Opinion » Letters

Property equals liberty

Arroyo Grande

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Only when property rights are protected do average people have a shot at both liberty and prosperity. The question of property ownership goes far back into human history. The right to private property evolved out of a basic moral notion: Private property rights are the hallmark of liberty.


According to the Property Rights Alliance, which publishes the annual International Property Rights Index, property rights in land are critically important for the functioning of societies; stability and certainty of property rights form the foundation of financial and political security. 


The Index is able to include only 115 countries.


For the third year in a row Finland came in at number one. Denmark and the Netherlands tied for second. Australia, Singapore, and New Zealand join six more European countries in rounding out the top ten (which actually numbers 12 because of ties).The U.S. falls in the next ten, along with Hong Kong and several European states. Then there’s Zimbabwe, a nation in almost total collapse, with no property rights.


 America’s relatively weak showing reflects a particularly anemic rating for its legal and political environment. In the U.S., property protection should be a must. Why do we have so many laws telling us how and what we can do on or with our land. Even in Mexico the citizen has more property rights than we do.

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