Posted on December 4, 2010 by Brad Taylor
I realise this blog has become nothing more than a venue for shameless self-promotion, but I’m okay with that. I’ll be attending the Australasian Public Choice Conference next week. I’ll be presenting a paper on constitutions; Patri will be presenting our co-authored paper on seasteading as a plenary via video, and Eric will be presenting our co-authored paper on meddlesome preferences in anarchy.
I’m particularly chuffed with the seasteading paper, which considers jurisdictional competition from an evolutionary economics perspective and concludes institutional innovation requires low barriers to entry. And we have a plan!
The other papers at the conference look pretty cool also. I’m particularly looking forward to Xavier Marquez’s presentation on Epistemic Arguments for Conservatism, which he has been blogging about here, here, here, here, and here.
Filed under: anarchy, competitive governmenrt, public choice | Tagged: public choice, seasteading, shameless self-promotion | 4 Comments »
Posted on November 10, 2010 by Brad Taylor
[Cross-posted at LaTNB]
The Seasteading Institute has just published my paper on governance mechanisms for seasteads. As I point out in the paper, trying to predict what will work ahead of time is not what letting a thousand nations bloom is all about. We do, however, need to start from somewhere and the experience of customary law, private communities, and corporate governance have a lot to teach us. From the conclusion:
Perhaps the single most important point we should take from these case studies, though, is that humans will find ways of solving their problems when low-cost experimentation is possible. In some sense, governance is a hard problem: we simply cannot foresee all the problems ahead of time and devise a good system of rules. In another sense, though, the problem is easy. We know from history that institutional evolution works on land, and there do not seem to be any barriers to it working on the ocean. Of course, this institutional evolution will require careful thinking: it is through conscious effort that good ideas are developed. The magic of ex-post selection only happens ex-post, and a healthy dose of ex-ante common sense and historical knowledge will go a long way in ensuring that early seasteads do not fail due to poor governance.
The paper was a lot of fun to write. It was great getting extensive feedback along the way from some very smart and distinguished people and putting some of the ideas we discuss here at LaTNB in a form which will hopefully prove useful to future marine real estate developers.
Filed under: competitive governmenrt, economics, political science, public choice | Tagged: governance, public choice, seasteading, shameless self-promotion | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 17, 2010 by Brad Taylor
If you’re reading this blog and not Let A Thousand Nations Bloom, there’s something wrong with you. That’s where I’m doing my substantive blogging – though that’s admittedly not very frequent lately.
My most recent posts:
Filed under: anarchy, competitive governmenrt, libertarian, links | Tagged: competitive government, private cities, proprietary communities, technology | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 5, 2010 by Brad Taylor
When the public is called to investigate and decide upon a question in which not only the present members of the community are deeply interested, but upon which the happiness and misery of generations yet unborn is in great measure suspended, the benevolent mind cannot help feeling itself peculiarly interested in the result.
That’s the opening sentence Brutus #1, from 1787. Politics isn’t policy, however, even at the constitutional level. For related reading, see here.
Filed under: competitive governmenrt, public choice, quotes | Tagged: constitutional political economy, political science, public choice, the anti-federalist papers | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 30, 2010 by Brad Taylor
In a republic, the manners, sentiments, and interests of the people should be similar. If this be not the case, there will be a constant clashing of opinions; and the representatives of one part will be continually striving against those of the other. This will retard the operations of government, and prevent such conclusions as will promote the public good. If we apply this remark to the condition of the United States, we shall be convinced that it forbids that we should be one government. The United States includes a variety of climates. The productions of the different parts of the union are very variant, and their interests, of consequence, diverse. Their manners and habits differ as much as their climates and productions; and their sentiments are by no means coincident. The laws and customs of the several states are, in many respects, very diverse, and in some opposite; each would be in favor of its own interests and customs, and, of consequence, a legislature, formed of representatives from the respective parts, would not only be too numerous to act with any care or decision, but would be composed of such heterogenous and discordant principles, as would constantly be contending with each other.
That’s from Brutus #1. He has half (and by far the most important half) of Alesina and Spolaore’s model of the optimal size of government. Speaking of which, you should go check out today’s secession week topic at LaTNB!
When I first read the Federalist Papers, I remember being struck by the subtlety of Madison’s public choice theorising. Now that I’m reading the Anti-Federalist Papers, I’m far more impressed with them and inclined to see Madison as naive in comparison. Sadly, I suspect he remains more realistic about politics than any politician who has come since.
Filed under: competitive governmenrt, economics, political philosophy, political science, politics, public choice, quotes | Tagged: constitutional political economy, public choice, secession week, size of nations, the anti-federalist papers | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 29, 2010 by Brad Taylor
If you’re a fan of political decentralization, you should check out Secession Week at Let A Thousand Nations Bloom. Today’s topic is “Introduction: Independence Is Better Than Revolution”, and there a couple of great posts by Bill Miller and Patri. I’ll have some stuff to say about the size of nations tomorrow.
Here’s the schedule for the week:
- Monday: Introduction, Independence Is Better Than Revolution
- Tuesday: The size of nations. Is smaller better? What determines size?
- Wednesday: Culture and secession. We usually take an economic approach, but most secession movements base their arguments on group identities.
- Thursday: Economic Secession, from Agorism to tax havens. What are the ways market-based, voluntary institutions can pave the way for incremental secession from political institutions?
- Friday: Is it possible for a state to secede from U.S.? Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has written that, if any constitutional issue was resolved by the Civil War, it’s that there’s no right to secede. Is the U.S. forever to be, as the Pledge of Allegiance has it, “one nation, indivisible”?
- Saturday: Was the American Revolution a Mistake? We’ll don our counterfactual hats to discuss revolution skeptics like Bryan Caplan.
- Sunday: Final Roundup. We’ll circle wagons, round up the action, and launch of few final squibs and fireworks.
Filed under: competitive governmenrt | Tagged: secession, secession week | Leave a comment »