If you’ve truly accepted the principles of libertarianism, you’re interested in privatizing everything. In your conversations with people about privatization, you’ll inevitably end up talking about everyone’s favorite topic—roads. Although many people believe this to signify “checkmate,” all you need to imagine a system of private roads free from the influences of government is a little bit of imagination and creativity.
This doesn’t stop people from using one of the worst arguments in favor of state roads that I’ve ever heard. It’s almost guaranteed to come up. And it’s so frustrating.
“What if the owners of roads decide they don’t want anyone to use them?”
Let’s think about this for a second. When roads are privatized, they become a business. So you can be about 99.999% sure that the reason that someone would go into the business of owning roads would be to make money. Why, then, would they prevent any and everyone from using their roads? Does any other business exist that makes money by not allowing any person to use their products or services or enter into their doors?
I guess that it’s not completely impossible. It’s not that it couldn’t happen, but why would it? There would have to be some sort of weird incentive for a person to do that. It makes as much sense as buying a gas station only to lock the pumps up. The threat of that doesn’t make a justification for the state to control gas stations, so why should it for roads?
This demonstrates a sense of entitlement that people have. They believe that they have a right to roads and cannot imagine a world where the market would provide them access to use them. Ironically, how many of these same people are dead against the Obamacare legislation? How long before people cannot remember when healthcare services were provided by the market? And how long will it be until when presented with the idea that healthcare services industry should be privatized will people respond with:
“What happens if the owner of this business doesn’t let anyone in his hospital?”