FuturArchy (ThoughtStorms)

RobinHanson's idea for a political organization : http://hanson.gmu.edu/futarchy.html

When a betting market clearly estimates that a proposed policy would increase expected national welfare, that proposal becomes law. Futarchy is intended to be ideologically neutral; it could result in anything from an extreme socialism to an extreme minarchy, depending on what voters say they want, and on what speculators think would get it for them.

Futarchy seems promising if we accept the following three assumptions:

Democracies fail largely by not aggregating available information.

It is not that hard to tell rich happy nations from poor miserable ones.

*Betting markets are our best known institution for aggregating information. *


Thoughts

Hmmm. How plausible are these three assumptoins?

1) In what sense do democracies "fail"? True failure comes from being overthrown by non-democratic groups : revolutions and coups. That may be partly due to failure of information. As JohnRobb suggests, democracies may need an intelligence market to counter the BazaarOfViolence, but I don't think this is what Hanson means.

What else is this "failure"? Where democracies seem to be frustratingly doing other than we'd like, this seems to be more a result of competiting interest groups : deadlock between parties in parliament, lobbyists or factions getting the ear of legislators etc.

What or who's pain is this addressing?

2) It sounds like he thinks governments are in the business of making their people "rich". And rich = high GDP? Is this the only purpose of government?


More on running things by markets : ManagementByMarkets


See also :