Life, Liberty, and Property: Part II

And so, continuing from yesterday.

And what did they create? The last greatest hope of private property on earth. Is it important? You tell me. What has America meant to the word in the last 242 years? Do you suppose concepts like individual freedom, equality before the law, the right to earn what you are worth, freedom of speech, freedom from arbitrary arrest, freedom from illegal search and seizure, freedom of religion, and all those other things we believe in, resonate in the rest of the world? If they don’t, how did America become the beacon of freedom to men all over the world? Why isn’t it the French Dream?

You know they do, and they are all based in the right to private property. Private property is nothing less than a subset of a man’s right to himself. Private property, whether it is your house or Sam Walton‘s Wal-Mart, is nothing less than Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand made visible. It is what the market has decided that your work, your creativity, your skills, your thoughts, your determination are worth to the rest of us. It is completely objective. If I think Wal-Mart shirts are better than K-Mart shirts and most people agree; K-Mart will have to reduce the price of their shirts till we think they are worth the price asked. It really is that simple and elegant.

Capitalism is individual freedom and private property in action; nothing more and nothing less. Freedom of the individual is inconceivable without capitalism. America became the Indispensable Nation late in the 19th Century and we still are but, we have been coasting since at least the 50′s. That’s when in Ben Franklin’s words we began selling our freedom for some temporary safety, not necessarily from foreign invaders but from being responsible for ourselves.

America really is the Old West: The timid never started (they’re still in Europe, or the rest of the world), the weak died and the strong survived and thrived. That’s the real world, my friends. If you don’t work, neither shall you eat is the other quote. Someone should tell our occupiers (or maybe their parents). What little I have, I worked hard for. If you want what I have you can damn well work too. Don’t send the sheriff with his gun to take it for you, I earned it, you can, too. I earned the right to keep it, too. (Rant over, for now!)

But if you followed the link yesterday, you now realize that John Locke, who wrote the book on most of this, was, and most conservatives still are, exceptionally charitable. What angers most of us is being forced at the point of a gun (otherwise known as government) to contribute to schemes that do not and can not work. You will also find that much of our charitable work is to support those who are down on their luck, for cause, usually, not those who are looking for a free ride.

What else over the years has made America different? Honest justice has. One had a very reasonable chance of getting actual justice in an American court, until recently, anyway. How does this tie in? This way: if the courts (backed by the police or army) are corrupt, if you don’t suck up to the right people, you have no chance of keeping your property.

This is a critical point if you are Henry Ford and you just started producing the Model T, what would you do if Louis Chevrolet took Ford Motor Company away from you in a corrupt court? Raise money to build the Model A? I wouldn’t, I’d probably give up and make enough to feed my family and let the dream go. Think it doesn’t happen? It does, all over the world, all the time, that’s what started the Arab Spring. That’s also what happened to the bondholders in General Motors and Chrysler in the bailouts.

The way wealth is created is this: The creator of that wealth, owns it, to do with as he will. If he wants more, he invests it, thereby creating more wealth (and jobs!) if he doesn’t, well that’s up to him, it’s his wealth. He nearly always does, though, greed works for the common good, after all.

One more thing on property, don’t forget intellectual property when you are thinking about this. Giving a starving man a fish is good. What’s far better is teaching him to fish, knowing how to catch a fish is a very elementary piece of intellectual property. Knowing how to fish may not only feed you but, feed your family and maybe village too. That intellectual property in action. And more than a few fortunes have been founded on fishing, by the way.

What started me down this road, yet again? I was reading the other day over at Greenmountainscribes, their article on An Effective Campaign to Eradicate Poverty and I was struck by this passage:

Frankly there is not much new in this type of activity. For more than fifty years governments and charities have been focused on rushing aid to the poor and starving. Yet none of these efforts address the basic reason poverty exists in the first place. The solutions which call for more and more aid simply respond to the visual effects of poverty such as starvation, ignorance and poor health. None truly address the cause. As a result, rather than easing the situation, the number of poor continue to grow.

Most of the current anti-poverty efforts focus on redistributing funds from wealthier nations to poorer ones, either through mandatory taxation or charitable donations. This system ignores the fact that tomorrow the poor need to be fed again. Taxpayers or the voluntary donor must dig into his own funds yet again to help. The process is repeated daily, each time the poor recipient is only temporarily helped, as the tax payer or the donor become poorer themselves. Meanwhile, as massive funds are moved in and out of governments, bureaucracies are institutionalized to run the system. More and more money goes to feed the machinery of poverty than gets into the hands of the intended poor. Such a system sustains poverty rather than eradicates it.

I highly recommend that you read the entire article. [It is now a protected blog, so you’ll have to make do with this excerpt.] They do an extraordinary job of dissecting the problems in welfare programs (nationally and internationally) and proposing an effective solution.

I don’t really think Sudan needs “Black Friday”, but they’d probably like to feed their families.

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About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

3 Responses to Life, Liberty, and Property: Part II

  1. Reblogged this on Boudica2015.

    Like

  2. the unit says:

    I do get it, even though my comments seem not so serious. Mine are just old world “tongue in cheek”, not new world definition of such. 🙂
    Anyway,… “and so, continuing from yesterday.”
    I was beginning to think my personal property person ownership was condemned property. What with being called “deplorable”, “irreconcilable”, and “the great unwashed” from time to time. Well, I just saw an ad on CNN as I was walking through the TV room that settled my mind and made me feel better. It was a Downy detergent ad. It said I could be “half washed”. So I’m not “just washed up” after all, maybe? “Free and Gentle ” is one Downy, that’s me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      #Metoo! Yay! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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