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UK Transport challenges: one from and one to

In his first posting yesterday (Saturday May 4) on UK Transport, Patrick Crozier posts a challenge to libertarians everywhere. Can you build railways without compulsory purchase orders (or what Americans call, I believe, “Eminent Domain” laws)? I’m sure this question has received many answers over the years, but I haven’t come across one I liked. I’d like to. Maybe the answer is that railways are inherently anti-libertarian. If so, a pity, I say. Maybe railways can be run by libertarians, once they exist, but not built by them. Ugh!

And a question to Patrick, with whom I discussed the matter by phone the other day. What is it with airport landing “rights”, awarded, it would seem, by politicians, to the airlines that are cleverest at lobbying? What’s the story there? Surely there should be a market for the right to land (and, presumably, take off). If there was, what would happen? Would prices surge? Would they fluctuate a lot? Is there anywhere which already has such a market?

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