Friday, July 13, 2007
More on fantasy of private property
www.ecoworld.com has a page with "10 Capitalist Myths." Private property is far less sacred than some would have us believe. This is a nice response—
Property is Sacred.
Never. Too much of the property we might consider sacred is also shared between us. If the air is unhealthy for people to breath, or the water too poisonous for fishermen to fish, some property owner's prerogative, and resultant pollution, is definitely not sacred. Productive assets necessary to society, especially when controlled by monopolies, cartels, or foreign financial interests, must be regulated to ensure sustainable practices and a safety net for the poor. Property rights defenders are correct to call regulations "takings," but that per se is not at issue. Governments must regulate trade to enforce "free trade," they must regulate commerce to encourage and enable competition, and they should help protect the weak; all of which can translate into "takings" in some form. The only question is when, and how much.