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The significance of property rights

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Dr.Who, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    The American way is to support both liberty and justice. The declaration of Independence, the Constitution, The Pledge of Allegiance, etc. they all state multiple times that it is our rights and our liberty that gov is entrusted to protect - that is the sum of justice.

    One of those rights is the right to keep what you earn with the sweat of your brow. That is the liberty part of the equation. Another is the principle that you can work as hard as you want to to earn what you want and others should not deprive you of it by force. This is justice.

    We have created multiple police agencies to do just that. When someone tries to steal your belongings from you we have local police, state police, federal police and a host of other police type agencies like the FBI that are there to protect your property.

    Then when the perpetrator is caught we have a system of justice that is determined to punish them to the fullest extent of the law. The system must to it without regard to race or creed or wealth - blind justice as it were. This is the way it is supposed to be. No one is supposed to be the beneficiary of the law or the victim of law any more than anyone else. It is just not the American way for the rich or the black to benefit or suffer more than another in the way they are treated by the law in either their opportunity or their property. That is the justice part of the equation.

    When we see that one person does not have the same opportunity as another we are to step up and advocate for that persons rights. The right to opportunity which is summed up as the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. That word happiness was not always the word that was placed there. Before it was inserted into the constitution the phrase existed and originally it said that everyone had the right to life, liberty, and property. Our founders were wise enough to extend the right beyond just property and to include other possessions that would entail happiness - like one's conscience and ones right to be treated equally as a person whether rich or black.

    So what is the significance of property rights? What happens as we lose them. Just as property rights and the right to pursue happiness are both included in that one clause of the constitution so both of them are inseparably entwined.

    Madison said it this way:

    "As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights. Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions."

    You have a right to your property - but it goes way beyond that. Your rights are actually one of the things you own. If the government can take away your property then what is to stop it from taking away your other pursuits of happiness? Your very words will at risk and your very thoughts will be at risk. Eventually even your body will be at risk. This is a slippery slide that has occurred many times in many other nations - no it is not remote nor rare.

    You must be left with your liberty and your property for the two cannot be separated. The gov is charged with protecting your liberty and your property and when it does that is justice.

    But taxes must happen. They are a necessary evil. The founders knew that too. The specifically wrote that taxes were allowed - with some very strict limitations so that they would not become intrusive, unfair, burdensome, or a threat to liberty. Those limits are being written away or just ignored far too often - it is epidemic how quickly taxes are growing and your rights are eroding.

    Today people want to ram through some of the largest tax increases in the history of this country in order to provide a section of the population with something that is not even a right. They want to infringe on what is definitely a constitutional civil right to give away that which they are not allowed to do. The goal is worthy but the method is monstrous. Left unstopped the consequences will be grave.

    The time to stand up for your rights is now. Your forefathers died in part in opposition to a a measly tax on stamps. Will you sell out your country as the right to keep over 50% of your property is lost by ignoring this crime?
     
  2. TheFranklinParty

    TheFranklinParty New Member

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    Your point on property is a very important one. I have been jumping up and down about this issue, but most people confuse Democracy and Capitalism. They don't realize that our right to own property is what has made us special. We have the longest and most successful Democratic Republic in the world because, as you put it, we get to keep the gains from the "sweat off our brow".

    The moment we start to lose our ownership and rights to property the system will begin to fail and we will lose what makes us great. We need to fight with our last breath to maintain this right of ownership. This starts with extricating Congress of these elitist policy makers who think they know better than their constituents. I'd be happy to give a list and it would include both Democrats and Republicans.
     
  3. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    Yes yes yes. Not just our own right to own things and notions but our neighbors right even if we don't like him.
     
  4. dahermit

    dahermit New Member

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    "...the pursuit of happiness...", is not part of the Constitution; it is part of the declaration of independance.

    What the wealthy mean here, is that they wish to keep all the money earned by the sweat of their employee's brows.
     
  5. GenSeneca

    GenSeneca Well-Known Member

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    Karl Marx, welcome to the forum.

    "wealthy" - Class warfare rhetoric, us vs. them mentality pitting the proletariat (working class) against the bourgeoisie (wealthy class).

    "sweat of their employee's brows" - This is the classical Marxist understanding of profit being nothing more than unpaid wages.

    "they wish to keep all the money" - In the one dimensional Marxist view of the world, the rich do not actually earn what they have and therefore are not entitled to keep it: they either stole it, inherited it, cheated others for it, or simply got lucky... Hard work, perserverance, superior work ethic, fiscal responsibility, administrative and business acumen aren't even considered as factors in how one became wealthy.

    Marx also sees the world as a zero sum game, if one person is getting ahead in life, someone else is losing. This is the Marxist understanding of how the world works, to them, people cannot get ahead without taking from others and this is the rational for taking from wealthy and redistributing the wealth.

    The "modern" Marxists call this redistribution of wealth "Social Justice" and champions the cause as a moral and ethical imperative.
     
  6. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Property rights are an important part of our liberties, no question.

    Taxes are a necessary evil, and are passed by our representatives. No one likes taxes, but if enough of our representatives agree that a tax is necessary, then it will pass. The revolution was fought not because of taxes per se, but because of taxation without representation.

    So, if you don't like a tax proposal, contact your representative.

    There is another threat to property rights that is seldom even thought of: Asset forfeiture.

    If the cops think you might be using a piece of property for the purpose of drug trafficking, they can seize that property, keep it, and sell it. It happens all the time.

    They don't have to prove you are a drug trafficker, you understand. You don't have to be convicted or even indicted, just suspected.

    If you want to be alarmed and outraged about the loss of property rights, start with asset forfeiture. It is blatantly unconstitutional, and a threat to individual liberty.
     
  7. dahermit

    dahermit New Member

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    I must commend you on your level of knowledge of marxism. But, go back and read it again...the "bourgeoisie", is the middle class, not the wealthy.
     
  8. GenSeneca

    GenSeneca Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. As the saying goes: Socialists read Marx, Capitalists understand Marx.
    While technically correct in English terms, Marx used the word as though synonymous with the Upper Class:

    The term bourgeoisie is widely used in many non-English-speaking countries as an approximate equivalent of upper class under capitalism.

    Edit* I forgot to add Marx's term for the Middle Class: Petite bourgeoisie.
     
  9. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    The concept is in both and as I was talking about both I did mix them up a little.

    It is in the constitution in the 14th amendment where it uses the word property compared to the declaration that uses the word happiness.

    If the Spreme court can use property synonymously with happiness I won't fault myself to much for the confusion.

    Thank fo the clarification anway.
     
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