Non Scarce Things Can’t Be Privatized

From: A
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2018 8:50 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Re: Internet and Scarcity

Dear Dr. Block,
I recall you telling me at Mises U that non scarce things can’t be privatized. If this were true, how could the oceans be privatized? Additionally, if someone were to somehow monopolize air (very ridiculous, but for the sake of argumentation), then wouldn’t this non-economic good hence be privatized? Thank you! A

Dear A:

In this book of mine I try to make clear that at present, the oceans are not scarce, and cannot, yet, be privatized. But, soon, they will be. We’re getting pretty close with the South China Sea. Rivers like the Hudson, the Mississippi, I think, can now be privatized.

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;

As for air, it, too, is not scarce. But airplane routes are. They are in the air. See this book on that:

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

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2:41 pm on November 5, 2018