Re: Gov't loves gov't

Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin (
Fri, 23 Jan 1998 11:09:29 +0000

> From: (Tony Hollick)

> John K Clark writes eloquently, and well:
> |If I want to sell something, and you want to buy, we agree on a price and
> |make the exchange, end of story. It's understandable to both of us, it's
> |simple, it's elegant, it works. A system that was as simple as the market and
> |worked as well, would have been found by now, and as I have not heard any
> |reports of this interesting development, leads me to believe that it does not
> |exist. A protocol that needs 10 years of super computer time before I can buy
> |a can od beer is not better than the market, regardless of what it's other
> |virtues may be.
> This is true, but it also completely begs the question of how
> _either_ of you come to own anything in the first place. No-one has
> ever provided a satisfying explanation of how a person comes to
> 'own' a given piece of land from a state of nature. The
> 'labour-mixing' argument doesn't hold water. Why is your labour not
> just wasted effort? The 'resources-mixing' argument begs the first
> question, and fails Nozick's test of why -- if you pour a can of
> beer into the Pacific -- you haven't just wasted 'your' beer,
> instead of acquiring a part-share in the Pacific! >:-}

Given the amply-demonstrated advantages of a system of individual
ownership over all the alternatives man has yet come up with, the
only pragmatic reason for wondering about the origin of ownership is
to assist in devising reasonable means of transferring all
currently-unowned resources to individuals.

> There is a legal maxim: "Non Dat Quod Non Habet" (you cannot give
> what you do not have). 97% of American land is owned by around 3%
> of the population, or so I understand.

I can easily prove that you understand incorrectly.

That leaves only 3% of the land owned by anyone other than those 3%
of the population.

Government-owned land in states whose names begin with the letter A,
amounts to more than 3% of the land in the US. If you restrict
consideration to the 48 contiguous states, you may have to add states
whose names begin with C.

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