Today’s announcement by the so called Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, that Manchester is to be allowed to build a venue for more than 1,200 unlimited jackpot gaming machines might be a tiny and welcome step but it falls way short of the libertarian jackpot. For in modern Britain nothing can be voluntarily decided between entrepreneurs and their customers. Instead, everything has to be licensed and regulated by the government – usually through an endless array of front organisations such as the Casino Advisory Panel.
Today’s announcement was propagandistically spun by government under the rubric of regeneration. In addition to Manchester, other licenses were granted so that Great Yarmouth, Hull, Newham, Middlesbrough, Solihull, Milton Keynes, Leeds and Southampton could all be regenerated. In a libertarian world such ‘regeneration’ would of course occur in these and any other places that customers and business people desired. Moreover, the process would be accompanied by plethora of regenerative activities currently outlawed. Perhaps the most damaging economic criminalisation at the moment is propagated by the United Nation’s International Law of the Sea. Effectively outlawing the privatisation of the sea this ludicrous body of law means that 70 per cent of planet earth is effectively rendered useless for economic development.
Want to know more? Then read this superb paper by Walter Block.