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How many market anarchists does it take to change a lightbulb?

Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 11 years ago, in 2011, on the World Wide Web.

In a freed market, without patent restrictions, government electrical cartels, or state capitalist infrastructure subsidies, the lightbulbs would be free to organize and change themselves.

6 replies to How many market anarchists does it take to change a lightbulb? Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. Anon

    I always heard the anarcho-capitalist one as, “None; If the lightbulb needs changing, the market will do it.”

    • Rad Geek

      Anon,

      I’ve heard that one in a number of variations (ancaps, libertarians, economists, etc.). I don’t find that one very funny. Not because it’s completely inaccurate as a jab (there are at least some people it’s accurate for), but because I usually find these things funnier when they try to imitate how the targets actually talk, rather than just ridiculing them from the outside.

      In that vein, for economist jokes, I tend to prefer:

      Q. Three neoclassical economists are stranded on a desert island with a can of chili, a coconut tree, a fishing hook and some driftwood. How do they survive?

      A. First, assume a can opener….

      Q. How many Austrian economists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

      A. We don’t make quantitative predictions.

  2. DarianW

    Anon, I’ve heard that as: “How many libertarians does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None, the free market will take care of it!”

  3. DarianW

    Six. Two to endlessly debate whether the lightbulb is a beneficiary of state subsidies, one who says that the lightbulb doesn’t really exist and if we ignore it we’ll be able to see, one to become a Republican, one to gradually establish a new lightbulb within the socket of the old, and one to call him a statist.

  4. Marja Erwin

    I don’t think I would screw in a lightbulb. I might be willing to try, but the things look pretty cramped.

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