Libertarians and an-caps unanimously believe the government is always worse than the private sector, but here’s an example where this is reversed:
IMHO, punishment is worse for civil cases under a hypothetical libertarian form of government, because the damages can be set arbitrarily high, and the debt collection renewed in perpetuity. Think frivolous lawsuits, which cost businesses and individuals billions of dollars to fight. While the government offers venues (courts and judges) to mediate these lawsuits, it’s individuals and businesses that initiate them. Even if the judge ‘reduces’ the amount, or if both parties settle on a lower amount, the verdict can still be absurdly high enough to put the defendant out of business.
The government, on the other hand, has limits (10 years for IRS to pursue back taxes, etc) and can’t just sue for an arbitrary high amount like many private entities can. If you owe $10k to the IRS (including the interest) they can’t just demand $50 million or some absurdly high number like you see with private sector lawsuits. Everything is itemized. The government can’t claim ‘$5 million for pain and suffering and inconvenience’. Also the government has pretty generous payment options for defendants. And the bureaucratic sloth makes such lawsuits take forever, and the collection process even longer.
Being sued by the government is like stepping in a ring against a 300+ pound heavyweight that may occasionally land a hard punch, but is otherwise too encumbered by his girth to do much, and just nods off in the corner most of the fight, only to be occasionally aroused by his cornerman. Being sued by a private entity, on the other hand, is like going against a welterweight that will bloody you before you even lift your gloves. He won’t stop fighting until the ref calls the fight.
On the other hand, punishment for criminal cases may be worse under the federal government than the libertarian one. For example, the three strikes law, which some argue is too harsh for nonviolent recidivists. Also, issues pertaining to wiretapping and snooping private emails. Maybe the punishment for these criminal cases under the libertarian ‘system’ would be lesser. The government pursues certain criminal matters (child endangerment, homeland security, homicide) quite aggressively, with very long sentences, although the trials can take a long time.
The solution: less government AND responsible litigation. The private sector should take a lesson from the government in this regard.