I still get random requests from people to use my 6-year-old short satiric political film in unexpected ways, and I just got another one. A public access TV program in Hawaii that features local artists and entertainers wants to show it, and I love that. Of all the requests I can recall, my favorite so far was from a TV show somewhere in South Korea. They bought a couple DVDs of the film from me and asked permission to show it on TV. I still wonder whether satire about U.S. politics made sense to the Korean viewers.
Human beings follow economic incentives and move to places where taxes are lower and they have more opportunities, despite the fact that politicians act as though they can raise taxes perpetually without consequences. According to a new poll, 36 percent of New Yorkers younger than 30 says they’re planning to leave because of high taxes and lack of economic opportunities.
This is mildly interesting on its face, but its implications are much more potentially useful. What if those who believe in real freedom could set up an enclave where taxes are low or non-existent. Could such a place work the economic miracle that’s promised by free market economists? What if it were a place where income weren’t taxed and people simply paid for the services they used? What if that enclave were run as a profit-making enterprise? Would it still be cheaper than living in a high-tax city and would it still provide better opportunities?
The answer to these questions is complex. It depends on where it was, what it looked like, what the cost was and who else it attracted, among other things. But for years, we have only looked at a model of cities being run by majority vote. Isn’t it time to look at other models? There are many other questions to consider, but for now just consider this. What we have now is failing. We haven’t really tried other systems. Isn’t it time we started thinking about how to try some other options?
I have some other thoughts about this, but I’ll save them for another time. Do you have any thoughts about other models that might work? And do you have any thoughts about how they could conceivably be tried?
Some anarcho-capitalists have asked me why I shy away from using the word “anarchist” to describe anti-state views. In this excellent takedown of the Washington Post, David Boaz provides the evidence. Because most of the people who call themselves anarchists are simply trying to tear down society — and because the media almost universally believe this is all the term means — it’s come to be representative of people who simply want chaos and to destroy property. I don’t want chaos and I don’t want to destroy anyone’s property. I want order, but I want voluntary co-operative order. But since the word “anarchist” has come to mean the kinds of people who loot and destroy, it’s become pretty useless to those who believe in property and freedom, regardless of what it really means. What do you think?