Reply To: Is it possible to privatize police AND the justice system?


johnwires – “I feel that voting in morally objective officials, who are not incentivized by money may the best option we have…”

Any system that relies upon only good and ethical people to be in power is not a good system.

bryandunmire did a great job explaining some of the basics as to why it is possible to privatize police forces and the judicial system. I find it more likely that a police force or court that is privatized (meaning it relies upon voluntary contract to conduct any business) will be just than will a police force or court that is funded involuntarily (in other words, through taxation) and can coerce individuals to use their services and only their services. As was previously stated, if a police organization or private court is considered by one or some to have done corrupt work, word of mouth spreads and they will receive less business, giving an opening for other entrepreneurs to compete and other the kind of service that those people expect. And if a certain individual or company refuses to use any police or court except ones that others have heard or found to be corrupt, people will be less likely to do business with said indiviual or company. Thus, the market’s ability to root out corrupt businesses is self-reinforcing in this way.

Example: if Court ABC has built a reputation for being corrupt, especially in favor of Corporation XYZ, not only will you be less likely to take your business to Court ABC (since you don’t trust their business practices), you will be less likely to do business with Corporation XYZ (since, if you have a dispute against them, they will only be willing to settle it in Court ABC). If Court ABC refuses to change its ways or has done too much damage to its reputation to be reconciled by the public, the receive less patronage, and their decreased demand allows their competitor, Court DEC, to capitalize and see an increase in demand for its services. Likewise, the reduced demand for the goods or services of Corporation XYZ allows for their competitor, Corporation UVW, to capitalize and see an increase in demand for their goods and services. Thus, it is in the best interest of private courts and police forces to not be corrupt and offer what consumers consider to be fair and just services and prices; likewise, it is in the best interest of private corporations to not patronize what their consumers consider to be corrupt private courts or police forces.