Anti-governmentism/private is better

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The basic argument is that where a goal can be accomplished by either governmental or private means, private is usually better because:

  • governments usually do it worse
    • government doing things usually involves greater restrictions on individual freedom
      • because when the government offers you a deal, you don't get to turn it down -- whereas when someone in the private market offers you a deal, you do.
        • Objection: This is untrue.

This argument takes a trend (whose truth has not been clearly established) and attempts to elide the point that sometimes governments do things better and give more freedom. It suggests that we shouldn't bother asking whether government might accomplish the given task better, because government usually does not.

It also doesn't clarify how government does things worse, other than reducing freedom -- which itself is not a very good argument. It may be that more reduction in freedom is a necessary (though unfortunate) component of the solution that is otherwise better for everyone -- that everyone might agree to more readily if they were in possession of all the facts and knew that this reduction would be exercised fairly and without rancor.

And finally, there are plenty of situations where a "deal" offered by government may be turned down, and plenty where a private business may effectively coerce compliance.


There is some related discussion here.