Ep. 197 Is Privatization (Including Prisons) Expensive and Evil?

20 July 2019     |     Tom Woods     |     1

Krugman suggests that although it makes sense for much of the economy to be in private hands, there are some sectors where private control would yield perverse results. He devotes particular attention to so-called private prisons. So we set him straight. After all, that’s why we’re here.

Krugman Column

Trump and the Merchant of Detention” (July 8, 2019)

Book Mentioned

Chaos Theory, by Bob Murphy

Related Article

“What to Do Until Privatization Comes?” by Murray Rothbard

Related Video

Prisons in a Free Society?

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  • martinbrock

    Prison conditions improve because insurance premium payers care so much about the prisoners? Premium payers compel prisons to provide better healthcare to prisoners by withdrawing their premiums? Huh? How does this argument make any sense? If prisoners remain captive in a prison as it loses financial support, why don’t conditions worsen? If many prisoners die prematurely as a consequence, any number of rate payers would accept this outcome in exchange for lower premiums.

    I largely agree with Bob’s lecture linked below, but he confuses “consumer” with “shareholder” in this podcast. The analogy is not perfect, but in a free society, prisoners are more like the “consumers” of prison services, because they have their choice of prisons. Voluntary communities provide the prisons but have no right to hold any prisoner against his will.

    A prisoner chooses life in a prison over life outside of a prison, because no civilized community will accept him outside of a prison. He’s actually choosing life in a civilized community over a brutal, short life in the state of nature (populated exclusively by unusually unscrupulous people). In a civilized, voluntary community’s prison, an inalienable self-owner retains a right to leave the community at will, even if his only other options are another community’s prison or an uncivilized, last resort community (or an ocean as Bob suggests in the video).