Energy Moratoriums and Sci-fi


Warning! Spoiler Alert!!

The Probability BroachIn The Probability Broach, detective Win Bear lives in a world where oppressive government controls have turned America into a sleazy second-world country: Disney land, air conditioners and many mom and pop companies are declared illegal due to “conspicuous use of power during an energy emergency” (which was probably brought on by other government interventions); the air is polluted with out of date cars, as red tape created significant barriers to creating new vehicles; and meat rations have driven people to cannibalism.

While looking in a scientist’s laboratory for clues in a murder case, he is blasted into an alternate dimension in which these government interventions – and all other government interventions – never occurred. A complete lack of barriers to production and creative entrepreneurship had created a virtual utopia of the alternate-dimension America. There are small vendors and stores at every turn, and everyone buzzes along in pollution-free hovercrafts.

Meanwhile, back in our non-fiction dimension, the government is “picking winners” by pushing ethanol and imposing moratoriums to fix problems that for all we know, in the universe of sci-fi, might be its fault from day one.

Nat Hunt :: MCPP Intern

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2 thoughts on “Energy Moratoriums and Sci-fi

  1. Government promotion and regulation has a significant lag time. We will see how long it is before the government stops pushing ethanol, realizing that corn can have some high opportunity costs.

    While I understand the use of hyperbole, I could not go so far as to promote a completely libertarian, non-regulated world, even in the marketplace. Man still has evil in his seed, and while he ultimately stands before God, Caesar has his place. Even if it is small.

    Who is the kindly bloak in the cape?

  2. Smith realized that there will always be crummy people who ruin it for the rest of us … which is why everyone in the utopian society carries guns and knives, even children! I’m sure you find this society much more savory now.

    Although I’m not an anarchist, they have some good replies to your (deserved) objection. For one, we can’t lump government and a legal system into one concept – established legal systems predate (and fundamentally operate seperately from) the state. Common law is really the social institution that punishes the villains of society. Secondly, some believe that at least some of the private acts of coercion in today’s world wouldn’t exist without generally accepted public acts of coercion. I know Walter Williams wrote an article arguing this position a few years ago, and I think agorists believe this too (but I just started looking in to them recently). The argument makes sense to me, since people tend to act and think in using general rule-of-thumb laws.

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