In today’s news an article from Der Spiegel caught or attention. It is entitled “Throttled by Tourists: Death Prompts Venice to Ponder Limits”.
It so happens that a German tourist was crushed and fatally wounded in the Grand Canal. The fault was assigned to the busy traffic in the canal, which many deemed to be out of control. In reality, the issue is that Democracy Fails Around the world and now in Venice.
This traffic has increased enormously over the years, but many Venetians feel that the main blame belongs to Paolo Costa, the president of the Venice Port Authority. He controls what happens in the lagoon. Fair enough, now for the tasty bits.
Mr Costa was never elected but “appointed” by the Italian Senate.
In theory, since the senate is an elected body, Mr. Costa’s appointment seems to be democratic. The people have chosen. But have they?
According to the anger displayed by the Venetians, they have not. And that’s the reality, the truth, they have not.
Venetians are now in the position where their entire life is controlled by a person they did not elect, cannot remove and is not hearing them. Yes. This is democracy in action. Sounds familiar?
In this particular case, Democracy failed not only because the Venetian people have no control over their lives, but because any source of possible control is closed to them. And it gets worst. Let’s say that a change is introduced to the Venice Port Authority. Let’s say that its president is elected by the Venetian voters. Will this solve the problem? No.
A politician will do what all politicians do. Make promises and deliver very little. Try to find a compromise where none is possible. Seek re-election with money from supporters. In other words: lie.
Venetians would not be better off. They would still have the same problems. The issue is money. Venice’s main income by far is tourism. Shut this down and Venice dies. Most Venetians are aware of this, but they want some control over their lives and their city. They will get none.
This is tragic because Venice is being slowly damaged by the uncontrolled tourism. There will be very little left for future generations.
Now that we know what reality looks like, we can analyze the same problem from an Absolute Austro-Libertarian point of view.
However, we need to make a few assumptions. Assumptions, which are reasonable.
In our system, everything belongs to somebody. So, naturally, all canals would belong to the Venetians as shareholders in a Corporation. The Corporation, as any corporation, would exist to make a profit. But its CEO and Board of Directors jobs will be directly related to the profits the corporation makes.
So far, it would seem we are not in any better shape, but we actually are.
As the CEO and the Board of Directors jobs are not political and do not have expiry dates, these people would seek to stay in their jobs for as long as possible. Therefore they will be very much motivated to make as much profit as possible (of course) but also to keep the profits going for as long as possible.
Which brings us to the centerpiece of the Absolute Austro-Libertarian way. It is in the best interest of the corporation’s leaders to balance current profits with ongoing profits. This automatically means restricting tourism to protect Venice (for future profits).
In our system, we achieve maximum profits and environmental and historical protection through self-interest, which is the most powerful force in nature.
No other laws are required. No other political elements are necessary. Money talks but it also cares. Sound strange, doesn’t it? But it is true.
Now you know. The Absolute Austro-Libertarian is the way of greed balancing based on self-interest. We don’t deny human nature, nor do we try to impose arbitrary rules that will be obsolete even before promulgated.
Let this be an example to you.
Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.