Privatize the Airports!
by Lawrence W. Reed
"There is nothing in the stars that ordains airports to be owned and managed by governments. Both economic theory and recent experience demonstrate that. The sooner airports are run by private enterprise, the better."
Privatizing Airline Safety and Security
by Paul A. Cleveland and Thomas L. Tacker
"The financial risks involved provide the insurance companies incentives to regulate the airlines effectively and efficiently without imposing costly rules that serve little or no purpose. Competition and entrepreneurship would then shape the evolutionary development of air safety and security, rather than politics and monopoly bureaucracy. The fallacies in the command-and-control approach show why private security should be adopted."
"An airline's track record is crucial in gaining the confidence of customers and securing insurance against liability. The benefit of privatization is that any advancement that can improve safety per dollar spent will be adopted by other air carriers quickly. Under government control, such changes are likely to take ages to bring about."
Privatizing Air Security
December 6, 2010
by Robert P. Murphy
Insurance actuaries — supplemented by experts in terrorism, of course — are the ideal profession to evaluate the benefits of various security procedures. Right now, an actuary can calculate the premium on, say, a $1 million life-insurance policy for a smoker of a certain age and other characteristics. The actuary can also calculate how much the premium could be lowered if the potential customer decided to quit smoking. In principle, an actuary could tell an airline the expected amount of damages (resulting from a terrorist incident) that would be avoided per passenger if some new security screening measure is implemented."
The State and Electrical Distribution
by F. W. Beauchamp Gordon
"The Electric Lighting Acts exist, however, and a precedent threatening to the old form of enterprise generally has been established. It is conceded, of course, that by Parliament this business of supplying light was looked upon as a special one, calling for exceptional treatment. But such special precedents are apt to develop into general ones; and having seen how far the legislature has already gone in fettering individual effort to encourage the supply 'by the people for the people' of one particular article (which after all is not so great a necessity as bread, and no greater a necessity, at any rate, than boots), we may pretty confidently hope, or dread, according to our views upon such matters, for an almost indefinite extension in the same direction. Municipal bakehouses, municipal boot factories, every form of industrial operation developed into everybody's business in general and nobody's in particular—to what Utopian prosperity and happiness may we not yet attain!"
Seeds of Hope: Agricultural Technologies and Poverty Alleviation in Rural South Africa
September 8, 2006
by Karol Boudreaux
"Land tenure insecurity, high banking costs, and rigid labor laws continue to plague the farmers. However by creating and selling the Combi-Pack, Monsanto is doing something that critics of globalization might find surprising: a multinational company is helping to drive away hunger and better the lives of the rural poor."
We Didn’t Stop the Fire
October 6, 2010
by Roderick Long
"A recent spectacular example of government failure – namely, a government fire company’s refusing to put out a nonpayer’s fire– has been transformed, through the magic of non sequitur, into a criticism of libertarianism. That last charge is too silly to comment on, but the case does raise some interesting libertarian issues."
A radical proposal to bail out Smokey: privatization
May 25, 1993
by John A. Baden, Ph.D. and Tim O’Brien
"Instead of continuing the failed, special-interest-dominated political management of old growth in national forests, consider what would happen if we gave the old growth to various environmental groups, e.g., the Sierra Club and Wilderness Society. This radical proposal would remove the forests from governmental politics and present the new land managers with strong incentives to preserve the values of old growth at the lowest possible cost."
A way to encourage environmental entrepreneurship
February 16, 1993
by John A. Baden, Ph.D. and Robert Ethier
"Entrepreneurship exists in the nonprofit as well as the for-profit world, The Nature Conservancy and the North American Elk Foundation are highly successful examples. These organizations creatively respond to new interests and understandings. A Shoshone Biodiversity Trust can follow their lead. With such trusts we can better preserve shared values, allowing each forest to fulfill its mission and maintain its ecological endowment."
Libertarian Vacationers Demand Their Subsidies
by Gary North
"Over the last four decades, I have found all too often that libertarian defenders of the free market are tried and true men of principle until the day that someone points out that their favorite subsidy from the government is a form of theft. Then they call the critic a crank."
The National Parks: The Super-Rich's Greatest Idea
September 28, 2009
by Gary North
"My view is that the Federal government should auction off the national parks and use the money to reduce taxes. Soft-core conservatives think this money should be used to reduce the national debt. That is the equivalent of putting a 17-year-old female page on the staff of a Congressman. It only tempts them."
Park Lovers Can Save National Parks
July 10, 1996
by John A. Baden, Ph.D. and Douglas S. Noonan
"National parks are failing to deliver the quality or stability park-lovers demand. Support and management of our national heritage must come from the people who appreciate and benefit from those parks. When parks must pay their own way through fees and friends, we'll see more responsible stewardship. The parks are too precious for a precarious dependency on politics."
Volunteer Railways in Britain
by James L. Payne
". . . when political means failed, local activists and philanthropists stepped in to buy and operate the railroads themselves. They formed nonprofit organizations, or “charities” as the British call them, to preserve a distinctive part of their local history."
Adopt a Highway: The Case for Privatizing Our Roads
November 23, 2007
by John Semmens
"Under the government system, priorities (like maintenance) are distorted and financing is politicized."
All roads do not lead to congestion
October 7, 2003
by Jim Peron
"The overuse of roads, or congestion, is what we expect when markets are not allowed to operate. We can't rationally look at alternatives because important price information is hidden from us. Only by the use of market signals will we get feedback that allows us to make rational choices between the alternatives."
Congestion and Road Pricing
by Walter Block
Free Market Transportation: Denationalizing the Roads
by Walter Block
Government Highways: Unsafe at Any Speed
by Richard Barbarick
"One can hope that the trend toward privatization will reach U.S. roadways and lead to safer and more efficient roads. Roadway slaughter can and must end. Our roadkeepers expose us to senseless risk of injury and death, and we often have to wait in line for the privilege."
Government's killer roads
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
"Consider that more than 40,000 people are massacred every year on government-owned and operated roads. Road travel (not smoking or drugs) is the leading cause of death of young people age six to 28."
Homesteading City Streets: An Exercise In Managerial Theory
by Walter Block
"Privatizing all goods and services will satisfy consumers far more effectively than allowing their management to remain in the hands of the state, under socialist provision. If we have learned one thing from the fall of the economic system of the U.S.S.R., it is that. More controversially, city streets are no exception to this general rule. They, too, can be mismanaged by the municipal government, or run more efficiently though the institutions of private property and competition."
Liberate the Roads! The Benefits That Will Come From Road Privatisation
by Martin Ball
The Mythology of Holdout as Justification for Eminent Domain and Public Provision of Roads
by Bruce L. Benson
"According to the conventional wisdom, road transportation would be highly inefficient without the government’s power of eminent domain, because property owners could refuse to sell their property at the government’s asking price. In reality, there are strong grounds for thinking that private, for-profit road companies would have fewer problems with holdouts and few problems as severe as that of government failure in road transportation."
No More Government Roads
by David M. Woods
Argues that tax-financed roads are an expensive subsidy to the auto industry that distorts the market for transportation.
A Note About Roads
by Richard O. Hammer
Observations on the history of roads.
Overcoming difficulties in privatizing roads
by Walter Block
"The present article considers, and rejects, four arguments against the privatization of roads, and in favor of our present system of road socialism."
A Practical Proposal for Privatizing the Highways (and Other Natural Monopolies)
by Bryan Caplan
This proposal involves giving every adult citizen (1) a common stock certificate that entitles him to a share of the privatized road corporation's profits and (2) another certificate that allows the individual to operate one motor vehicle on the highways in exchange for an annual fee.
by stormy MON
Part of an online book, Imagine Freedom, which attacks government and religion.
Private highways: a solution whose time has come (again)?
by Daniel Klein
"Private ownership of 'public' resources may be an idea whose time has come. There are proposals for the privatization of Grand Coulee Dam, Dulles airport, Conrail, and Amtrak. State and local governments are studying private urban transit, garbage collection, and prisons. If privatization maintains its momentum, we will have to consider a logical candidate: the roads."
The Private Ownership of Public Space: The New Age of Rationally Priced Road Use
by Brian Micklethwait
Privatization Further Down the Road
by Daniel B. Klein
"Private roads may sound far-fetched, but a familiarity with American history casts the idea in a different light, There was a period when private enterprise was able to provide such “public goods.” Private turnpikes engendered important social benefits even though returns on investment were small, primarily due to legal restrictions on toll rates and on the placement of toll houses."
Privatize the Highways — and All Roads for That Matter
August 3, 2011
by Zachary Slayback
"The call for highway privatization may seem radical, but it is not. Several major highways across the United States are privately owned, including the Chicago Skyway and the Dulles Greenway."
Protecting the Streets
by Murray Rothbard
"What we need to do is to reorient our thinking to consider a world in which all land areas are privately owned."
Protection from Mass Murderers: Communication of Danger: A Formulation
by Richard O. Hammer
A nation in which individuals make the rules of conduct on their own property and where most property, including roads, is privately owned, would evolve into a social network that is better able to control psychopaths than the present system.
The Recovery of Stolen Roads
June 17, 2010
by Jim Davies
"One fun thing about freedom is that it will find the best way to arrange things, and quickly; but because that will often involve invention at the time, we cannot readily predict that solution. One possibility would be that each customer pays an annual access fee to his local road owner (where he gains access from his driveway) and then gets billed monthly for usage nationwide – quite comparable to the system used by land-line phone companies."
Roads and Money
Why government control isn't necessary.
June 29, 2010
by James Leroy Wilson
"But the State doesn't need to build roads, and the State doesn't need to create money. Voluntary cooperation can produce both."
Roads Are Too Important to be Left to Governments
by Gabriel Roth
"Toll roads were privately supplied two hundred years ago on a large scale in both the U.S. and the UK. Their private provision today is even more practical because modern technology enables customers to pay for road use without tollbooths, and even without vehicles having to stop."
by Walter Block
The Road to Freedom: An Interview with Walter Block
by Walter Block
"My new book, to be published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute, will be on road privatization. It will be based on my extant publications on this subject, plus lots of new material not previously published."
Roads to Serfdom
by Jim Davies
"Notice however, please: I'm not calling for government to be eliminated just from the management of roads. I'm calling for government to be eliminated, even from management of the roads. Nothing less will do."
Roads Without the State
by Peter Samuel
"It is possible to bring some of the benefits of the marketplace by introducing tolls while maintaining state ownership. That is what the Germans plan for their autobahn system, and it seems to be the major British approach. But full privatization would transfer ownership to investors and allow the assets to be traded, introducing the additional market discipline of competition in both consumer and capital markets. By allowing takeovers, consolidations, and spin-offs of highway assets, the markets would ensure that highways are managed for the best return on capital—the dynamic that gives us our food, our fuels, our housing, our electric power, and all the rest of what goes into our standard of living."
by Robert W. Poole, Jr.
A review of Roads in a Market Economy by Gabriel Roth. "This is an important and thought-provoking book. It is bizarre that Americans have so uncritically accepted a central-planning model for our transportation infrastructure, while developing the world's best telecommunication infrastructure using a (largely) free market model. Indeed, one of the unexpected delights of this book is a heretofore unpublished essay, included as an epilogue, by Milton Friedman and Daniel Boorstin, dating from the early 1950s, proposing both private ownership and market pricing for roads. As usual, Friedman was way ahead of most of the rest of us. Fortunately, with the publication of Gabriel Roth's book, these ideas will gain the kind of hearing they have long deserved."
by Fred S. McChesney
"Observing how parking spaces are allocated in Chicago provides a fundamental lesson in property rights economics."
Street Smart: Competition, Entrepreneurship, and the Future of Roads
edited by Gabriel Roth
"Street Smart examines private, market-based alternatives for road services, both in theory and practice. The book explores at least four such possible directions for private services, including testing and licensing vehicles and drivers; management of government-owned road facilities; franchising; and outright private ownership. The book further traces the history of private roads in Great Britain and the United States and examines contemporary examples of entrepreneurial innovation in road pricing, privatization, and marketization in environs as diverse as Singapore, California, Ghana, Norway, and England."
Competition, Entrepreneurship, and the Future of Roads
edited by Gabriel Roth
A synopsis of the book. "An interdisciplinary approach to road reform, Street Smart draws on subjects as diverse as economics and public-policy analysis, engineering and technology, the history of private roads, and case studies of recent market-based reforms in the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Sweden, Singapore, and elsewhere."
Toll Roads to the Rescue
October 24, 2007
by Gabriel Roth
"Road pricing is not rocket science. Thanks to recent advances in technology, road users can be charged electronically without having to stop their vehicles, and charges can be varied from place to place and time to time as traffic conditions change. This has been done since 1995 on a 10-mile stretch of express toll lanes built in the median of 91 Freeway where the charges are set to ensure free flow at all times and vary from $1.20 at night to $9.50 at the busiest times."
Trails and the Free-Rider Problem
June 18, 2003
by Pete Geddes
"The Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT) works to build and maintain our popular “Main Street to the Mountains” trail system. The trails weave through neighborhoods and along scenic ridgelines. One day they’ll be fully connected, providing easy access to the public lands surrounding town. While the benefits rebound to many, the costs are borne by a few; primarily GVLT members. Since there is no user fee and it is impractical to “police” the trails, many of us are free riding. What can we do? Three solutions come to mind."
What price parking?
December 18, 2006
"A fledgling service that would let people find and reserve parking spaces via their cellphones could make life easier for those who use it."
What Race Tracks Can Teach Us About Government Roads
May 28, 2012
by Eric Peters
"If roads were not government-owned all the abuses currently perpetrated by the state upon harming-no-one motorists would disappear."
Social Security Privatization: A Personal View
by Roger M. Clites
"When I retired in 1991 I elected to withdraw only interest from my TIAA-CREF account and leave the principal untouched until I was required by law to begin drawing it down. (That occurred a few years ago.) That interest, on just 22 years of investments, was greater than my Social Security check, which was based on a lifetime of work. The investments in private businesses paid off far better than the taxes taken for Social Security."
A New Space Policy: Free Enterprise
by J. Brian Phillips
"America’s “space eggs” have all been placed in one basket—NASA—and the consequences are painfully clear. It is time for a space policy which eliminates this government monopoly and allows America’s entrepreneurs the freedom they need to reach for the stars."
Virgin Galactic Unveils First Tourist Spaceship
December 10, 2009
by Ker Than
"After years of teases, the world's only commercial spacecraft rolled out onto the tarmac at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California."
Private Cures for Public Ills: The Promise of Privatization edited by Lawrence
reviewed by E. S. Savas
"My own definition of privatization is reflected throughout the book: privatization means relying more on the private institutions of society—the market, voluntary groups, and the family—and less on government to satisfy people's needs."
Privatizing Federal Programs
by Hans F. Sennholz
"The only privatization worthy of its name is the sale of government assets at market prices to individuals who acquire clear and unhampered title to the property."
WPC on contracting out and privatization
A collection of policy briefs and press releases devoted to explaining how functions can be better performed in the private sector, and how other functions can be achieved in a more costly fashion by contracting them out to private providers.
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