Friday, March 9, 2012

Property Rights Must Be Protected for Prosperity by Andrea Dantzer

If people do not have well-protected and well-established property rights, the free market cannot work effectively or efficiently. People have much more of an incentive for corruption and stealing when property rights, as a whole, are ignored or stripped away. There is also less of an incentive to invest in capital. Economic growth will invariably falter without investment and natural competition. When individuals have more of an interest in diverting their resources into protecting or fighting for their basic and inalienable rights, the free market will suffer. Property rights are the basis for which all other rights spring and are essential to the free market society.

Investors will not have confidence in an economy that does not have property rights protected. Property rights are the most important factor in the behavior of the economy and thus prosperity. In the free market, there are two essential elements – the first being protection from unlawful seizure and confiscation of property from the government and the second is institutions that facilitate contracts. Private contracts between consensual citizens are integral for growth and prosperity in a free market. We are seeing expropriation by our corrupt government becoming an increasingly common event. From the raid of the Gibson Guitar Corporation, raids on the Amish over raw milk, the harassment and raids waged on health food companies and community picnics having their food bleached and destroyed, the government has disregarded property rights in favor of  corporate interests, rules and regulations and passed in secrecy for too long.

Individuals profit from the protection of property rights in both human and physical capital. If a contract is weak or flawed, individuals can take the necessary steps to rectify the clause or choose to end it at an appropriate time. However, there is no protection when a government usurps the private property rights of an individual – except to stop investing. This stifles the economy, feeds the power of the government and creates an environment of suppression and poverty. Investments are vital for prosperity and growth which eventually leads to higher standard of living overall.

Christians and right-wing Conservatives were vocally outraged when an Islamic group wanted to open a Mosque near the Twin Towers after 9/11; this was coined as the Ground Zero Mosque although the property was not at or on Ground Zero. The right-wing had the perfect opportunity to support and protect property rights, but they failed to see the bigger picture and now they are seeing the other side of the coin as the government is starting to come into churches, libraries and other organizations and dictating what they must do on and with their private property.

Property rights must be protected from the government at all cost, no matter what the circumstances are or if you personally agree with what is being conducted on the private property, or not. As long as it is not hurting or usurping the rights of others, property rights must be protected. 

Once you begin to understand property rights are the basis for all other inalienable human rights, you begin to understand their importance. If you do not want your rights stripped away or trampled upon, you must fight for these same rights, even if you disagree with the principle behind the other party’s actions.