Originally Posted by jazzguru
I would love to see more private police and fire services in action (they already exist, but we need more to encourage competition and discourage the same kind of crap we have to endure with government provided services).
I think to have a proper discussion about that idea, you need to break down what it is that these organizations currently do. Think first about whether or not the thing they're doing would really need to be done in a freer more voluntary society (e.g., "the war on drugs") and secondly break down what they do into distinctive services.
For example the police do a lot of things like traffic enforcement (this would, logically, be handled by the safety departments of private road companies on their roads.) Another example would be investigative services say surrounding theft or damage of property. These services would likely be handled by your homeowner's or car insurance company (possibly contracted out to specialists.)
For fire protection services your homeowner's insurance company might contract with a private company...or they might require you to do it before even giving you insurance.
And so on.
Actually, if you think more carefully about some of these services, they are essentially subsidies/welfare for private insurance companies! Most people don't think about them quite that way, but it is no tan unreasonable characterization.
The point is to think beyond the current structure to imagine other ways these same things might be achieved.
In the end there might still be a public police (or fire) department, but it might be scaled back to only those services that are public goods