A Libertarian Nightmare in Action:The Honduras?
By Robert Wenzel
Over at Salon, Edwin Lyngar tells us that he has given up on libertarianism because of a recent vacation he took to the Honduras. He classified the trip as a nightmare: My libertarian vacation nightmare: How Ayn Rand, Ron Paul & their groupies were all debunked
I am really not sure how he reached the conclusion that the Honduras is a libertarian country, but he did:
Eliminate all taxes, privatize everything, load a country up with guns and oppose all public expenditures, you end up with Honduras.
Empresa Nacional de Energía Eléctrica is Honduras's government owned and operated electrical power company. ENEE supplies 84.8% of Honduras' electricity.
Hondutel is Honduras' government owned telecommunications company. It has a monopoly on international calls.
Neither of these government owned companies would be something you would find in a libertarian country.
But Lyngar goes on:
The country has a handful of really rich people, a small group of middle-class, some security guards who seem to be getting by and a massive group of people who are starving to death and living in slums.
This tipped me off right away. There is no way you are going to see such slums in a country, unless there are high minimum wage laws and regulations which make it difficult to start a business. So I did some digging.
Honduras has the most complex minimum wage laws I have ever seen. Take a look for yourself.
As far as starting a business, the World Bank lists it as extremely difficult to do so in Honduras, with a rank of 138 out of 189 countries. Which is to say nothing about its ranking for Enforcing Contracts (166).
I only took a few minutes to do research on the obvious, minimum wage laws and start up difficulties, but any country which is so oppressive in these two sectors is likely to be a regulation nightmare across the board. That's why you have extensive slums in the country---and it has nothing to do with the philosophy of Ron Paul or Ayn Rand.