Archive for the ‘Property Rights’ Category.

When There Are No Property Rights...

There is this a sort of enviro-socialist vision that everything would be better if everyone owned the world's natural resources.  Here is what happens when "everyone" owns something, in this case underground water (via the Washington Post)



I am actually surprised some are doing as well as they are. I had always heard anecdotally that the Ogallala was falling steadily, but by this map it appears stable.

You could probably create the same map that looks even more dire for the stability of ocean fish populations, another resource with no property rights.

This Would Never Happen Today

I love this little story of one of the richest men in the world being unable to complete a real estate parcel he wanted.  Why?  Because this would never happen today.  The owners and tenants of the small properties Rockefeller wanted to acquire actually had strong property rights in the 1930's.  Today, a rich real estate developer would just go to the city and have their property declared blighted, seized by eminent domain, and handed to them on a platter.

Asset Forfeiture

One of the worst outcomes of the war on drugs has been civil forfeiture laws, which basically allow police to take your property and keep the proceeds, forcing the burden of proof onto you to prove that the property is not a result of or facilitator to criminal activity.  It is beyond me how such laws continue to be considered Constitutional, but the unfortunately the same justices that tend to protect property rights are the same one that seem to have an even stronger law and order streak.

Anyway, its good to be reminded just how awful these laws are, and Hit and Run has several recent examples here.

Update: Walter Olson has several more.