Whilst wholeheartedly agreeing with the sentiment of this article I wonder why Olly ignored Metro Bank. I do know the founder has said that it was almost impossible to gain the banking licence and that he would not try the same again.

  • http://www.nolanchart.com/ Walt Thiessen

    I agree with your analysis. I want to comment on one point. I think there would still be super-rich, but the difference between super-rich and the rest would not be nearly as great as it is now, and their number would be smaller. For instance, J.K. Rowling would still be super-rich, but Warren Buffet, George Soros, and Carl Icohn probably would not be. The computer giants (Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Steve Ballmer, Paul Allen, Michael Dell, etc.) would also certainly be much less rich than they are today, although they would probably also be “super-rich” in the lesser way that Rowling would be. The WalMart family would likely not be on the list at all. The Koch brothers would still be there, but I believe oil would be less important than it is in a corporate society, because alternative energy sources would already have made greater strides.

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  • d

    I think oil will always be an important form of energy consumption , it seems the libertarian is a little too influencing on people creating their own wealth and a little too lax on border control. We need banks as much as they need us but obviously with more regulatory controls in place.

  • http://twitter.com/Ivan_Jelical Neill

    Libertarianism is right wing and elitist.

    • AlexMacDonald7

      What makes you say that?

  • http://www.facebook.com/gemma.peter Gemma Peter

    The government is not the only thing that can keep rich people rich, capitalism can do that on its own. The way it occurs is through economies of scale, this is why it’s easy for small organisations to be wiped out by large organisations because the bigger you are the cheaper it is to acquire resources (bulk discount) which reduces your costs compared to a smaller competitor and makes you more profitable which makes it easier to grow. When it is easier to get bigger when you are already big this leads to a few very large organisations taking over the market. Even without any government regulation economies of scale would still apply even if there were technically no such thing as corporations any more (as they are government legal constructs).

  • http://www.facebook.com/jock.coats Jock Coats

    I thought this was an interesting counter argument to some of the comments about how even without a state there would be similar problems: “In a freed market, who will stop markets from running riot and doing crazy things? And who will stop the rich and powerful from running roughshod over everyone else?” – http://radgeek.com/gt/2009/06/12/freed-market-regulation/

    Also Gemma, I feel you probably overstate economies of scale. Many economies of scale exist precisely because state regulation makes bigness appear more efficient. For example, recent research suggests that it can cost an SME up to 16 times what it costs a large company, proportionate to income, to comply with state regulation.

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  • Hail the Tripod

    Much as I enjoyed Hayek’s “The road to serfdom”, I would have to say George’s “Progress and poverty” is far more insightful on a fundamental level.
    Almost all libertarians seem to be quite happy for people to exercise property rights over land, and a large subset feel the same about intellectual property. Until that is understood to be massively, intrinsically problematic for equality of opportunity libertarianism will be “an ideology that defends or promotes the interests of the wealthy and the powerful”.

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