August 9, 2022

Property rights besieged

Private property is a fundamental human right.

It is so essential, that America’s founding fathers wrote it into the Constitution, right alongside life and liberty.

“Nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

The right to property is not only intrinsic and just, it is efficient.

There is no engine on Earth as powerful at creating prosperity and improving the condition of both man and nature than free markets. There can be no free market without the right to property.

For those who labor under the delusion that the problem of our time is that there is too much freedom in the world, property rights are anathema.

All those individual people out there deciding for themselves what to produce and how to live gives them hives. They’re convinced they are wiser and can plan things better. Just turn power over to them, they rationalize, and they’ll control people right this time. They ignore the unshakeable, terrible lessons of history and economics.

Property rights are under siege.

America’s EPA daily asserts new powers over other people’s property. There’s no tortoise, fish, nor slug too humble, no puddle nor stream too piddling, to justify their control.

Take away a person’s right to choose how to use their land, and in effect you’ve seized the land itself.

Bureaucrats at the United Nations are eager to expand their power over property. They wrote it all down in that remarkable document “Agenda 21.”

“Private land ownership,” the UN Conference on Human Settlements proclaimed, is “a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. Public control of land use is therefore indispensable.”

We’ve just witnessed the spectacle of armed federal bureaucrats facing off against ranchers in Nevada. Property rights become more complicated when government and private rights collide.

Take a look at what Ron Arnold has to say about the confrontations in the American West. He makes an interesting case that vested private rights on federal lands may have the law on their side.

The push to increase public power over the private sphere is ongoing and relentless.

Bureaucratic overreach by national governments and by the UN is unjust, damaging and on the march.

Close attention must be paid.

Action must be taken.