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Efficient anarchy = Oxymoron. If you´ve lived, I mean lived most of your life and not a couple of years, in a ¨weak¨ state than you probably yearn for a stronger (in protection of property and self) more competent government.

This is a reality for most people who migrate from LDCs towards DCs. Freedom for some is not just doing what you want, its really more of having the possobility of fulfilling your desires in the most decent manner. I think Lord Acton puts it nicely: ¨Liberty and good government do not exclude each other, and there are excellent reasons why they should go together. Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is the highest political end¨.

This whole idea of anarchism being efficient is more an ideologically filled statement than reality.

Pablo -
You're not really making the right comparison. All Leeson, Romer, or Boettke said was that when you compare a weak state to a strong abusive state, the weak state may very well be preferable.

This is not to say that an anarchy is preferable to a (relatively) stronger state where property rights and civil rights are respected and protected by the state. Nobody is claiming the weak state wins there (you'll have some anarcho-libertarians claiming that, but it's a different argument).

I agree - the choice offered by Leeson and Romer is quite myopic and I'd certainly prefer as well to transcend that choice. But GIVEN that choice I think it's clear that Romer is right.

What is the difference between a strong and weak government? How can we identify the difference? Perhaps the New Orleans city government is actually weak.

Ted:

I think the Corruption Perception Index is quite good at distinguishing "strong" from "weak" governments. New Zealand has a stronger government than Nigeria on this measure. Maybe one could construct a 2X2 matrix with economic freedom (high vs. low) and corruption (high vs. low). I'm quite certain that there is a negative correlation between economic freedom and corruption, although it's not perfect. So there are strong relatively liberal governments and strong relatively interventionist governments. But there are few if any governments that could be characterized as weak and supportive of economic freedom (yes, I know about the lack of government in medieval Iceland, but let's skip that example this time). So the New Orleans City government would be (relatively) weak if it's more corrupt than other US city governments. At least this is how I see it.

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