Sunday, May 10, 2009


Vacation in Somalia

There are two problems with this:

(1) If I say, "A monopoly institution based on violence makes things worse," that doesn't mean, "The absence of such an institution implies paradise." You might as well say, "Whoa ho ho, you claim to hate dictatorships? Well there weren't any dictators around during the Mesozoic era, I guess you want to hang with the brontosauruses?"

(2) The video is neglecting the difference in travel costs from Nashville to Somalia versus Nashville to Florida. Apples to oranges. Just silly, really.

Cholera vs. Mugabee.

Hmm. Tough choice. Think I'll take cholera.
Well, when you compare Somalia to all of the African countries with flying cars and $4 generic cancer cures on every store shelf then it's easy to see why government is such an awesome thing! Seriously though, I don't understand how someone could put so much effort into putting a video like that together without at least spending 5 minutes on Wikipedia. Somalia's improved in absolute terms in 18 different welfare metrics since the collapse of its state and improved relative to other African countries on most of those. It probably has the strongest telecom industry in all of Africa, and its Xeer form of common law is something I'm envious of even in America. For those Austrian money buffs out there it's interesting to note that since the collapse of its government, old currency and forgeries of the old currency have become the mediums of exchange, with seignorage competition driving down the value of the money to its worth in paper, ink, and transport costs: the fiat money effectively became commodity money(though they still use dollars for big transactions)! Anyone want to get together and make a vacation pitch for a "state paradise" like Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, or Maoist China?
Great points Alex.
Hey Alex,

That was great. I remember reading in the late 90s about how all kinds of businesses were booming in Somalia, and the business owners were putting together their own voluntarily-funded police to keep order in Mogadishu. Then the Western-backed Ethiopian government stepped in for "nation-building." State interference has really helped bunches.

If only we could teach Austrian economics to enough Somalians fast enough...
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