Privatizing the Oceans to Prevent Piracy

I’m not sure that privatization is really “the solution to about 90 percent of world’s economic problems” like guest Cornerite Peter T. Leeson claims. But he does make a pretty good case that the lawless Somali coast and even the “international waters” in which pirates now operate are a form of market failure… and that it might well be worth giving someone the economic rights to those areas, and thus the incentive to properly police them.

Heck, if any country or even private organization owned the part of the ocean that incredibly ominous and growing 8th continent of garbage in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, they might have at least some incentive to do something about it, even if it meant suing all the countries currently still contributing to it.

Which… is precisely why such a thing would likely never happen in the first place. Professor Leeson might be entirely sincere about his proposal, but the chances of getting most of the world to agree on such a radical change in the seafaring status quo seem slim. We still haven’t been able to fully ratify the comparatively milquetoast Law of the Sea after 30 years of haggling.

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~ by Drew on 2009/04/14.

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