End Socialization of Infrastructure

As a follow-up to Walter’s epigram “privatize everything”, let’s spell out that this includes INFRASTRUCTURE.

Definitions of infrastructure vary. They usually include items that liberal (big government-favoring) economists deem to possess certain characteristics: “…natural monopoly, high-sunk costs, non-tradeability of output, non-rivalness (up to congestion limits) in consumption, possibility of price exclusion, and bestowing externalities on society.”

99.99% of economists are liberal when it comes to believing in these criteria as if they were Gospel. They are also liberal in applying them, and they are liberal in thinking that public investment in infrastructure has big payoffs. They believe in their econometric studies too.

These criteria as applied by liberal economists include roads, bridges, tunnels, overpasses, highways, bike paths, parks, harbors, sea ports, airports, runways, control towers and systems, landing pads, airways, public land parcels, parking garages, sewage systems, water systems, electrical systems, pipelines, train systems, subways, satellites, seaways, rivers, dams, reservoirs, bus lines, cables, cell towers, sanitation projects, industrial parks, cold storage, and irrigation projects.

The most liberal economists will include even more activities than these. They will extend the application of the criteria to include social activities, information technology, and much else. Almost everything in some degree partakes of at least some of the defining characteristics that liberal economists use to define as public goods or candidates for public ownership and control.

“Privatize everything” means ending all government interference in these projects. End public financing of them. End the taking of private property to build them. End the government power to decide what projects go forward and what do not. End government control over contracting for these projects. End government management of the resulting facilities. Privatize these endeavors, A to Z.

The opposite of “privatize everything” is “governmentalize everything”. The immediate result of governmentalizing anything is loss of personal freedom of action. Decision rights pass to those in government with power. Many, many bad consequences follow from what is essentially a communization, partly or wholly, of economic resources. The opposite of “privatize everything” is really “communize everything” or “socialize everything”. Results include gross injustices, wealth redistribution to favored individuals, gross inefficiencies, waste, malinvestments, congestion, over-investments, under-investments, ground rent windfalls, takings, favoritism to certain businesses, mal-location of housing and business, destruction of neighborhoods with many bad effects of their own, and mal-location of people’s homes and jobs.

The libertarian position is “privatize everything”.


9:18 am on April 5, 2018