Turning Countries into Companies

Free access to scriptures religious leaders try to censor

It’s being discussed here


Let’s start with a small poor sparsely populated village or forest. The people in the village decides to convert their citizenship into stocks. The state agree to give autonomy. The people in the villages, that are small in number and poor, agree. The land have very low cost. Tada. Investors coming and try to create a “start up government”

Not much change.

One man one vote becomes one man one share, one share one vote.

The small differences are

1. With shares, people don’t just get more shares if they produce more children. This solves the main cause of poverty. Poverty happens because welfare parasites keep producing large number of cradle to grave welfare parasites. Parents that produce more than 2 children will have to buy more citizenship share to ensure that their kids have citizenship too. If they can’t pay or unlikely to be able to pay after 1 children, government can require them to do some semi permanent contraception till they can.
2. Refugees coming do not get more shares (in democracy, population have voting power. Children of refugee have the same right to vote as children of original citizens. In ancient Rome, only “founders” family can vote. Then the rest can vote. Then all Rome’s colonies get Roman citizenship.).
3. Shares can be inherited. It can be bought and sold (perhaps with some restrictions)
4. Rich investors that want to build massive infrastructures can buy more and more shares. So, the small town or provinces can “go IPO”. Even very backward and poor country can benefit from well managed investments.
5. Some restrictions on buying and selling stocks may exist. For example, each population must have a minimum of 1 share. The state’s decisions must still be approved by at least 30% of the population. Residences that do not like new rules should have ample of time to leave, and so on…
6. We will call our leader CEO, instead of President. The function is the same. Like all CEO, the CEO of the state will worry about increasing valuation of the state and maximizing share holder value.
7. Shares will have valuation. We will have market for citizenship/shares.
8. Like corporations, the state will have strong incentive to produce maximum “value” at the least cost. Is this road worth building? Well, if we build this road, how many people would want to live here? How much would they be willing to pay for residency permit? All those are answerable questions.
9. Residency permit, like shares, can also be bought and sold. If I prefer to live in normal states, I can rent my residency permit to foreigners for extra cash.
10. You want to vote more? You buy more share. The money is used to build infrastructure that will increase revenue say, from land taxes or any taxes. Taxes become far more consensual here because anyone that doesn’t like it can simply don’t go there. This is a mini state whose main population will be immigrants.

Some possible immediate “decisions” by share holders would be

Most governments’ benefit will be replaced by standard dividend like in corporation.

Share holders will be obsessed with return of capital (dividend + increased valuation of their share) rather than how the state is run.

Under democracy, when your government is rich, you tend to get the benefit of your country’s economic success in the form of “higher wages” in government “created jobs.” That means to reap the benefit of your country’s economic success you need to stay in the country.

That means a lot of resources are spend by bickering voting blocks to get more share of the pie often at the expense of other voting blocks. Some voters want their country to move toward secularism. Another voters want their countries to be more religious. Most of the debate in democratic countries revolves around that.

Imagine if Microsoft told the shareholders that it will create jobs for every share holder. It doesn’t make sense right? It will benefit share holders that are good at programming. The opposition will then demand “affirmative action” to ensure the job goes to them. Microsoft will then have worse programmers because it has to take into account low IQ programmers that are now protected under “anti discriminatory laws”.

You got the point. All those are typical problems in democratic countries. Government benefits tend to benefit some people more than the other and the whole politic in democracy is each group of people try to get more benefit at the expense of other citizens. At the end, benefits of each citizen is roughly the same actually. They each can vote once. Most of the benefits go to lying politicians though that keep gaming the system.

In corporations, it’s simple. Every share gets the same dividend. Equal share for everyone. Okay, corporations is a bit commie in this regard. You have the same share, why should you get more or less than other share holders? If other share holders, or other people work more, then they get more, but that’s usually come as salary instead of more dividend. Is it a good idea to pay workers with dividends than just salary? Well, we got stock options for that. It could be, but that’s not the norm in general.

The CEO of Microsoft concentrate on making the “pie” bigger than figuring out how to share the benefit of the pie.

If states/provinces/countries are governed like companies, a share holder does not need to reside in the states/provinces/countries. Anyone that doesn’t like the way their states are governed can simply move somewhere else. As long as the states are governed well they will still reap the benefit of those.

Say 90% of the population is secular. Say the state decides that being even more secular will attract more secular investments, like science. That move, if done correctly, will improve the state’s valuation in stock market. A religious people in that state can simply move to another place and still enjoy the benefit of increased valuation.

The same way, if 80% of the population is religious, a secular person doesn’t have to argue about how wonderful a secular state is. If the state goes toward more religious direction, it may attract investments from arab, again increasing the valuation. That secular person can move somewhere else and still receive the benefit of his well managed state.

It’s similar with stocks. You don’t need to buy microsoft stocks to enjoy Bill Gates’ leadership. If you own microsoft stocks, you will receive the benefit of Bill Gates’ leadership in the form of higher stock price whether you use linux, max, or windows.

Customers’ interests are protected by buying others’ product. The same way, a residence interests are protected by simply moving to other states. In democracy, it’s difficult because most benefit of being a citizen of a rich state comes only when the person live in that state. Giving dividend instead of “creating jobs” would eliminate that issue.

The state may have a stake at market price of land in that state.

Well governed states are attractive to investors and people. That will increase land value.

Infrastructure, for example, improves land price.

Proper and just court will make people feel save. That too will improve land value.

Take a look at infrastructure, for example. Say some road costs $4 billion and the total land price increase by $6 billion, the whole thing should be done. Usually, the state pays for the infrastructure cost and the land owners enjoy the increased land price. The result is that most voters simply do not like it. So a decision to spend $4 billion on infrastructure becomes complex even though the “pie” got bigger by $2 billion.

One ways to do this is the company/state will buy an option to buy land at some locked in price. Say the price of a piece of land is $1k in 2018. The state have a right to buy that land for $1.1k for 100 years. Now the state can spend $4 billion on that infrastructure, the land price improved to $6 billion. The land owners, whose land price increase, just buy the option back from the state. $2 billion profit for the state.

Another way would be to simply tax land the way George Hendry suggest. The state spend $4 billion for road, and expect to get extra revenue from land tax. The present value of those extra land tax is expected to be $6 billion.

I can think of many ways. But I think this should be at least tried in the poorest region of the world with sparse population as possible.

Cost of military will decrease

Instead of having it’s own Army, the state can just pay for protection from British, or some other powerful countries. The british empire used to have many vasal states. Some, like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Qatar is very prosperous now. It doesn’t make sense for a small state the size of a village to have it’s own army. Ask NATO or SEATO or Warsaw or the Chinese for protection. Better yet, ask all of them to share protection duty. Then we’ll solve the issue.

The state can handle small crimes. Invasion is handled by protectors that also own share in the state.

The failure of republic of Minerva is that they’re attacked by Tonga, a relatively weak country. If someone want to create another libertarian state, for example, just pay some power to protect the country and that problem would go away. Minerva Reefs.

The british empire has a good history of protecting a group of people well. Qatar used to be a british protectorate and is now a very rich country that doesn’t have to “wage war” like the rest of middle east. Hong Kong is a british colony that for years are far more prosperous than other regions in china that is “not colonized”.

Most drugs and vice Can be taxed for Extra Revenue

In some democratic regions like California and Colorado, this is actually done. However, in most democratic area, drugs, gambling and prostitution are illegal.


Simple. Baptist and Mafia combo. People that do not use drugs want it criminalized. People that do not gamble or use drugs have little incentive to get it legalized. People that use it bribe officials. That bribed officials then use religions to trick people to keep drugs a crime.

If the state is governed like corporation, share holders have a strong incentive to legalize and tax drugs and prostitution and gambling rather than prohibiting it. It increases the states’ revenue and hence valuation. It increases the shareholders’ share.

Those who disagree can simply move to other places and still receive the benefit of the share’s dividend. Or they can just sell their citizenship/share and move on.

Those who have a say in the state are those that contribute to it

In corporations, we don’t have one man one vote. We have one share one vote. The founder, the CEO, the super programmer, have bigger share than the normal workers. In democracy, every babies born and every refugees have the same number of vote irrelevant of merit.

If countries are governed like corporations, then a person need to contribute something first, or buy shares at market price, before his vote counts.

You do not need to fear that refugees will “change your country”. Only immigrants that like your value so much they’re willing to pay the market price to get in will join you.

People Coming In Will Share Your Values

There is no one right way to cook noodles. There is no one right operating system. I use windows and android. I don’t argue day and night with Mac users.

Those who like android can buy android phone and those who like Mac can buy Mac.

I do not vote in ABC mart or DEF mart. If I do not like the rules in one mart, I buy stuffs from another mart. If I do not like movies in GHI cinema, I wll go to JKL cinema. I don’t even care how those marts and cinemas are governed. Yet, as customers, I am de facto king.

Customers are king under capitalism far more than people under democracy. With democracy you got to follow what the majority wants. If the states are like private corporations, you can just move the states you want.

If there is no one right way to cook noodles, why do we insist in one right way to govern countries? Why not just move to the one we like most?

The same with privatized countries/states/cities. Let the cities do it’s best to produce environments that best attract productive individuals. Those who do not like it can just go somewhere else. In fact, if the one that go somewhere else is an ex citizen, chance is that person have a share. He could sell those share at increased price.

We are paying those who do not like us to go and we get paid by those wanting to get in. So those who go to the state will tend to have the same values with the states.

Libertarians will go to relatively libertarian states. The muslims go to muslim states. The democratic will go to democratic states. The commies go to commies state. And so on.

We can prevent many mass wars or eliminate poverty in the whole world quickly.

Many people live in extreme poverty. The main cause is mismanaged government. Perhaps, they need investors and better government?

Tell the people in Somalia. Lend me 5% of your country. Let us govern. Let’s see if the area we govern is more prosperous than the area you govern your self. It’s a good deal. Somalian that like it can move to your area, and those who don’t can move somewhere else.

Rich countries or persons can heavily invest in that state and own shares of a state. It’s like a very benign colonization. Unlike Gengish Khan that mass murders cities and use forces, the arrangements can be far more consensual.

Rich countries can invest in the private vasal state, and get voting power. When land price increased, they then sell the share to other states.

We can see the better ideologies by comparing results

Which ideology is the most right? Theocracy? Democracy? Capitalism? Libertarianism? Georgianism? Will legalizing drugs cause societies’ collapse? Will tolerating gays make societies’ collapse? Is diversity good?

If there are many competing states, we can just see the valuation of the shares of those state. It goes up, somethings goes right. If it goes down, then something is wrong. We no longer need to consult scriptures on how to govern well. Just look at what’s working.

You know what?

Just like noodles, what’s best for a person may not be the best for another. Why not try them all and move to where you like?

Samples of Similar or Contrary Ideas

Not all of these ideas end up well. But we learn from our mistake. The fact that the ideas are at least tried shows that there is some truth in the principle.

  1. Libertarian hedonist cruise ships. In those ships, many things that used to be illegal becomes legal. Of course, the owner of the ship provide those at heavily marked up price. The price for vacation to such ships are very expensive. This idea simply move the stuff from ships to cheap land.
  2. Hong Kong, Singapore, and Qatar. It’s basically a British Colony that becomes very prosperous. The Chinese, like all people, tend to prosper under just minarchist rules. With few rules, the people get prosper themselves, according to Lao Tze, an ancient chinese philosopher. During the latter half of 20th century, the British is more just and light than the communist China. Hence, Hong Kong was far more prosperous than China. Qatar happens to have wise kings, which can be CEO. Things work out.
  3. Feudal lords in ancient time actually own the whole land. So there is little conflict of interests between land owners and land rulers. Under current democracy, typical voters do not usually own land creating a lot of unnecessary conflict. The problem with Feudalism is that land are usually fought and taken rather than “developed” or bought. We can change that.
  4. In corporations people tend to get shares proportionally with their contribution. In ancient democracy, this principle is not broken. Only conscript-able males can vote. In ancient times, a state need conscript-able men to defend the state (or attack another). So democracy is natural state for such state. Nowadays, women can vote too. Welfare parasites can vote too. Many of which contribute so little to the state and yet can vote. Perhaps we can make a win win deals with welfare parasites, if we just pay them to stop breeding?
  5. Ottoman empire provides “protection” to it’s vassal state without requiring the vassal state to embrace Islam. The same way, democratic countries can provides protection to it’s vassal state without requiring the vassal state to be democratic.
  6. In businesses, smart people build start up biz that provides better product for customers. Why don’t we have start up countries too?
  7. The Mongol empire controls large part of land. While very cruel, there are many things positive too. Tax is low (around 10% from 45%). The powerful Mongol let the people govern themselves as long as they don’t oppose their light rulers. The mongol empire was one of the first secular empire. Also, we need to keep in mind, that before the Mongols, the people are busy killing each other anyway. The same goes when white people invade south America. Now, people don’t normally kill each other and hence we need to offer them something better.
  8. Republic of Minerva is something that “almost work”. The problem is just lack of protectors. Man libertarian countries are proposed to be done “off the shelf” or far from “main land”. If the libertarian don’t insist on being “too libertarian” they can make some country closer to commerce centers. Commerce is essential for libertarians. Also they will easily get a protector like Qatar kingdom. Minarchist is better than straightforward “pure” libertarianism for most people. We just need a way to prevent governments from growing too big. And that mechanism is called competition among governments.
  9. BIC, VOC, and Free Congo Republic are samples of companies that “govern” nations. However, the way they gain power is through violent, without consent of the people. Also they seized large land that already have reasonable wealth there making the population worse off. In our proposal, the people can vote no and they can just move to other states.
  10.  Actual democracy. That one is actually  not bad. Democracy replaces war. Democracy ensures that a decisions would benefit majority of people.  Median vote theorem means decisions in democracy tend to be moderate. It’s a great default state when shit hit the fan like in Syria. It’s a good starting condition. Actual democracy isn’t bad. However, insisting that the whole world must be democracy all the time creates tons of loopholes. Currently, majestic welfare parasites simply get more and more of their  share by simply breeding more children. No body knows who “owns” a democratic country and for whose benefit the country is ultimately run. If it’s done for the benefit of citizens, why dilute citizenship by giving it freely to newborn babies? If it’s done for the benefit of all population in the region, why give free citizenship away to refugees? If for the benefit of the whole world, why not just spend money opening “branches” and subsidiary in Africa and middle east instead of inviting refugee to come? At the end, democratic countries are run to the benefit of corporate lobbyist. Perhaps defining more clearly who should get the benefit of countries can open doors to many efficiencies?
  11. Ancient vasal states. Small kingdom cannot protect itself against large kingdom. By paying tax or tribute to a larger power, they can achieve prosperity without having to have a large army. Sounds like a win win solution. Currently, under international laws, there is no longer protectorate and vasal. All countries are equally sovereign.
  12. Actual corporations. Contrary to popular believes, Microsoft and Google is a bit democratic. The share holders do not run the company directly, but they vote for CEO that knows how to run their company.  Well, not exactly one man one vote. Typical shareholders have no idea how to run a company anyway. However, people vote proportional to their “share” and those share is proportional to actual contribution. This is something that all organization should mimic. This is 90% of the point of this post.
  13. Ming Dinasty China. This great dinasty managed to defeat the Mongol. However, it’s too conservative and moderate. Series of grossly incompetent Emperor is chosen based on birth right bringing the whole country to collapse. One Ming emperor was literally on strike smoking opium. The last Chinese emperor torture Ming’s best general to death. Big corporations often avoid this fate. In corporations, only the shares itself is inherited, not the job. Typical corporations avoid the pitfall of Ming Dinasty. CEO post is not inherited. CEO is a well paid job with stock options as the lion share of the compensation.
  14. Rise and fall of Ahok, an Indonesian politicians. https://www.quora.com/Why-was-Ahok-jailed. Thanks to democracy, the people can finally vote for a competent governor. Ahok running mate, Jokowi, is now the president for Indonesia. Democracies have a weak point. We don’t know where we should draw the line when it comes to freedom of speech. As now, radical muslims are “free” to promote their agenda. However, Ahok, knowing that the movements are in alliance with corrupt officials, said that the whole process is a scam using religion. Ahok is then convicted of blasphemy. While many people support Ahok, many Indonesians, who are muslim majority, do not wish to remove anti blasphemy laws. With such flexible laws, it’s very difficult to voice one’s opinion. Corrupt officials can claim that someone is “offended” and jail any competing politicians. Liberals in Canada and Europe also have laws against “hate speech”. They then simply labels any speech that do not conform to their wish, “hate speech.” If a country is split into many autonomous private regions, none of this would be an issue. The secular can just move to secular regions and the religious can just try their religious idea in their region. The problem is that the autonomy is often limited. The law that hurt Ahok is not a local law but a national law. Also if one system is more successful than the other, the people that messed up their provinces can simply move to another successful province. We need a company that can buy cheap land, build cheap land, and own the cheap land.
  15. The founding father of USA originally wants only land owners to vote. Not sure what’s the consideration is. However this makes perfect sense. Those who do not own any land can simply move somewhere else. Those who own land wants his land value to improve. Changing voting laws to land owners only, proportional to value of land ownership will of course be very unpopular. It’s not really stable either. When land owners can vote, peasants will be conscripted to fight to protect property right. Southern Song dynasty and South Vietnam lose war because the people do  not like the deal. However, making win win deals with sparsely populated place with cheap land and poor population can be easily done. Vote from the poor is very cheap, it’s a bargain under democracy. https://www.quora.com/Why-did-the-Founding-Fathers-only-want-land-owners-to-be-allowed-to-vote-and-if-it-was-still-that-case-today-would-we-be-20-trillion-in-debt 
  16. China. Chinese is now investing so much money all over the world. The Chinese eventually “govern” the whole Africa peacefully. Like Europeans during colonial age, The Chinese have little compunction with corrupt leaders. However, being in 21st century, Chinese colonization is more benign than previous ancient colonization. We didn’t have genocide yet. Ethiopia economy grows by 10% year by year. If the people are not too stupid, it’s actually win win. In ancient time, the Chinese didn’t bother colonizing, and Europe controls the whole world. Now, the Chinese do it and the European, feeling guilty of past colonization, didn’t bother. I think a moderate approach is what the world need. Colonize anyway. But don’t bring guns and bombs. Bring money and better government. Make win win deals. If colonizing power compete with each other in offering better deals to the people in their colony instead of seizing it through war, everyone will be benefit. The colonizing power and the colony itself.
  17. Wesphalian sovereignty. 194 countries competing for investment and people. This is the main source of freedom in the whole world. However, creating a new country is tough. You can’t just fill online application, register it at UN, and get your own country. A country need to be reasonably self sufficient when it comes to power. Also, the most powerful countries now are democratic countries. In democratic countries, the main way a person can receive the benefit of successful countries is if he leaves in the country. A voting population is then like a voting customers. Some customers want perfect country with 0 cost. We call this people libertarians. Some customers wants the country to produce what they want to consume, again, with lower costs. We call this jihadist. The current system is fine. We just need better ones to be tried.

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