Brad Miller

The Myth of Private Property in America and The Faux Free Market

In True nature of the State on September 4, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Private Property is at the Heart of the Free Market which Murray Rothbard Described as the “field of exchange of title of ownership between individuals.”

Today almost no one talks about Private Property in America any longer. This used to be the defining aspect of the American Ideal. That individuals were able to acquire, control and dispose of property as they saw fit without the coercive hand of government. Unfortunately fewer and fewer American’s believe in that fundamental idea.

The “No Trespassing” sign that people put up in their yards is exactly what the idea of Private Property is all about. It is the fact that this land, your property, your person are private. That means they do not belong to the “Collective”, they are not “Communal Property” to be used or dispersed by some benevolent despot, gang of “Voters”  or enlightened cadre of professors and politicians.

The motto “Don’t Tread on Me” is simply a “No Trespassing” sign. I would like to see “No Trespassing” signs become the hallmark of the Freedom Movement because if you can not own property, then you can not live free.

Private Property is about Ownership and as Mises Wrote “Control Denotes Ownership”. If you can dispose of something than you are its effective owner. In America Today how much “Private Property” do any of us truly own?

The Government today uses three main ways to reduce your “control” over your property. That is through taxation – the outright seizure of your property – through inflation which is the devaluation of your money (which is one half of every transaction you enter into) and through regulation in which your control of your property and person are greatly reduced and in a lot of cases totally usurped by the State.

Right now the US Federal Government owns about 30% of the Land in the United States.  The Federal Government through the Bureau of Land Management (which sounds like a Department in Communist Russia )controls 32% of known Oil Reserves, 35% of the Natural Gas and 37% of Coal that is produced today off of “Public Lands” in the United States. It is also estimated that 68% of all undiscovered Oil reserves and 74% of undiscovered Natural Gas deposits are located on “Collectively Held Land”. How can there exist a “Free Market” in Land and Energy when the US Govt has a respective market share of 30% and 35% currently and a virtual monopoly on these commodities in the future?  This is the outright ownership by Government. It doesn’t include the 4 million miles of roads in the US, the schools, the hospitals, the airports, the historic monuments, the Federal Office buildings, the Dams, Tennessee Valley Authority, and the other Collectively Owned acres in the US at the state, county and city level.

Now the Federal Government you would think would not have any say in how the other property that is privately held is utilized because we’ve all been told there is a Free Market in America. You would be wrong. Entire agencies exist to “Control” what goes on “Privately” held land. The biggest example is the EPA. In their eyes there is not Private Property. Recently the agency even tried to list every ditch on Privately Owned Property as navigable waterways which would have expanded their control over million more acres of private property.

Now the Local Government’s of cities and counties exercise a different kind of “ownership” on the rest of the so-called Privately held land in America. They do this through zoning laws and regulations, and property taxes. And it is by the levying and collection of Property Taxes that effectively ends the myth of Privately Held Land in America. This is a clear example of how the State (Which I include all levels of Government in) views yourself and your property. You are just a tax number and so is your property. In essence property taxes are rent paid to the State. If you don’t pay the State will remove you from said property and sell it to cover the taxes on it. This is another example of how we operate within a  “Faux Free Market” in America Today.

Another mess where Property Rights are being Violated and the “Free Market” no longer exists is in the Healthcare Industry.  Over 60% of the Health Care dollars spent in the US are Government dollars which are the confiscated property of individuals or groups of individuals. And then the Government inefficiently spends these dollars within a cartelized Insurance, Hospital, Doctor and Pharmaceutical Industry.  Again the Faux Free Market at work. Cathleen Sibelius said in testimony that the Private Market of Health Care was in a death spiral. She is corrected but she didn’t explain why. It’s not because of the “Free Market” in Health Care, it’s because Government Health Care has all but killed the HealthCare Free Market.

The Mortgage mess is at the heart of another example of the destruction of Private Property and the “Faux Free Market” at work. In the United States today over 95% of all mortgages are backed or owned by the US Federal Government. That industry like health care has been already effectively “Nationalized”. Anyone who believes the “Free Market” created the mess we are in is either dishonest or ignorant.

None of this would be possible without the Income Tax and the Federal Reserve. Today through the Income Tax Americans have been conditioned to  view their income not as property. Through the withholding we have been accustomed to allowing our “real” property of today which we have a right to control and dispose of as we wish to be; forcibly exchanged for ephemeral promises of politicians for Social Security and Medicare in our old age. We have been conditioned to believe income is not property, that taxes are not theft, and that plunder is somehow to our benefit.

It is not only through direct taxation that the politicians steal our property but it’s also through inflation. When the Federal Reserve prints dollars or adds zeroes to Bank Deposits at the Fed they are destroying the value of your property, your money. It is destroying how much you can exchange each dollar for. That is why prices rise. It is done so that the Federal Government can continue to spend to increase the of the Welfare/Warfare State. They have to do this otherwise in order to cover the 3.7 Trillion dollar budget of which forty percent is borrowed money, they would have to directly tax individuals an additional Trillion Dollars a year!!! Even though most Americans don’t feel the chains around their necks now, they would soon feel the tug of an extra Trillion dollars confiscated from them every year.

Neither Obama nor Romney talk of Property Rights in this country. One side may give lip service to the Free Market but never talks about your Fundamental Natural Right to Self-Ownership and ownership of your justly acquired property. That is because what these two men are vying for is control over the State; which can only continue to exist if you relinquish your right to total self-ownership and to allow your property to be plundered at will by politicians.

Private Property begins with self-ownership. If you don’t own yourself than who does? If you can’t determine how best to dispose of your time who will? The same goes for your Property.

In order to live individuals need property. How to acquire that property is the question. Either that property can be acquired by force or through production and voluntary exchange. Today unfortunately through the ballot box, taxation and inflation more and more Americans are receiving stolen property. That is the problem today. The problem today is not that we need more “jobs” in this country. The problem is that we need to restore to every Individual his/her God-Given right of Self-Ownership and God-given right to the fruits of his/her labor.

Only when individuals are free to make their own choices in their life, determine what they want, and then proceed to attempt to get what they desire through production and voluntary exchange will we truly operate within an environment known as the “FREE MARKET”. The Free Market is predicated on Private Property and until the Government ceases to coercively interject itself into every single transaction conducted in this country everyone who blames the “Free Market” for the mess we are in must instead place the blame where it truly belongs.

I’ve been told by a lot of Conservative and even some Libertarians that if I don’t vote for Romney I’m voting for Obama. Why Should I have to compromise my principles? Why shouldn’t those people who feel they have to vote for the Right-Statism of Republicans have to tell the Republicans that their platform is driving votes away. Doesn’t it make more sense that Romney and the Republics are the one’s who have abandoned principle? Why should I join them? That doesn’t make any sense. Those who believe that a vote for a Third Party Candidate – Like Gary Johnson is a vote for Obama have disregarded the entire idea of the sanctity of Private Property and Individual Liberty. If we don’t have principles to guide our decisions we are only left with expediency and that is exactly how we got into this mess in the first place.

All the Republicans have to do to get my vote is talk about the sanctity of Self Ownership and my God-given right to keep and dispose of my justley acquired property as I see fit.  That’s it. No Abortion, No Defense of Marriage Act, No Management of my life or the Free Market. Then they might get my vote. This supposed political choice we have is the epitome of the “Faux Free Market” we suffer under today in America. You have only two crappy choices neither of which are determined by the Free and Voluntary Choices of Individuals. The whole idea is crazy. Your life and property and liberty are at stake and you are supposed to roll over to the Least Evil Political Corporation.

(I have stopped reffering  to the Democratic Party or the Republican Party as “Parties”. That is a way the collectivists distort the language. These two entities are “for Profit Corporations” who steal their revenue through taxation and use fear and hate to gin up “voluntary” donations.)

The Republican Corporation  I’m supposed to Vote for to secure my life, liberty and property are they themselves Fascist/Collectivists. Listen to the language of their Platform

” We recognize and honor the courageous effort of those who bear the burden of parenting alone, even as we believe that marriage the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the natural standard, the goal to stand for, encourage, and promote through laws governing marriage” Do you still believe you own yourself?

I’m not gay but if the Republicans are willing to govern marriage in this way they will do it in others as well. Wait they already have done that with drug prohibition, prostitution prohibition and the prohibition of gambling. If you can not choose to live as you wish when you are not violating the self-ownership or property rights of another there is no need for being governed, which always means to be limited.  It all boils down to the fact in their eyes we do not own our person or the choices in our lives.

And the Bureau of Land Management govern public lands like the Oil rich areas in Alaska the same way the politicians govern our lives: ” In addition to carefully considering what is fact and what is opinion everyone involved in making decisions about ANWR and energy in general will need (backed by the barrel of a gun) to seek innovative approaches and work collaboratively to find alternatives that can be accepted by all.”

The “Innovative” solution and the one that could be accepted by all is to allow Individuals to Truly Own themselves, their choices and to have all land privately held in America. Not more arrogance of politicians and bureaucrats who have no business owning property in America or owning the decisions we should be making for ourselves.

I hope that this post will spark folks to  see every debate being bantered about by politicians, pundits, professors and priests is all about the fight between self-ownership and collective ownership. If you own yourself you need no external “governance” or “limiting”. Experience and the pain of failure are all you need to help steer you to make better life choices.

Morality has always been about Property Rights and will continue to be so. Only the “Morality of Liberty” will ensure that no one violates your right to your life, liberty and property. The Democrats and Republican Political Corporations have a different Morality. They believe they have a right to take everything from you, including your life if enough of the “voters” are behind them.

In the end the question is :” Whose property are you?” Does your life choices belong to the Republican Political Corporation? Or does it belong to the Democratic Political Corporation? When it’s placed in those terms no one on Earth would allow Apple or Coke’s board to determine how they should live. Sure they use Advertising which is a whole other blog post to influence your behavior but its only those two Political for Profit Corporations that use the Force of Government to violate your person, property and liberty on a daily basis.

The extinguishing of the Free Market is as much a function of the Republican Political Corporation as it is the work of the Democratic Political Corporation. And as Lew Rockwell said the sooner that most Americans believe we all will be better off if we lived without the State, the sooner we can get back to being free to become the individuals we are capable of becoming.

You own yourself and the product of your labor. You yourself is the beginning of your Private Property. Your Privacy is an extension of that Fundamental Right to Yourself. Your income is your property. Social Security is a scam. The Federal Reserve  needs to go. The IRS should be ended tomorrow. From the principle of “Self-Ownership” all other Natural Rights of Property exist.

“…(Government)  has placed the collective force in the service of those who wish to traffic without risk and without scruple in the persons and liberty and property of others, it has converted plunder into a right that it may protect it and turn lawful defense into a crime.” Bastiat

Brad Miller

AdvocateofLiberty and Self-Ownership

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