Monday, August 27, 2007

You think you own your own home ? Think again

Property rights are seldom discussed or debated in mainstream circles. Little thought goes towards defining them or efforts towards discussing their importance. But the last century is full of powerful examples, all of them well documented and described by historian, political scientists and economists.

Property rights are .. THE .. single .. most .. important .. right. Your right to own any item, and not have it stolen is covered by property rights. As is your right to your own life and your own body. If every individual has their property rights defined, then theft, rape, murder, violence, fraud, torture and slavery are all considered crimes of the highest order.

Unfortunately, history isn't taught from this perspective. It usually glosses over failed political systems and regimes with a focus on the strongman, dictator or thug, and not the ideology that drives them. But rest assured, Hitler, Mao and Stalin were quite articulate and wrote detailed books describing their socialist political views. The same with Kim Jong Il, Castro and Chavez.

The key to their ideology --- once you remove the spin and rhetoric about a worker's revolution, about casting off the shackles of their capitalist oppressors, and about rising up against the bourgeois and starting a revolution --- is that not every individual has secure and well defined property rights. Some people who are connected to The Party and the political leadership certainly get their perks, but the proletariat were not allowed to own land, property and money because these were capitalist elements.

Instead of individuals owning property, which leads them to improve their life, all property was owned by The State.

People did not own their labor and could not decide where they would work. They were not entitled to exchange their labor for wages. They did not own their own home or land or cars. In East Germany, the state would allocate all manner of items, from food stamps to crappy old Soviet cars, courses in universities, places in schools, jobs and even decrepit apartments to people. And as such, there was massive neglect, mis-allocation, misery and shortages, famines and economic failures.

Soviet Russia, Communist China and other failed dictatorships had virtually no property rights for the masses. Today, North Korea has no property rights and is the poorest and most deadly place to be born in Asia. Venezuela is losing out property rights as every industry and massive farms are "nationalised" i.e stolen by government.

So you think in Australia, you have property rights ? You think even the freehold title and certificate of occupancy you have on your home guarantees it is yours ? Why do home owners have to pay council rates and stamp duties on property transfers ? What about your car ? If it is your property, why must you pay registration and stamp duty on insurance and stamp duty on purchases ? In fact, every item you purchase in Australia is subject to 10% GST. Every time you exchange money for goods/services, tax is payable or you face prison time.

Under pure property rights, if something is your property, you are free to do with it as you please, and no 3rd party can interfere and coerce you. But even the most liberal and democratic governments, the Australian, Canadian, English, American, French, German, New Zealand, Japanese government all force people to pay tax.

There are a series of videos on the US constitution and property rights by a well known American libertarian. Try searching"Michael Badnarik" videos on youtube and watch as he tells his students that despite what they think, they do not have secure property rights.

Australia is evolving towards communism.

Kevin Rudd just made an election promise to force all houses to adopt "environmentally friendly" electric hot water systems that cost twice as much, by 2010.

HOUSEHOLDS will have to pay up to $6.5 billion extra from 2012 to replace their electric hot water systems under a Labor plan to impose an effective ban on the appliances as part of its strategy to cut greenhouse emissions.

Under the ban, up to half of all Australian households will have to switch to expensive solar hot water systems when their old electric tanks fail.

The ALP is telling us what we can do with our property and violating our property rights further.

Not a whimper, not an outcry, not a protest in sight. The media don't treat this with the seriousness it deserves. Instead it repeatedly focusses on Rudd's poll performance after in light of his visit to a NY strip club 4 years ago.