "believe" it because they're too used to the modern labeling of redistributory mechanisms as insurance (health "insurance", car "insurance", even social security "insurance" ... you can eat enough to become a whale, go to the doctor and be declared "disabled" and then begin collecting SS.)

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Autolykos replied on Wed, Nov 2 2011 11:59 AM

Joe:
I find it odd for Austrians to use the word 'insurance' to describe what these companies do.  Because you can have a very meaningful effect on the outcome, this is most certainly not insurance qua insurance, meaning pooling resources amongst people with an equally likely chance of randomness happening, with no previous knowledge of who exactly it will happen to.  You can get your house insured against a tornado hitting it, or a flood whipping it out, but we wouldn't call prepaid collision liability coverage 'insurance.'

What would you call it, then?

Some people live in areas where the probability of a tornado or a flood is higher than in other areas. It seems, then, by your definition of "insurance", one can't get his house insured against a tornado hitting it or a flood wiping it out.

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Joe replied on Wed, Nov 2 2011 12:30 PM

those people are in a different pool.  The point is that within the same pool you don't know WHICH one is going to get hit.

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