|Well, gee, Ed, if I had known that you were going to cut and paste the book, you could have saved me the purchase price.|
As it was, I bought it used, and I am glad that I did. The book is as described. Postrel's thesis is sound and needed to be said. I have cited the book and its points in discussions. After about the first 100 pages -- if not the first 100 paragraphs -- it becomes redundant. Like the lengthy review here, it might remain fun to read. This book is great for the nightstand, if you like a little excoriation at bedtime.
Ayn Rand made the same point perfectly in about three quips of dialog in Atlas when the looters are planning Directive 10-289.
Of course, it is interesting and perhaps valuable to follow all the twisty passages of consequence. One that I like -- and I have marked this hallway well with my graffiti here on SOLO -- is that government operates on the past (or attempts to), whereas businesses plan for the future. Private protection agencies plan for the future and therefore prevent crimes -- which makes their operation difficult to perceive if you have "govern-mentality." On the other hand, the government police (and government courts) attempt to maintain the present by correcting the past. This was, in fact, a consequence that Postrel did not elaborate in her book.
Anyway, if you can find it in Dusty Pages for five bucks, it is worth the read.