Natural Monopolies

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Libertarians like to deny the existence of natural monopolies in roads, sewers, and many other services (like Google search) that have increasing returns to scale. Or they make crazy arguments that they should not be produced or regulated by government.


Digital Monopolies (8 links)
Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet (Google) and Facebook are the 5 largest companies in the USA. Why? Because they are all natural monopolies due to network externalities. Twitter is also a monopoly. These monopolies have the unaccountable private power of spying on and banning users arbitrarily from this important cultural infrastructure.
Firefighting (1 link)
Firefighting is a natural monopoly: while many small towns have private firefighting services, very few have competing ones. This is because of increasing returns to scale. And who provides the hydrants?
Liberty! What Fallacies Are Committed in Thy Name! [More...]
Cosma Shalizi points out that libertarian-style arguments about eliminating antitrust have severe empirical difficulties: ie. price fixing is rampant in the global marketplace.
Roads (10 links)
The "who will build the roads?" question has become an inside joke for libertarians. So much so that they don't even debate or discuss it anymore. They just regurgitate "privatize everything!" despite the fact that history shows their solutions don't work except in rare cases.
Sewers (2 links)
Libertarians like to complain that governments are responsible for deaths through wars, etc. But they never consider how governments prevent deaths. The sewers of Rome have prevented far more deaths through sanitation than the legions of Rome ever killed in wars. Sewers are natural monopolies.


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