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Economics of "Public Resources"

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Prashanth Perumal posted on Thu, Sep 6 2012 7:28 AM

Can someone tell me about libertarian works on the demerits of public auctioning of natural resources to private companies? Something to do with the kind of corruption and inefficiency that plagues such a system. I could only find one relevant article. Any other suggestions would be welcome. Thanks!

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Anybody?

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For this, consult the Environmental Preservation section of LibertyHQ:

http://candlemind.com/projects/progclub/file/michael/environment.php

 

 

 

 

I suggest trying Toward an Austrian Theory of Environmental Economics or A Primer on Natural Resources and the Environment

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I think you got it.  This is not a very popular topic, and you have other Austrians alleging an auction is pragmatic.  While I agree with Rothbard's objections to the process, and agree that his solution is ultimately better, I'm afraid auctions will occur before enough people agree that government is an illegitimate owner and decide to treat "government-owned" or "public property" as abandoned property.

I wouldn't be surprised if there really wasn't much more literature on the demerits of not doing such a thing.  I'm curious why you're so interested.

Sure the government isn't a legitimate owner and therefore doesn't deserve the proceeds from a sale...but honestly, if it'll get the government out of the "ownership" of land and resources, that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.  I'm inclined to believe while it is in an ultimate ideal sense, an inferior process, it's a much more efficient method.  I think the necessary cooperation involved in getting government out of ownership the right way may very well require too widespread an understanding and acceptance of libertarian ethics to make it feasible any time soon.  Auctions on the other hand are being seriously discussed as we speak, and in fact, in many state and local areas, already occurring...thanks to the debt problems that permeate all levels of government.

The less things the government "owns", the better.  And if them simply gaining a bit more revenue through voluntary transactions (yet still illegitimate as the income may be), then I think it's a worthy tradeoff.

Indeed, this is how pretty much the entire rest of the Western world (other than the U.S. of course) ended slavery peacefully.  No one argues that these slave owners actually had a rightful ownership of these human beings, yet virtually every libertarian agrees that this peaceful method of emancipation, through compensation to alleged owners was far superior to the bloody alternative.  (This is of course not to say that the only alternative to auctioning off "government-owned" assets is war, it's just an illustration that it is entirely possible that paying off the wrongful "owner" is the better course of action in a situation.) And it seems to me to be the case here.

Efforts would be much better focused on convincing others of the illegitimacy of monopoly of legal force.  Or at the very least, taxation and eminent domain...as, without being able to legally aggress upon others and extort resources, government would cease to be government.

If you really think about it, once enough people realize that taxation is theft, the whole house of cards crumbles.

 

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Woops. I'm sorry - my links are not relevant, it appears. I didn't completely understand you were specifically asking about auctions.

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cab21 replied on Sat, Sep 8 2012 7:58 PM

i dont see the road surrounding my house to be abbandoned land one to just claim and say i cant use the road in front of my house anymore

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I often speak broken English on purpose for the fun of it, so I should understand when others speak it, but the above is a bit of an abomination.

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cab21 replied on Sat, Sep 8 2012 8:03 PM

my house is surrounded by public roads.

if public roads are abbandoned property, what does that mean?

we already have cars using and driving on the roads all the time

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