Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Anti-Capitalism Myth: Property is Bad

The most recent installment in the Foundation for Economic Education's (FEE) invaluable series of myths and fallacies commonly held by Progressives (and, alas, many others who would denounce progressivism) is out, and it concerns the topic of private property.  As with the other entries in the series, it's well worth reading.  An excerpt:
Progressives have a problem with ownership, especially when it’s yours. The very notion seems to conjure up in their minds an anti-social acquisitiveness, selfishness, and greed. Far more quickly, they come to the defense of “sharing” because it suggests sacrificing ownership for the sake of others. Indeed, the most regressive Progressive is drawn to the idea of common ownership, in which no one owns anything because somehow we all will own and share it equally.
The Progressives’ hostility to ownership is neither well-founded nor consistent. While they have a visceral distaste for private ownership (and busy themselves taxing, regulating, seizing, and redistributing it), they have few problems with state ownership. It’s as if men are devilish with what’s theirs but angelic with what belongs to someone else.
I love that last sentence; it's exactly the same with politicians in general: people believe that there's something magical about public service such that the moment a person enters that domain, they turn into altruistic angels whose sole purpose is to make the public better off.  What bunk.