Is Bad Government Better Than No Government At All?

This question isn’t directly relevant to America.  For all of our complaints, we really don’t know what bad government is.  For Somalia, though, the question is relevant.  It turns out the answer is that no government is preferable to really bad government.  In a recent paper, Peter Leeson, economics professor at West Virginia University, compares conditions in Somalia when it had government, with conditions today, when there is basically anarchy.  His findings: most aspects of life are better.  Health and mortality measures are better, total economic activity is no worse, and only two measure of education have declined.  The education issue is that under government, foreign aid financed most of Somalia’s education system.  The foreign aid has stopped, because other governments don’t know how to help other than to fund government education programs.  By most measure, however, Somalia is better off now than it was under its horrible, corrupt government.