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Posts Tagged ‘property rights’

Animation of a spinning barber pole

From the November 15, 2012 Toronto Star article, Woman denied haircut goes to Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, in Canada’s largest newspaper, I posted the following comment:

“Private property rights

Why is a store owner required to do something on his own property against his will? It’s too bad that he’s challenging this on religious freedom, when it should be a matter of private property rights — to do with your own property as you wish, so long as you’re not depriving anyone else of their rights. And it’s not anyone’s right to get a haircut at a particular barber shop.

Nov 15, 2012 9:48 AM Agree (68) Disagree (22)”

After 13 hours, my comment is the 13th-highest-rated among over 600 comments. I’m pleasantly heartened to see the message of private property rights resonate with so many readers, given the false frame of the article in portraying it as a matter of gender equality vs. religious freedom.

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Waterloo City CouncilAs reported by the Waterloo Chronicle on August 15, 2012, in their article, A better way:

She now goes out of her way to avoid the Northdale neighbourhood and the surrounding area because she can’t stand the look of the bland, characterless apartments currently being built there.

Yet while city staff and some councillors say the city must walk a fine line to balance the enforcement of visual and aesthetic guidelines with the rights of developers — even going so far to consider using millions of dollars in incentives to rebuild Northdale — there are some builders in the city who have already taken that next step without a handout from the city.

If Waterloo City Council really cared about the property rights of individuals, they wouldn’t take millions of dollars in the form of property taxes in order to redistribute them to other property owners. Particularly, I see favouritism toward well-monied property owners, but it’s become so commonplace these days, even when it’s as blatant as taking money from the unemployed and underemployed for something as blatant as video game research, as I previously documented in my article, Canadian government calls for austerity, awards $5.8 million for video game research.

The last sentence of the paragraph I quoted shows that private developers can succeed in spite of regressive policies such as the one Waterloo City Council has floated.

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Colored Bullseye

As the investigation into the July 20, 2012 Colorado movie theatre shooting progresses, there remains a missing piece, and that is the discussion of private property rights.

While the political debate has been framed as more gun control versus less gun control, I see the real debate as private property rights versus no private property rights.

While more government-mandated gun control is palatable to many, an overt limitation of private property rights is less palatable, in the absence of fear-mongering.

The mass media –our self-appointed opinion leaders — frame the debate as more gun control versus the fear of another mass shooting, but for me, the debate is over private property rights versus no private property rights.

It should be evident that more gun control laws can’t stop all mass shootings. The solution, to me, is to protect the private property rights of business owners, and let them be responsible for their own security, and let their patrons assume full personal responsibility for their decision to patronize the business, barring negligence and malice.

If the business is negligent, there is the civil remedy of suing it for negligence, and if there is malice, there is also a possible criminal remedy.

Nearly everyone claims that they don’t want to be enslaved, but government security goons at movie theatres, and government laws barring all guns in private businesses, would serve that purpose.

Instead of enacting laws that grab guns from mostly law-abiding citizens, why not allow private property owners to provide for their own security, as they best see fit?

In a mass market like the United States, and especially in big cities, there would be the opportunity for some cinemas to offer more security, including full pat-downs, which are completely constitutional. I have no problem with private businesses choosing to mandate full pat-downs, since it’s up to individuals whether they choose to patronize that business.

For me, I’d prefer to take the risk, which is comparable to winning a lottery jackpot, of being a potential victim of a mass shooting, and not patronize a movie theatre with full pat-downs, but for others, they may not want to take that minuscule risk. If there was truly enough of a demand for such security, individuals would choose their theatre and other venues appropriately, despite what some cynical power-hungry freedom-grabbers in government may claim they want.

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The conservative Heritage Foundation, no friend of socialism, has ranked Canada ahead of the United States in economic freedom, at 7th and 8th place, respectively.

From their 2010 Index of Economic Freedom, the top 10 countries with the most economic freedom in descending order are:

  • Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, Canada, United States, Denmark, and Chile.

Ranked by Business Freedom, Trade Freedom, Fiscal Freedom, Government Spending, Monetary Freedom, Investment Freedom, Financial Freedom, Property Rights, Freedom from Corruption, and Labor Freedom, Canada beats the U.S. on 6 out of 10, ties on Investment Freedom, and falls behind only on Government Spending, Monetary Spending, and Labor Freedom.

Particularly embarrassing to the U.S. should be Canada’s ranking of 90% for Property Rights versus 85% for the U.S., given that the U.S. Constitution explicitly provides for just compensation for the taking of property, and the Canadian Constitution does not. Instead, it leaves property rights to the jurisdiction of the provincial legislatures. Even the Chinese Constitution provides for compensation for the taking of property, whereas Canada’s doesn’t.

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