Democracy, Population Density, and Commons

As a general rule, roughly doubling population density gains a 15% increase in both all goods and all bads. Why? Because the opportunity cost decreases.

That should be pretty obvious.

But now, let’s take a look at what happens to Commons: normative, institutional, and physical.

They get cheaper. But they also get less valuable. Becuase the primary commons that produces returns is just density.

But what happens to commons in non-urban areas: they get expensive, and they get more important. Because what sustains a population in the production of consumption, generations (families); goods, services, and information; commons, institutions, and territory.

This explains the very great difference between cities, suburbs, and rural areas: government produces commons, under the perception of uniform cost and value to humans when the value of commons is determined by the difficulty in creating them, preserving and maintaining them, and the cost of infractions gainst them.

We have the electoral college to ensure that the large states that have such discount on commons production cannot overwhelm the smaller states with smaller budgets, or smaller populations or smaller territories.

But what we do NOT have is votes within states determined by opportunity costs: population density.

Yet we tax people by income which to some degree reflects population density, because income is determined largely by that density, because opportunities are determined by that density.

Now there is a trade-off between the ‘cheapness’ of opportunities for CONSUMPTION in the city versus the expense of opportunities for INVESTMENT in the suburban and rural areas.

I hadn’t really given this much thought in the past although it’s intuitively obvious that the electoral college is necessary to prevent the people living off cheap commons in cities to force harm to the people in lower density places with expensive commons.

But since the entire purpose of government is the production of commons then it’s only logical: we lack a means of calculating the differences in these invisible differences in opportunity costs, and that without compensating for density, we are harming the suburban and rural areas.

Now, of course, we could say that rural and suburban areas don’t matter, but the truth is that cities are dysgenic IQ sinks, cultural conflict generators, and debt increasers, as well as helpful marketplaces

And that the reason that we immigrated so many people into this country after 1803’s Louisiana Purchase was to fill up the west with people, so that we could hold the territory in case the Europeans decided to come back and take it again.

Because you only hold territory as both a resource and as a buffer against competitors if it’s full enough of people to do so.

if votes were weighted by county by population density, that would ameliorate the differences between the different opportunity costs.

Now is this going to happen? Unlikely. So the alternative is secession so that regions, states, and localities can produce with government that which government is necessary to produce: commons.

And my alternative is to convert government from a monopoly to a market for the production of commons so that groups can produce local commons that they desire without the interference of others.

May a thousand nations bloom.

Curt Doolittle
The Propertarian Institute
Kiev, Ukraine

2 responses to “Democracy, Population Density, and Commons”

  1. It probably conflicts with your notion of different houses for different thedes, but a house based upon seats of geographic area resolves this if you are looking for a democratic approach.

    My view of different houses has largely been different house, different principle, so this works well for me.

Leave a Reply