Tate Fegley: Crime and Punishment in a Libertarian Society


Tate Fegley, a Summer Fellow at the Mises Institute, combines his work in criminal justice at Boise State University with Hoppean and Rothbardian analyses of private law and private police.

Tate and Jeff discuss what crime and punishment might look like in a libertarian society, and how to convince skeptical libertarians that private police can do a better job of dealing with violence, theft, and fraud.

Private, competing defense agencies would operate with completely different incentives than state police: unlike government cops, private cops get fired when crime goes up. Private police have a direct financial interest in avoiding escalation of conflicts, avoiding legal liability for death or injuries, and avoiding damage to their agency’s reputation. And under a Hoppean insurance model, both insurance companies and property owners have a direct incentive to prevent, rather than merely respond, to crime.

Finally, they discuss how direct restitution, rather than lengthy taxpayer-funded incarceration, would be a more economically efficient and more humane approach to helping crime victims.

If you’re interested law and justice under anarcho-capitalism, stay tuned for a great interview.