Archive for Regulation
Dave Killion — April 28, 2013
The Atlantic has an article on open borders that is getting a lot of attention in the libertarian community -
“What if there was a program that would cost nothing, improve the lives of millions of people from poorer nations, and double world GDP? At least one economist says that increased mobility of people is by far the biggest missed opportunity in development. And an informally aligned group of advocates is doing its best to make the world aware of the “open borders” movement, which suggests that individuals should be able to move between countries at will.”
Like abortion, immigration is an area where libertarians are frequently at odds with one another, one concern being the impact of allowing immigration of people who are very likely to be anti-libertarian. In the early days of my libertarian awakening, I felt that some government restrictions were necessary and appropriate, but my eldest son (whose biases had not been so deeply entrenched as my own) gave me an intellectual backhand by asking, “Where, in libertarianism, do you find any defence of the notion that you have the right to initiate violence against peaceful persons crossing some arbitrary and imaginary line?” In that Zen-like moment, I attained enlightenment, and have been an open-borders man ever since.
As such, I advocate for the immediate and total elimination of all state restrictions on immigration and emigration. Knowing that that is unlikely, I would be happy to see someone in Canada pushing for an international treaty allowing open borders between countries. For reasons I’ve discussed previously, I think such an arrangement between the U.S. and Canada might meet too much resistance, but if Albertans don’t bar Newfoundlanders, and Quebecers don’t bar British Columbians, then what objection could Canadians have to any law-abiding New Zealanders? This is doable, and I’d be happy to see it done.
Dave Killion — April 25, 2013
Thank goodness that for every area where Canada has regulated innovation near to death, there is a country where the market is permitted freedom. If that were not the case, this world might never see $800 heart surgeries -
“Using pre-fabricated buildings, stripping out air-conditioning and even training visitors to help with post-operative care, (the chain of “no-frills” Narayana Hrudayalaya clinics in southern India) believes it can cut the cost of heart surgery”… “Already famous for his “heart factory” in Bangalore, which does the highest number of cardiac operations in the world, the latest Narayana Hrudayalaya (“Temple of the Heart”) projects are ultra low-cost facilities.”
It is a cold fact of nature that your typical Canadian would sooner bleed out and die on the operating table before admitting there are problems with the universal health insurance system. Well, all I can say is ‘Go, India!’ Neither Canada, the U.S. nor any other country is going to see constantly improving health care and perpetually falling prices until governments withdraw entirely from every facet of the health care market. If it weren’t for progress on the margins, we’d have none at all.
Hat Tip: Neatorama
Dave Killion — April 13, 2013
One often hears city planning defended as the means by which citizens are protected from having a slaughterhouse built next door to them. In fact, it is quite the opposite -
“The CRD announced last week it had purchased a $17-million industrial property on Viewfield Road, just metres from the Ashes’ home, as a possible site for a sewage processing facility”… “CRD spokesman Andy Orr sympathized with the couple, but said government land deals tend to be done in secret to avoid price speculation”… “While truck traffic is already heavy in the area, (there are) worries about the likelihood of falling property values.”
In situations like this, residents who oppose attempts to force certain projects into their neighbourhoods are frequently derided as NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard), and criticized for defending their narrow self-interests against the greater good. But consider how different matters would be if this conflict was to be resolved by actors regulated by market forces, rather than a coercive state.
In the latter case, local residents bear a disproportionate burden from the noise, smell, traffic, unsightly buildings, and reduced property values, while the benefits are widely dispersed to others far removed from the project. It is perfectly rational for them to resist. But if those same residents had control over the land use for their immediate area, they would be in a position to receive direct compensation from the operators of the proposed facility. In a case like that, rather than facing local opposition at every possible location, it is likely several communities would actively encourage service providers to consider their neighbourhood. Get the state out of land-use regulation, and you will replace conflict with cooperation.
Dave Killion — April 10, 2013
Here’s a letter to the Calgary Herald -
Your article concerning the determination of Canadian cattle and hog producers to fight against new U.S. regulations for labelling meat (March 12) fails to note that this is a battle not only on behalf of Canadians, but also for American consumers and American workers whose occupations benefit from lower-priced Canadian meat products. Indeed, aside from a few U.S. politicians and the special interests that support them, it is a battle on behalf of all Americans.
It’s true that some of the least competitive U.S. cattle and hog producers will lose business, and some may even have to close down and lay off their employees. But in Canada, every resource that goes into producing meat is a resource that can’t be used to grow cotton or oranges, build wooden boats or furniture, or cater to Canadian tourists traveling abroad. Likely, Canada will turn to the U.S. for help in acquiring these goods and services, and the market will quickly find mutually profitable use for all the resources recently freed from U.S. meat production. Consumers on both sides of the border will benefit from less-expensive goods and services. This is the nature of trade; that the elimination of any barrier is not a zero-sum game, but rather, a win-win proposition.