Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Going Galt

Why have libertarians never built a utopia? Here.
... Libertopia would yield its residents a greatly reduced standard of living, compared to what they could get from a government. Of course, the ideal would be a nearby government jurisdiction that would provide the large-scale industry needed for a ready source of consumer goods, a home for contracted-in service providers, support for losers and so on, but would not be able to tax the Libertopians.
But once you think that you realise that a partial approach to this outcome already exists, and has millions of inhabitants across the US. They’re called suburban Republicans. The suburbs benefit from urban centers, but resist paying for them, mostly successfully. It’s not exactly Libertopia, but it’s obviously close enough to be more appealing than going Galt.

1 comment:

Zachary M. said...

Well, you know what they say - once you go Galt, you'll never eat salt.


Wait, is that what they say? "Once you go Galt, you lose the Gestalt"? Is that it?

Either way, this is an interesting point of view about the suburbs. What exactly is it, though, that the suburban Republicans are meant to be benefiting from without paying for it? I guess there's things like cultural opportunities, but patrons pay for those in ticket prices, parking garage fees, etc. The availability of jobs with nearby big businesses? Sure. But, again, your tolls, parking fees, lunchtime spending, etc. all goes to fund those things.

It's certainly valid to note that the suburbanization of America killed the tax base of a lot of big cities, but that was largely hastened by (or, perhaps, was caused by) the departure of the manufacturing base from Rust Belt cities. Doesn't that make every suburbanite a freeloader, not just the Republicans? (Or is it the fact that these comfortably living Republicans are more likely to oppose, say, social service increases for the less fortunate because they [the Republicans] don't see a need for it?)

Perhaps the best thing that this change can demonstrate to us is that the old model of a single city - which provides services only within its well-defined city limits - doesn't work all that well in an era when people cross borders so easily when they work, do business, fall in love, etc. It shouldn't surprise anyone, then, when we start to see conglomeration among municipalities, where several towns/counties/whatever end up sharing the income as well as the work it pays for. It makes a bit more sense that way, but of course it throws into question exactly who's in charge - always a very important question, especially to the people who could potentially be put in charge.