Saturday, October 11, 2008

It's All About Property Rights

I sometimes struggle when choosing a topic for this blog. The problem isn't the lack of topics, the problem is the absolutely overwhelming number of potential topics. Any political or economic issue in the news is worthy of comment, because all of them involve a property rights issue in one form or another.

This is true of health care-- your most precious property is your life. The "reforms" being bandied about will have a direct impact on your ability to obtain health care. Most, if not all, involve some form of government financing or increased government regulation, both of which will ultimately be financed by tax payers and consumers. Which means, more of your property-- money-- will be taken from you to pay for the health care of others, as well as yourself.

This is true of the myriad plans spewing from Washington to fix the economic crisis. All involve either tax dollars or some form of government assurance, such as increased FDIC coverage for bank accounts. Again, the money to pay for these schemes will ultimately come from your wallet, and your children's, and their children's, etc. That money will come in the form of higher taxes, higher inflation, or both.

This is true of our foreign policy. When our "leaders" send foreign aid to hostile nations, they not only rob us of our property, they also threaten the security of our property in the future. When they fail to deal decisively with those who mean us harm, they leave us vulnerable to future attacks.

This is true of the immigration issue (which interestingly has lost a lot of attention in the media). If we deny the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to others, how can we possibly claim it for ourselves?

This is true of mass transit, global warming, signs in dorm room windows, zoning designations, and insurance rates. It is true of building on the beach front, prescription prices, prayer in schools, and gas prices.

If property rights were properly understood and protected, these issues would not make news. These would not be political issues, but would be resolved between the individuals involved, with each individual free to choose for himself and act accordingly (so long as he respected the mutual rights of others).

As Ayn Rand wrote:
Man has to work and produce in order to support his life. He has to support his life by his own effort and by the guidance of his own mind. If he cannot dispose of the product of his effort, he cannot dispose of his effort; if he cannot dispose of his effort, he cannot dispose of his life. Without property rights, no other rights can be practiced.
In the end, it's all about property rights.

6 comments:

Brian Shelley said...

"If we deny the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to others, how can we possibly claim it for ourselves?"

This is why I am pro-life.

Ad Hoc Committee for Property Rights said...

Rights are derived from man's nature as a rational being. They secure his ability to act without coercion, according to his judgment (so long as he respects the mutual rights of others). To apply rights to a potential human while denying them to an actual human is a contradiction, and a denial of all rights.

Brian Shelley said...

I guess the rub is the timing of "potential human" morphing into "current human". I do not view the birth canal as having any special powers that suddenly grant the brain capable of rational thought.

Ad Hoc Committee for Property Rights said...

The birth canal does not have special powers. Birth represents the start of an independent human life. Prior to that time, the fetus was dependent on its host-- the woman carrying it. We do not grant rights to cancer cells, or liver cells, or any other cells residing within the woman. The woman has rights. The cells within her do not.

Brian Shelley said...

Of course we don't grant rights to cancer cells. They can not produce rational thought nor do they have the potential of doing so.

The location of the human does not supersede the fact that it is a thinking being.

Ad Hoc Committee for Property Rights said...

The developing cells within a woman's body are not a human. To grant them rights is to deny rights to the woman.