How To Manage The Transition From The Current State Of Affairs To Libertarianism

From: M
Sent: Friday, September 07, 2018 6:08 AM
Subject: the transition to Libertarianism

Dear professor W. Block.

My name is M, i am Portugues, and i am a recently converted libertarian, and such a fan of yours. I have been violently searching youtube for videos of yours and consuming them all. I come from a left wing / Bernie Sandes kind of belief and got recently converted into austrian economics / free enterprise / libertarianism through actually a similar route to yours: Economics in one lesson and Atlas Shrugged… I thought i was the only one coming from a left-wing heart until i learnt you did too. It made me feel better 🙂

I wanted to ask your help for a piece of the puzzle i am missing: how to manage the transition from current state into Libertarianism? What books, articles, authors, have focused on this?

For instance let’s say the world agrees that public housing is bad and we let the market work. How do we manage the 1000s of people that will be left homeless?

Walter’s response: the more economic freedom we have, the less poverty. The less poverty, the less homelessness. One way to get rid of public housing is to just sell it to the present poor occupants at a nominal price; that is what Margaret Thatcher did. Then, the poor would sell their condo homes in places like Manhattan, and buy property in cheaper areas. This is the process of gentrification. Look, living in Manhattan is like driving a Rolls Royce. The poor will not be left homeless, rather, far richer as they sell their geographically desirable property to richer people.

Let’s say we all agree public healthcare is bad and let the market work. How do we manage the people that would be left uncovered, would have not even the possibility to get insurance becase at this stage they may already have a pre-existing condition?

Walter’s response: the more economic freedom we have, the less poverty. The less poverty, the more health coverage. The main reason health care is so expensive in the US is because the American Medical Association limits the number of doctors, driving up prices. See below for some of my pubs on this subject

The examples are endless.

Walter’s response: The solution is not endless. It is to embrace the free enterprise system.

This is really the last piece of this libertarian puzzle to which i have not yet found any in depth information about.

Thank you in advance for your help. Thank you for everything you do. Thank you for helping me (and so many others) into understanding your perspective on the world.


Thank you for any recommendation you could share.

Here are my recommendations on privatization:

Anderson and Hill, 1996; Block, 2002, 2009, 2015; Butler, 1988; Carnis, 2003; Ebeling, 2013; Hanke, 1987A, 1987B; Hannesson, 2004, 2006; Hoppe, 2011, 2018; Karpoff, 2001; Megginson, 2001; Moore, 1987; Moore and Butler, 1987; Motichek, Block and Johnson, 2008; Nelson and Block, 2018; Ohashi, 1980; Ohashi, Roth, Spindler, McMillan and Norrie, 1980; Pirie, 1986; Savas, 1987; Walker, 1988; White, 1978

Anderson, Terry L. and Peter J. Hill, editors. 1996. The privatization process : a worldwide perspective, Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Block, Walter E. 2002. “Radical Privatization and other Libertarian Conundrums,” The International Journal of Politics and Ethics, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 165-175;

Block, Walter E. 2009. The Privatization of Roads and Highways: Human and Economic Factors; Auburn, AL: The Mises Institute;

Block, Walter E. and Peter Lothian Nelson. 2015. Water Capitalism: The Case for Privatizing Oceans, Rivers, Lakes, and Aquifers. New York City, N.Y.: Lexington Books; Rowman and Littlefield;

Butler, Eamonn, ed., 1988, The Mechanics of Privatization, London: Adam Smith Institute

Carnis, Laurent. 2003. “The Case for Road Privatization: A Defense by Restitution.” Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines. Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 95-116

Ebeling, Richard. 2013. “Why Not Privatize Foreign Policy?”

Hanke, Steve H., ed., 1987A. Privatization and Development, San Francisco: Institute for Contemporary Studies

Hanke, Steve H. 1987B. “Privatization.” In J. Eatwell, M. Milgate and P. Newman, eds., The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, v. 3. London: The Macmillan Press, Ltd.: 976-77.

Hannesson, Rögnvaldur. 2004. The Privatization of the Oceans, in D.R. Leal (Ed.): Evolving Property Rights in Marine Fisheries, Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, pp. 25-48.

Hannesson, Rögnvaldur. 2006. The Privatization of the Oceans. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 2011. “Of Private, Common, and Public Property and the Rationale for Total Privatization,” Libertarian Papers 3, 1.

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 2018. “Libertarianism and the Alt-Right: In Search of a Libertarian Strategy for Social Change,” in Getting Libertarianism RightL Auburn AL: The Mises Institute

Karpoff, Jonathan M. 2001. “Public versus Private Initiative in Arctic Exploration: The Effects of Incentives and Organizational Structure,” The Journal of Political Economy, 109 (1): 38-78.

Megginson, W. Netter, J. 2001. “From State to Market: A Survey of Empirical Studies on Privatization.” Journal of Economic Literature, 39(2): 321-89.

Moore, Stephen. 1987. “Privatizing the U.S. Postal Service,” in Stephen Moore and Stuart Butler, eds., Privatization, Washington: Heritage Foundation.

Moore, Stephen and Stuart Butler, eds., 1987. Privatization, Washington: Heritage Foundation.

Motichek, Amy, Walter E. Block and Jay Johnson. 2008. “Forget Ocean Front Property, We Want Ocean Real Estate!” Ethics, Place, and Environment; Vol. 11, Issue 2, June, pp. 147 – 155

Nelson, Peter Lothian and Walter E. Block. 2018. Space capitalism: the case for privatizing space travel and colonizationPalgrave Macmillan;

Ohashi, T.M. 1980. Privatization, theory and practice : distributing shares in private and public enterprise. The Fraser Institute, Vancouver, B.C.

Ohashi, T.M., T.P. Roth, Z.A. Spindler, M.L. McMillan, & K.H. Norrie. 1980. Privation Theory & Practice, The Fraser Institute, Vancouver, B.C.

Pirie, Madson, 1986, Privatization in Theory and Practice, London: Adam Smith Institute

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Savas, E. S. 1987.  Privatization. Chatham, N.J.: Chatham House Publishers.

Walker, Michael A. 1988.  ed., Privatization: Tactics and Techniques, The Fraser Institute, Vancouver, B.C.,  Canada

White, Lawrence H., 1978, “Privatization of municipally-provided services,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 2, No. 2, Summer, pp. 187-197

Margaret Thatcher:

Duxbury, Nick. 2013. “Iron Lady’s right to buy and economic policies had far-reaching impact; Social landlords reflect on Thatcher’s legacy.” April 12;

Gamble, Andrew. 1988. “Privatization, Thatcherism, and the British State .” Journal of Law and Society     Vol. 16, No. 1, Spring,

Gamble, Andrew. 1988. “Privatization, Thatcherism, and the British State .” Journal of Law and Society     Vol. 16, No. 1, Spring,

Gulliver, Kevin. 2013. “Thatcher’s legacy: her role in today’s housing crisis; Margaret Thatcher made a huge impact on the housing sector during her time in office, and we can still feel the effects today.” The Guardian. April 17;

Marsh, David. 1991. “Privatization under Mrs. Thatcher: a review of the literature.” Public AdministrationVolume 69, Issue 4, pages 459–480, December;

Milligan, Brian. 2013. “Right-to-buy: Margaret Thatcher’s controversial gift.” BBC News. April 10;

Wolf, Joel. 1991. “State Power and Ideology in Britain: Mrs Thatcher’s Privatization Programme.” Political Studies.Volume 39, Issue 2, pages 237–252, June;

Reviewed by Donald R. Leal (Property and Environment Research Center)


2:28 am on March 18, 2019