I recently talked to some smart high school students about the voucher and bounty crime reform scenario. They imagined bounty hunters spending most of their time in chases and gun fights, as in cowboy or Star Wars movies. So they were against the scenario, preferring such violence roles to be filled by government employees.
Another thing that occurred to me is, what if the voucher sets in the contract that binding arbitration must be used for disputes, and the client must waive their right to sue? Then the arbitrator has incentives to be heavily biased in favor of the voucher, similar to the National Arbitration Forum, which ruled in favor of the consumer 0.2% of the time.
I think you would want to prevent mandatory binding arbitration - I think there are a lot of contract terms between voucher and client that would have to be banned for the whole system to be a net benefit to the clients. But would these terms actually be banned, given the political pressures by the vouchers not to ban them, and the fact that contract terms like that (mandatory binding arbitration) are currently common practice?
It's not the fact that cartels are concentrated that makes them treat people in their territory poorly; small street gangs behave the same way. What makes them act poorly is a lack of external accountability for mistreating people, and a profit motive for mistreating people.
So I think you're saying that the voucher is only authorized to use force against its own clients as specified in the contract, not clients of other vouchers. Who is actually enforcing this contract? It's not enough to say that the client can sue. What if the voucher physically prevents the client from being able to sue, or prevents them from collecting any evidence with which to sue? What if the client is too poor or too dumb to successfully sue?
Modern corporations tend to put terms very unfavorable to the customer in their contracts. These contracts tend to be extremely long, and do little but grant rights to the corporation: they aren't liable for anything, they get to do whatever they want with your data, you can't do anything they don't want with their software. Legally the individual is supposed to have read and understood the entire contract, but no one does.
Unless prevented by law, we would expect the voucher to do the same thing with their client contracts: have extremely difficult to understand, enormous contracts that no one reads, and that grant the voucher very favorable terms. This could be much more dangerous than a software click-through, considering the amount of power you are proposing these vouchers would have.
Most industries today are not very concentrated, and that includes lawyers and P.I.s and insurance. So I don't see why we should expect voucher industry to be concentrated.
The voucher-client contract specifies discretion, and the client can sue if that is violated, and bounty hunters can pursue them if they violate crime laws.
Security and protection services are widely bought today, and so would likely continue to be bought. Whether that would tend to be combined with vouchers would depend on if there are substantial synergies there. The same rule applies to all the different kinds of services we buy.
What governmental mechanisms would be in place to prevent it from becoming like a cartel controlled area? Is the voucher authorized to use force on its clients at its own arbitrary discretion? How far does that authorization extend? Is the voucher authorized to use force on clients of other vouchers? Who is authorized to stop the voucher if it exceeds the authorization? Who is authorized to monitor the use of force by the voucher, and how, in order to detect such violations? (e.g. body cams? an oversight board?)
Can the voucher just decide to detain a client in its own jail indefinitely? Who would stop them if it did? You mentioned the "public option" voucher doing this, and private vouchers would have an adverse incentive to do it if they could put their imprisoned clients to work for minimal wages, like US prisons do.
Why would any voucher turn on another voucher? Do vouchers also actively defend their clients from crimes as well as stopping their clients from committing crimes?
I brought them up because there are countries where there isn't much of a threat from other militaries, so the armed forces are most likely going to be used like a law enforcement service against criminal organizations. And in such places I don't think bounty hunters would have much hope of replacing law enforcement.
I'm not proposing to replace the military. So they would remain a dominant force.
No, cartel controlled areas is not at all like what I'm talking about.
An empirical evaluation of this can be found in the many areas of the world where police enforcement of laws is superceded by de facto private organizations, such as the favelas of Rio de Janiero and the cartel-controlled areas of Mexico.
I am contrasting monopolized coercion with a decentralized system, such as via bounty hunters. That's just separate from the fact that I'm not aware of police deliberately doing a bad job at trial in exchange for a bribe. Instead criminal organizations (discussed in the last paragraph of my first comment) are known for relying on witness intimidation, which isn't costly when it's credible enough to succeed. Bounty hunters are able to operate successfully as a supplement to our system because we generally have rule-of-law via dominant police/military.
If you aren't talking about bounties or vouchers, then I'm not clear on what you are talking about by "monopolized coercion".
My comment about monopoly was not intended to be about the section I quoted, but instead the general topic. Perhaps that would have been more clear if I had put that paragraph first.
That section of my post is about how to investigate and prosecute crime, not about violence. How exactly do you see violence as useful for investigation or prosecution?
they have accepted payments from guilty folks to do a bad job at trial, when such efforts prevent future trials from being held on the same accusations. [...] However, the government employee police who replaced bounty hunters have also done all these thingsI've heard of police doing many of the things complained about, but not that.
The main argument in favor of monopolized coercion I can think of is that establishing such a monopoly really does seem to cut down on violence/crime. They have the capacity to go after criminal groups in a way someone like a typical bounty hunter of today wouldn't (though there are places where "state capacity" is low enough for criminal groups can defy the attempted monopoly of the government).