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Property rights are essential to our liberty and prosperity

By Scott Tibbs, February 24, 2016

We enjoy an incredible amount of freedom in these United States, but have you ever considered how essential private property rights are to all of our liberty? If you look at the Bill of Rights, those rights are built on the foundation that private property rights are essential and cannot be violated by government except in the most extreme of circumstances.

Freedom of the speech is interwoven with private property rights, because our free speech rights allow us to distribute literature, place signs, and write letters. Freedom of the press is built entirely on private property rights because if the government can steal the means to produce a newspaper, pamphlet or book (or today, a website) then the right is meaningless. You cannot have freedom of the press without the right to own a press! Freedom of assembly requires the right to have a place to assemble while freedom of religion requires property rights to prevent the government from confiscating a church building or the Bibles inside.

The Second Amendment is all about private property rights, because firearms are private property. The Third Amendment, also, requires private property rights. The Fourth Amendment assumes private property rights in preventing unreasonable searches of our things, while the Fifth Amendment requires due process for someone to be deprived of property. The ban on excessive bail in the Eighth Amendment rests on private property rights. The Thirteenth Amendment protects the ultimate in private property rights - the right to one's own body.

Our economy is completely dependent on private property rights. If not for private property rights, people could not own a farm, a factory, a store, or their inventory. Without private property rights, our homes could be taken, throwing our economic productivity into chaos. Without private property rights, we could not travel to and from work in today's economy, because we could not own cars to drive. We could not be productive when we get to work unless our employer's private property rights are protected, and just basic things like the clothes we wear would not even be ours.

All candidates for elective office - from the President of these United States down to city, county and township government - should be expected to defend and protect private property rights as an essential and non-negotiable part of our liberty and prosperity. No candidate for any office who disregards private property rights should ever be elected (or appointed!) to anything. If we do not have private property rights then we have nothing at all - we are just fully dependent slaves to the State. This is not acceptable.