I do not suppose you have heard of the fact that Belgium is still without a government after the elections in June 2007? The country is split between the northern Flemish bit and the southern Wallonia bit.
The Dutch Flemish do not like to pay money to their poorer French cousins in the south. I did not know myself till my friend, Professor Christian DeCock told me about this happy state of affairs.
We see the same kind of behaviour in Italy where the richer Northern Italian bit hates the indolent, public sector dependent, no tax paying south.
But going back to Belgium, remember the quote by Charles de Gaulle? "a country which is said to be invented by the British to piss off the French". But the curious thing is, that nothing really matters to the ordinary populace, they are working away nicely.
Now turn your thoughts to Somalia, a country blighted by war, riots, terrorism, religious fundamentalism, drugs, piracy, you name it. It does not have a government for the past decade or more. By all measures, it is not a state.
So how do you explain the following facts and figures from this site?
If the expectation was that Somalia would plunge into an abyss of chaos, what is the reality? A number of recent studies address this question, including one by economist Peter Leeson drawing on statistical data from the United Nations Development Project, World Bank, CIA, and World Health Organization. Comparing the last five years under the central government (1985–1990) with the most recent five years of anarchy (2000–2005), Leeson finds these welfare changes:
* Life expectancy increased from 46 to 48.5 years. This is a poor expectancy as compared with developed countries. But in any measurement of welfare, what is important to observe is not where a population stands at a given time, but what is the trend. Is the trend positive, or is it the reverse?
* Number of one-year-olds fully immunized against measles rose from 30 to 40 percent.
* Number of physicians per 100,000 population rose from 3.4 to 4.
* Number of infants with low birth weight fell from 16 per thousand to 0.3 — almost none.
* Infant mortality per 1,000 births fell from 152 to 114.9.
* Maternal mortality per 100,000 births fell from 1,600 to 1,100.
* Percent of population with access to sanitation rose from 18 to 26.
* Percent of population with access to at least one health facility rose from 28 to 54.8.
* Percent of population in extreme poverty (i.e., less than $1 per day) fell from 60 to 43.2.
* Radios per thousand population rose from 4 to 98.5.
* Telephones per thousand population rose from 1.9 to 14.9.
* TVs per 1,000 population rose from 1.2 to 3.7.
* Fatalities due to measles fell from 8,000 to 5,600.
Curious, no? so this is possible one strand of thought to those who think about rewinding the colonial boundaries. Very interesting essay at Mises.org and would suggest you read the full thing. Not that removal of the government will make sure that it becomes a garden of Eden, but hey, its not that bad!
All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!