John Locke once wrote that “The great and chief end of men’s uniting into commonwealths, and putting themselves under government, is the preservation of their property.” Yet, government has since become the chief violator of each individual’s property. Income taxes, property taxes, eminent domain, business regulations, zoning ordinances, and other related government policies all infringe upon an individual’s right to possess and manage property.
It is imperative that each person question his or her assumptions about government’s legitimate function as it relates to property rights. The entire paradigm for many is colored not by the way it should be, but by the way it has long been. In other words, many assume that government can legitimately interfere in private property rights simply because it seems they always have.
Whether one’s property is stolen by the common criminal or the political majority, the end result is the same. Legislation passed by a majority of legislators and supported by a majority of voters does not legitimize theft or control of property. While some may look to the government for the “preservation of their property,” each individual living under that government must oppose its unjust violations of the right to own and control property.
Areas of focus for the Center for Private Property:
- Oppose all uses of eminent domain, which is nothing more than legalized theft.
- Seek the reduction and elimination of all property taxes.
- Advocate the prohibition of searches and seizures not conducted with judicial oversight, including administrative subpoenas.
- Encourage the privatization of all property not required for government operation, including parks and wild lands.
- Support the ability of business owners to employ or engage in commerce with any consenting adult, regardless of immigration status.
- Work towards abolition of all business licensure such that property owners can offer their goods and services to other consenting adults without a permission slip from the government.
- Encourage eliminating the income tax and replacing it with user fees.