Early Morning Thoughts (June 23, 2013, continued).
Pursuing the voluntaryist approach to government, how about the idea of relating to a government entity as if government were a vendor or supplier to the people and to the businesses? For the people, the vendor relationship options of service would be voluntary, and for the businesses the relationship and some options of service would be mandatory. So, how would this kind of system work?
Let’s say we have three levels of government in a state; city, county, and state. Each government entity offers a specific level of services to the individuals (or the individual’s groups, like churches, fraternal organizations, clubs, etc.) and to businesses (businesses in this case including non-profits and profits).
When you live in a state, or move into a state, you review the contract terms (the constitution or charter) and the services offered by each level of government, and agree to pay an annually adjusted service fee for those services you select from those offered. No more income or property taxes.
For services offered, you would start at the state level, drop down to the country level, and finally select the city services you desire. If you don’t like the terms of a particular vendor agreement, you would probably want to relocate to a different community or to a different state, or choose a different vendor. The relationship with all government entities is completely voluntary, and it is your responsibility to vote with your feet if you don’t like (or are unable to change) the terms of the service offered by the government entity.
If you move into a particular state as a private person, or are already a state resident, you would start by reviewing the state constitution and the services the state would offer to you. The state constitution would describe the state’s philosophy and legal rules of operation. If you liked what the state was offering, you would agree to be bound by the state’s laws, and then select which state services you wanted to buy according to the state’s service fees. For businesses, the signed agreement and many services would be mandatory.
For example, if you wanted to register your car as a private person, you would agree to pay the state service fee for registering your car. Notice that, as a private person, the auto registration service would be voluntary, and you would have to question its value to you. As a means of tracing your car if it was stolen, registration might be of great value to you if your car was valued at $30,000. If your car was only worth $200, maybe registration would be of no value to you. Your call. Auto insurance would be for coverage on your own auto or truck and its occupants – no more insuring everyone else. If you choose to have auto insurance, you’re covered. Otherwise, without auto insurance, you’re exposed to losses from auto accidents. Your call.
If you entered the state as a business, auto registration would be mandatory, as would auto insurance, and ‘driver’s’ license(s) for your employee(s) who ‘drive’ your cars and/or trucks. That’s the kind of difference between a private person and a business. People have protected choices, freedoms, and rights. Businesses have only privileges.
After agreeing to the state’s guidelines, this same kind of contractual relationship would be offered by the county, and by the city or town you select. You can see where I’m going with this type of thinking – I’m looking for positive services offered by government, and I’m looking for competition between the states, counties, and cities/towns. No more compulsion, no more violence and force from government. In cases of conflict, either party of the contract can call the other down for failure to perform, or for actual losses, and the aggrieved party can sue for damages and/or cancel the agreement.
Law enforcement would be a service offered by the communities and by the counties, as would the exclusive provision of jails – no more private for-profit prisons. If the state government had issues with a business or with an individual, it would use the local police resources to satisfy its legal demands. There would be no more victimless crimes – no more seat belt violations, speeding violations, lack of auto registration and/or insurance violations (except for businesses). No more drug use violations. No more arrests unless a crime had been committed and the police used lawful methods to apprehend the suspects. For any crimes in which there was a damaged party or a financial loss, a complaint must be filed, and based upon that complaint, the police can then become involved. The police would be used for solving victim-based crimes only – no pre-crime or victimless crimes would be pursued by the police. No loss, no crime, no police. No more law enforcement growth industry.
All government employees, including the police, would be held to the same legal standards as would be the private person. No more elites or protected persons within government. With that, I would expect police brutality crimes would drop dramatically, and I would expect fewer laws and regulations.
So, how does this kind of voluntaryism between government and the people work for you? There’s obviously a lot more that can be added to this conversation, but I hesitate to do so unless it is actually an interesting topic.