I love the idea of getting wealthy while putting government out of business; it’s a take on the bet in Trading Places between Louis Winthorpe and Billy Ray Valentine. I believe we can do it. It’s right in line with the quote Carl Watner has on voluntaryist.com:
The end goal is freedom, a voluntary society. Government, men and women providing services on a compulsory basis – pay or get shot – destroys freedom. Governments do not exist to protect freedom, only to take it away. If you doubt this, then read this political opinion, in particular, page 10; it’s the Souza case I’ve mentioned on my radio show. Violence is the problem, therefore, the solution must be non-violent, e.g., productive.
Education, while essential, is not very effective at overcoming someone’s ideology when the ideology is how they earn a living and supports their family. There are also deep-seated psychological reasons why some people are very resistant to the idea of a world without government. So how do we educate people (while taking energy away from government and their supporting theology/ideology) without the opposition? What’s the path of least resistance to convert a statist to a voluntaryist? That’s when the idea of the Save-a-bureaucrat-Foundation hit me.
The idea is to persuade people working as government of the benefits of the private market – and to help provide the means of going from employee to entrepreneur.
Let’s face it, making more money cuts through ideologies; a government worker does not have to become a libertarian because he wants to earn more money. What’s important is making more money. The conversion may take place later. Even if you do convince a tax agent government should be abolished, he/she is not likely to quit their job and put their family in jeopardy.
One of the means to help going from employee to entrepreneur, is members of the audience investing money in the new business. Many people already donate money to political campaigns every year with the expectation the candidate will shrink the size and scope of government and cut taxes, the Save-a-bureaucrat-Foundation offers a real way to do that. The difference here is government will actually be smaller and there is a return on the investment. This not only encourages more people to invest, it will then in turn provide more incentive to those in government to leave and enter the private market.
The former government employee will also be able to advertise on my radio show, the No State Project for free until the business is profitable. This is a benefit to the former government employee and the investing audience. The members of the audience can also get special advertising rates on the show as investors in the Save-a-bureaucrat-Foundation. The new business may also be advertised on my web site and also the web sites of those investing in the business.
We have common goals in helping the new business be successful: it directly takes power/energy away from government (less police on force, less community reliance on government, less confidence in government) and being successful makes the investors more money. What is also important is we are not seen as enemies, but as partners; they’ll be less of the “us against them” attitude so common with governments. This alone will make it easier to overcome resistance to voluntaryism. Former government employees will also see firsthand the private market is more effective. By starting their own business, former government employees will see how ineffective and counterproductive government really is.
What better example the private market is superior to government than having former government employees doing a better job doing the same job privately. They can then come on my radio show (and others) and talk about their experience to promote not only their new business, but also why the private market is superior to government. And who’s better to convince police officers of the benefits of the private market than successful former policemen? They may recruit their friends and former associates on the show; they can also do workshops with other former police to further recruit police into the private market. Former police can also speak at high schools and teach kids, using their example, to avoid government employment and instead work in the private sector which pays more.
It also helps persuade people who think governments are necessary when former government employees, people with experience with both, demonstrate the private market is best at providing services, even those traditionally believed could only be provided by government.
The types of businesses former government employees may start are many. Some of the businesses may be police starting security companies (home security, bodyguards, investigators etc), tax agents their own accounting firms and attorneys and judges doing arbitration and mediation. Former detectives may also contract their services to insurance companies. Because of their experience, there is credibility every business needs to be successful.
Another important aspect is, according to police sources, this one from a sheriff, compared with other professions, police have the highest rate of divorce, domestic violence and suicides. That’s a pretty good incentive to enter the private sector and make more money. Knowing this, who wouldn’t persuade a friend or family member to leave the police force, especially when more money is involved?
This can also incorporate another method to bring about a voluntary society. I’ve spoken many times about not using political courts for dispute resolution. One of the terms of taking advantage of the Save-a-bureaucrat-Foundation is all contracts must have binding mediation or arbitration clauses waiving any and all right to seek resolution/protection from political courts. This serves to take people out of government and also takes energy/business away from the courts. The more business we can divert away from political courts the better.
So here’s an example where we can get wealthy while putting governments peacefully out of business. It’s not meant to be the only thing we need to do to bring about a voluntary society, only one of many effective methods we can use along the way. The means are consistent with the end goal, a voluntary society.
Marc Stevens is the author of Adventures in Legal Land and host of the only show on the air dedicated to bringing about a voluntary society, The No State Project. The No State Project is live every Saturday from 4-6 pm central time, 2-4 pm pacific time on the We the People Radio Network and now 3-4 pm pacific time on KLAV 1230 AM in Las Vegas.