Greater Safety Under Libertarianism

In response to the sailboat example, Walter Block gave a perfectly correct and deep answer: “More 10 year old girls will survive under libertarianism than under ANY other system. This [sailboat case] is a highly unlikely situation. 10 year old girls die like flies under socialism. The greater the adherence to private property rights, the safer are 10 year old girls, and everyone else for that matter.”

This will happen because there will be fewer accidents at sea and on lakes and rivers, and that will happen because the incentives to prevent them are much greater with private property. As an example, fatal accidents are higher in states that have no-fault auto insurance. No-fault interferes with the market for auto insurance and alters the driving incentives adversely.

“The idea that no-fault insurance increases fatal auto accidents seems preposterous. But a number of studies in the U.S. and elsewhere over the past decade have reached that conclusion. Now new research corroborates these findings by accounting for and ruling out other possible explanations for no-fault’s lethal aftermath.”

For another example, see this article on railroad safety.

In a free market, insurers of people’s lives may offer rewards for those who rescue people in perilous situations. This saves them from having to pay death benefits. All sorts of innovations become possible that simultaneously reward ethical behavior and increase safety.


12:45 pm on June 1, 2019