Saturday, October 30, 2004

Government as a Joint-Stock Company

Here's a way to look at democracy. I'm lifting it from a question I heard somebody ask at a conference.

Why not think of voters as shareholders in a corporation? The corporation is the government, which has a monopoly over the provision of some public goods, such as defense, etc.

Votes are "shares" that are distributed equally among the eligible population, who choose the management of this corporation.

Update: I just found out from Chris Dillow that this is not really a new idea. Indeed John Stuart Mill made the analogy long ago...

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