The ultimate privatization scheme:
Privatize the lotteries? Way too small.
Privatize the highways? Nope.
Privatize Social Security? Hah!
Over at NRO's The Corner, we get this
Want to Prevent Piracy? Privatize the Ocean
One suggestion that isn’t being considered, but should be, is to privatize the seas ...
... the absence of ownership of these waters means no one has had much incentive to prevent activities that destroy their value — activities such as piracy. The result is a kind of oceanic “tragedy of the commons” whereby, since no one has an incentive to devote the resources required to prevent piracy, piracy flourishes. In contrast, if these waters were privately owned, the owner would have a strong incentive to maximize the waters’ value since he would profit by doing so. That would mean suppressing and preventing pirates. ...
Establishing private property rights where they don’t currently exist is the solution to about 90 percent of world’s economic problems. Piracy is no exception.
Be careful what you wish for. If the seas are privatized, then whoever owns them will want a return on the investment and to cover the cost of policing. A sovereign wealth fund (e.g. representing China) might bid for, and win, the Pacific. Then what?
If seas are owned, then every country is effectively landlocked
, which is a serious economic disadvantage.
Jeff: You read my mind. I was thinking of adding at the end of the post that "mere" oceans were not enough and that perhaps the atmosphere should be privatized.
I suppose one could go further and privatize the Solar System. Any bids for Neptune?