Re: Land rights (part I), corrected, ignore the other version

From: I William Wiser (
Date: Sat Jul 28 2001 - 00:41:46 MDT

Thank you; that was useful. It does not address the fundamental
examination of land rights I am after but was informative anyway.
One of the reasons I am interested in examining land rights is to
analyze the legitimacy and stability of government claims. It is
mostly claims on large unused tracts of land I find troublesome.
I also find the taking of land by force in the absence of torts or
necessity problematic.

Governments can give people rights but governments only have
the rights people give them. What someone takes or holds by force
alone is not a right. Many of the things you labeled as government
rights may be more correctly called government claims or powers.
It may be that many people have given these rights to governments
but I haven't talked to enough people to find out what they do and
do not wish to allow government.

Settlers have some right to control their environment and the U.S.
is certainly settled in some sense. Beyond that I am trying to understand
the ethics involved, the customs, and the consequences of various
systems well enough to decide to what extent I want to collaborate
with the system. Once you acknowledge land ownership or control
so many other things become a matter of cooperating or leaving.

I certainly have no interest in fighting these systems in culturally
unaccepted ways but I don't know that I support them either.
I always have a healthy respect for large clubs but I think it is
a poor way to run a country unless the clubs are backed by
some very reasonable set of ethics.

I'll stick a response to your comment on contracts being a good
thing here also. Reasonable contracts seem like a great thing
to me but contracts are binding on the parties to the contract,
not other people. John and Joan can contract to sell a stolen
Rolex but I'm not necessarily going to see their contract as

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael B. Hubbard" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2001 9:27 PM
Subject: Fw: Land rights (part I)

> For some reason this bounced the first time...
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Michael B. Hubbard" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Friday, July 27, 2001 11:04 PM
> Subject: Re: Land rights (part I)
> > This was actually discussed a bit when I was real estate classes a
> of
> > years ago. In the US it generally works like this.
> >
> > First you have to define what is real property. Generally, land is meant
> to
> > refer to "the earth's surface to the center of the earth and the
> > above the land, including trees and water. At one point these rights
> > assumed to extend infinitely into space, but the courts generally won't
> > allow you to charge American Airlines for flying eight miles above your
> > house, as it doesn't seriously affect your right to use your property.)
> Real
> > Estate includes the definition of land, and adds whatever man-made
> additions
> > may be on the land. Real Property includes all of the above, and the
> "bundle
> > of legal rights". These are:
> >
> > The right of possession -the right to physically possess and occupy the
> > space
> > The right to control the property within the limits of the law
> > The right of enjoyment-the right to use the property in any legal manner
> > The right of exclusion- the right to keep others off your property
> > The right of disposition- the right to sell, rent, lease, will, or
> otherwise
> > dispose of the property in any way you see fit within the bounds of the
> law.
> >
> > As part of this you can sell darn near anything on, under, or above the
> > property that is legal to sell, or the rights to anything that might be
> > there (assuming you own those rights, but that's another issue).
> >
> > Now the government has some rights, too. There is police power, which is
> the
> > power to enact legislation or take actions to preserve order, protect
> public
> > health, etc. This usually comes out in building codes, environmental
> > legislation, and other laws that might affect real property. The
> government
> > also has the right of eminent domain, which is the right of the
> > to condemn your property and then use it build a new school, new
> > or (if you live in Tennessee) the road to your Governor's retirement
> > property. Usually the government in question will give a reasonable
> > value as compensation for the property acquired in this manner. There is
> > also the right of taxation, wherein the city or county government carve
> off
> > a chunk of your salary each year rather than taking your land by the
> > The state can also have the right of escheat, where the government finds
> no
> > legal heirs to the property and claims the property for government use
> > resale.
> >
> > Most all of this has come down from English common law.
> >
> > Michael
> > (not a licensed Real Estate agent, but formerly with the state real
> > commission)
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "I William Wiser" <>
> > To: <>
> > Sent: Friday, July 27, 2001 4:56 PM
> > Subject: Land rights
> >
> >
> > > Here is a question that has bugged me off and on for years.
> > >
> > > What ways of handling property rights and especially land rights
> >
> >

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