Interesting: providing your own writing as the source to support an argument. Never saw that one before, lol.
This data shows that it is fundamentally impossible for any country to bring prosperity to their people if they do not protect private property rights. Not just difficult- impossible. The data proves that adopting a communistic view of property is the surest way to cause socioeconomic collapse for any country.
- Well I wish you were right, but actual statistics and market trends say something very different: [link][link][link]
I'm not sure what those links were supposed to show. The absolute GDP of a country doesn't describe the comparative wealth of the citizens. You need to look at per capita GDP on a PPP basis to get that information: [link][link][link]
"This data shows that it is fundamentally impossible for any country to bring prosperity to their people if they do not protect private property rights"
I agree. What I am going to disagree with you, is on what gets to be private property, and how property is defined. I think we all agree to some extent that somethings cannot be owned. What we disagree on is what.
"too much capitalism is bad, just like too much socialism." this whole idea that politics is 2 dimensional is terrible. both capitalism and socialism fail. Capitalism fails eventually, because it has no means to prevent power from being massed centrally. It works pretty well in the early stages, but once larger organizations show up, and hierarchically bureaucracies take form, the bottom falls off, and it fails.
Socialism is pretty apt at identifying this, but fails hard from the gate, because central planning clusters economic activity in the same way, in a more expedited fashion, and fails because group think grinds rational voices to bits, and the system fails.
The systems are similar in the regard, that they both eventually allow a small clique of insiders to rise to the top and control everything. A large bureaucratic government in effect is little different than a large corporation, if large enough that starts enforcing its will as a government.
They are also pretty apt at identifying the others obvious problems.
My solution is to make all groups of people democratic, willfull, small, and when possible, local.
"This data should make it clear that anyone who cares about the prosperity of the people should treat private property rights as absolutely sacred."
There are no such thing as absolutes. In fact they are dangerous in every regard. All rights have natural limits. Those limits are when they start infringing on the rights of others.
Never in the history of any country has private property even been a de facto absolute, regardless of what any law has said.
I also agree with you we should be limiting the size and role of the government. What I think you fail to realize, is we also need to be limiting the size and role of any organization that gets big enough to have the same effect, because the difference is semantics.(be that corporation, labor union, street gang, cartel, etc...)
You make some good points. There certainly are plenty of definitions of private property.
However, each of those different definitions of private property is going to have a different type of correlation with state failure. So, what's important in determining the implications of this data is not so much how you or I define private property, but how the Heritage Foundation defines it. Whether you agree with their definition or not, it's their definition that has generated these extremely close correlations. I'm not ruling out the possibility that my definition or your definition of private property may have stronger correlations, though the more ways in which those alternate definitions contradict with Heritage's definition, the less likely it is that the alternate definitions would generate that sort of strong negative correlation with state failure.
So, what is Heritage's definition of "Property Rights"? Their scoring system is here: [link]
In Heritage's definition, property rights include efficient enforcement of contract law, an inability for anyone (including the government) to confiscate property without due process, an absence of expropriation for the public interest, and an absence of political influence on the judiciary.
Basically, if we want to improve our property rights score and thereby decrease our level of state failure, we could do so by eliminating eminent domain, depriving executive agencies like the EPA of the power to confiscate lands and other property "for the public good," eliminating all of the laws funneling portions of people's paychecks into union pockets, making it an impeachable offense for politicians to threaten the judiciary (*COUGH*OBAMA*COUGH*), eliminating the executive power to impose fees and fines outside of criminal court, banning the nationalization of companies through any means, and reducing regulation that negatively impacts the value of companies and properties.
It would be really nice if we had a constitutional amendment that would bring about those policy changes by explicitly protecting property rights in the definition Heritage has used.
"However, each of those different definitions of private property is going to have a different type of correlation with state failure" have my ideas been tried...ever?
the closet thing to my ideals on property was probably the pre-revolutionary US of A. Things like houses and shops were private, but they had the concept of "commons", i.e. common area. Its not that close even.
"So, what is Heritage's definition of "Property Rights"? Their scoring system is here:" Don't like it. It doesn't address the fundamental question of what can and cannot be property, only that property rights should be enforced.
In addition to private property, I believe in "common" property, as in town parks, squares, and mostly infrastructure should be held in common, and administered by democratic vote.
In a geo-libertarianesque view, I think that the only solid ownership claims are to man made goods, as ownership starts with economic productivity.
Everything else, you have a similar, but more case specific "right to occupy/inhabit"(no relation to the movement)", "right to use", "right to use exclusively",
For example, you don't have the right over a living think like you do an inatimate object. While you can call it "yours, mine, etc.." in the common sense, you don't have the right to torture(or more perversely have sex with) an animal you "own", like you would a machine. While you certainly have rights to the animal, just as strong as you'd suggest "ownership", there are some things which are not allowed. you have a "right to control, exlusive usage", or something similar. Its still "yours", but you don't "own it".
Same with land. Right to occupy it, and right to build on it, use the natural resources.
You don't have the right to use it for things that harm others.
" depriving executive agencies like the EPA of the power to confiscate lands and other property "for the public good,"
what about local town governments, who've been taking people's houses for years. A house certainly can and will continue to be private property, its manufactured goods, people are living there.
This has been a problem for years, back when I was a libertarian, libertarians used to hark on this big. Real people getting kicked out of real homes they owned, simply because it was inconvenient for government, or they could make more in tax money handing their homes off to developers.
Actually the data to counter this view is so overwhelming as not to really be necessary, the PRC is sustainably the second largest economy in the world [link] while the fastest growing economy is Brazil.