Tag: Property Rights

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Autumn Colors: The Color of Law, an in-depth review

 

When people are free to associate as they please, we can’t be surprised if they sometimes self-segregate. People self-sort along many affinities, including ethnic affinities. This is what lawyers call de facto segregation, and it’s none of the law’s business. De jure segregation — segregation imposed by law, including segregation promoted by public policy — is, on the other hand, very much the law’s business.

In 1866, Congress passed a Civil Rights Act (the 1866 CRA) asserting the equal rights of blacks before the law, including property rights, and real-estate rights in particular. The 1866 CRA warned

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Richard Epstein on Classical Liberalism, the Administrative State, Free Speech, and Silicon Valley Regulation

 

For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had legendary classical liberal legal theorist and longtime professor at University of Chicago Law School and now at NYU Law — and prodigious Ricochet podcaster Professor Richard Epstein on the podcast to discuss among other things:

  • The role that Professor Epstein’s famous book, “Takings” played in Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearing — and then-Senator Joe Biden’s hectoring
  • Professor Epstein’s groundbreaking theories on private property rights, eminent domain and the Takings and Commerce Clauses
  • The practical argument against progressivism
  • Whether we should deconstruct the administrative state, and if so how to do it
  • The danger to free speech emanating from college campuses in a world of microaggressions, trigger warnings, de-platforming
  • The folly of regulating Silicon Valley social media companies
  • Classical liberalism versus socialism and libertarianism

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found or download the episode directly here.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Interminable Musings on Historic Preservation and Classical Liberalism

 
The Historic Charleston (SC) Foundation, whose store’s proceeds go to historic preservation in the city. / Shutterstock.com

I am a preservationist. I am also, I’d like to think, a classical liberal. By any conventional logic, this makes me a walking, talking contradiction.

Any right-leaning lover of luscious latticework — any Hayek-hawking historian of handsome hoodmolds — faces a conundrum. He studies a very particular sort of thing. The supply of this thing is forever dwindling. It’s in his interest, naturally, to prevent the supply from dwindling quickly. But doing so demands that he betray his philosophical and political convictions. How, then, ought he to proceed? Work at a breakneck pace, I suppose. Wring his hands in frustration. Snap a heap of photos.

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http://www.wweek.com/news/city/2017/03/14/multnomah-county-hopes-to-build-granny-flats-to-house-hundreds-of-homeless-families-in-portland-backyards/ How many Ricochetti would: More

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[This is the second admirable American I’ve written about. The first was Paul Newman. I’d be pleased to read about who you consider praiseworthy, either in the comments or a post of your own.] I confess, I’m a Larry Arnn groupie. I was in the great man’s presence once and was so overawed, I said […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. The Origins of Capitalism

 

Many years ago, I wrote my senior thesis on the origins of capitalism. I argued that capitalism can be defined as the ability to leverage one’s own assets, coupled with a legal system of equality under the law. This sounds easier than it is. In most of the world, throughout most of history, property has ultimately belonged to a lord, a king, or — most critically — to the future generations. If one is farming a piece of familial land, then the property is not actually owned by the farmer. He is, instead, a steward, connecting the past to the future. He cannot mortgage the property, because he cannot lose it. Capitalism requires the ability to lose one’s investment, and a society where the real estate is held as familial land cannot free up the capital required to achieve the enormous growth in wealth that capitalism enables.

Equality under the law is quite difficult as well. Almost every legal system has different rules for different people, and some kind of immunity for rulers. This kind of law, however, ultimately comes at a steep price for the populace. Only a fool invests in a new venture that the king can seize on a whim, so the most successful nations are the ones that put the law above any man. In order for capitalism to work, the system has to allow, at least theoretically, a poor man to sue the king for a property violation – and win.

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Senator Sanders did his doddering fool act last month or thereabouts & said, it’s unacceptable that some nobody country worth nothing in comparison to the accounting errors in the federal budget has faster internet than America. I know a bit about that country, because that country is Romania. Yeah, the internet speed is sweet unto […]

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This article by Hernando de Soto makes a very worthwhile point: many of the undocumented immigrants to the US and other western countries are undocumented in their countries of origin as well: Far larger and far more damaging is the difficulty that afflicts the 5bn people [globally] who lack documented property rights. In Mexico alone, […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Property Ownership Fairness Act: Protecting Property Rights

 

property-rightsBy Timothy and Christina Sandefur

Nearly a decade ago, the United States Supreme Court delivered one of the most controversial decisions in its history, Kelo v. City of New London, upholding a decision by state officials to seize private homes through eminent domain to make way for a massive redevelopment project to benefit powerful private developers. The ruling triggered outrage across the political spectrum. In response, Americans sought to safeguard their property rights through reforms at the state level. While some of these endeavors were successful, most were hampered by loopholes or ineffective tinkering with procedural details, thus leaving property rights as vulnerable as ever.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Cornerstone of Liberty: Respecting Private Property Rights

 

Cornerstone of LibertyBy Timothy and Christina Sandefur

Private property is one of humanity’s great discoveries, like fire, or DNA, or the scientific method. Like fire, property has the ability to release a kind of unseen power from nature, to transform a desert waste into a luxurious resort like Las Vegas, for instance. Like DNA, property represents something deeply ingrained in human nature; no society has ever been found that did not have some concept of property. The universality of property suggests immediately that the concept is not just an arbitrary social creation. Instead, property is something common to all human beings as human beings—it doesn’t have to be taught to people, because it is natural.

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Volokh (Ilya Somin i.e.) covers (better than me, anyways) Horne involves a challenge to the forcible appropriation of large quantities of raisins by the federal government. The forced transfer is part of a 1937 program that requires raisin producers, in some years, to turn over a large portion of their raisin crop to the government so […]

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After stoking the fire yesterday, I hoped I’d get a chance to offer my own olive branch as we again look for common ground. Well, here it is. I learned today that a local group of religious priests (that is, priests who belong to an order — like Franciscans, Dominicans, Carmelites, etc) had been forced out […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Poverty and Property Rights

 

On my first trip to Ethiopia seven years ago, I took along a copy of Hernando de Soto’s book The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else. I chose well. De Soto’s treatise on the primacy of property rights in fostering economic development provided a framework for understanding the dysfunction I saw in the slums of Addis Ababa.

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I vividly recall one house call to an HIV patient–we will call her Abebech–who lived in a “moon village,” so named because the hamlet sprouted one night on vacant land earmarked for a sports complex. The authorities blustered but never got around to demolishing the settlement, and so it grew, eventually to thousands of residents. Abebech warmly welcomed me to her house, an eight-by-six foot room with walls of dried mud she rented for $17 per month. Once we got through introductions and the state of her health, I asked what concerned her most.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Private Security to Seal the Border?

 

US-Mexico-Border-StnsThe fundamental problem with every immigration reform proposal is that most of us don’t trust politicians, Republicans or Democrats, to enforce the border. In principle, this is one of a government’s primary duties. But, assuming the Feds want no part of it, perhaps there is a private alternative.

Might it be feasible for a private security firm, funded by donors interested in border enforcement, to set up along the Mexican border with the permission of individual land owners?

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Breaking: Scientists Discover Property Rights

 

If you can wade past the Rosseauian assumptions regarding the natural affinity indigenous Amerindians have for the unspoiled land of their ancestors — and I recommend you bring high boots — you’ll find something quite interesting in this New Scientist piece: local control and property rights are better stewards of tropical rain forests than are do-gooder environmentalists and the governments they recruit to do good:

A report from the World Resources Institute and the Rights and Resources Initiative, both in Washington DC, reviews over 130 earlier studies in 14 countries. Securing Rights, Combating Climate Change concludes that most communities are better forest custodians than governments.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Libertarian Podcast: Understanding Property Rights

 

In the latest installment of The Libertarian podcast, Professor Epstein takes us through a thorough consideration of the issue of property rights: how the Founders thought about them, when the courts started distorting them, and what can be done to restore them to reasonable strength. Take a listen:

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