[internetworkers] The Local Gov't Fair Competition Act.
cristobalpalmer at gmail.com
Mon Jul 16 13:44:57 EDT 2007
On 7/16/07, Phillip Rhodes <mindcrime at cpphacker.co.uk> wrote:
> because it denies my fundamental right to own my own
> property and keep the fruits of my labor.
Why is property a fundamental right? Here's the preamble to our Constitution:
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect
union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the
common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings
of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish
this Constitution for the United States of America.
Is the word "property" in there? Nope? Hmmm...
Here's a copy of the declaration of independence:
You'll notice that the word "property" isn't on that page, either. I
believe the revolutionaries did yell about taxes, but it went
something like, "No taxation without representation!"
If we read the constitution a bit more, we'll stumble across the
fourth amendment, which guarantees that we shall be "secure in [our]
persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches
and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but
upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and
particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or
things to be seized," which to me says that you still _can_ be
deprived of your papers, effects, etc. if there's a valid warrant.
There's also the fifth amendment, which says that the government can't
make us testify against ourselves, "nor be deprived of life, liberty,
or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be
taken for public use, without just compensation." So that means that
the government _can_ take our stuff (for public use or following due
process of law), as long as we are given "just compensation."
It really looks like property isn't fundamental under our Constitution.
is a good read, as is
I challenge you to give an example of a nation of larger than trivial
size that has survived for more than a generation without compulsory
taxation and Eminent Domain. Your idea that these are Evil falls apart
without the a priori assumption that property is a fundamental right.
It's an interesting mental exercise, but not particularly helpful for
building a better State.
Don't get me wrong: I don't think that people or the government should
be able to go around seizing people's stuff for no good reason (that
would conflict with a reasonable person's sense of justice). In fact,
our current Supreme Court has gone a bit overboard with Eminent
Domain. When it's okay to take Phil's stuff from him should be an
incredibly short list of circumstances, but our country has recognized
from the beginning that such circumstances do exist.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go use the Internet to help me
earn a living. Thanks to Phil and the rest of you who paid for the
Internet with your taxes.
Cristóbal M. Palmer
Love as a predictor of technological success: http://tinyurl.com/2em6zs
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