• Same story, different day...........year ie more of the same fiat floods the world
  • There are no markets
  • "Spreading the ideas of freedom loving people on matters regarding high finance, politics, constructionist Constitution, and mental masturbation of all types"

The Political & Natural Right to Own & Possess Property


GIM Founding Member & Mod.
Founding Member
Site Mgr
Site Supporter
Oct 15, 2012
America's most prominent modern liberal legal theorist was Professor Ronald Dworkin, professor of Jurisprudence at University College London and the New York University School of Law until his death in 2013. His books, Taking Rights Seriously, Law's Empire and Sovereign Virtue are all serious defenses of the idea, basically, that the Lockean tradition of law and politics which the American Founders had invoked in crafting the Declaration of Independence and, to a lesser extent, the US Constitution, is wrong. As he said in one exchange in the pages of The New York Review of Books(December 6, 2007), the US Supreme Court, in upholding the law in New York State in the famousLochner decision of 1905 that defended private property rights, "relied consistently on the mistaken but principled view that property rights are basic human rights."

But contrary to Dworkin's assertion, the right to private property is indeed a basic human right. It is fundamental to any bona fide free society. Just consider, as one vital case in point, that unless one has the right to private property, one does not have the right to freedom of speech – it is because of that basic human right that government may not censor what we say and write but may do so when it involves public property, such as radio or television stations that use the public airwaves, or a public park. In fact, all basic individual rights rest, practically, on the right to private property and are threatened by its abrogation.

Some have made the point that property rights had been used to justify slavery but that is sophistry. The only reason that one could plausibly claim to own slaves is that they were falsely, immorally declared not to be full human beings, more akin to domesticated animals than to people. It needed such spurious thinking to get around the fact that human beings have a property right in their own life, their labor and its fruits.

The idea goes back to John Locke and even farther in human political history, to William of Ockham. Both of these philosophers realized that to be in charge of one's own life, one must have the right to it fully respected and protected in the legal system. If one may not own one's life and resources – lacks the right to life and property – one is at the mercy of governments and all other people. They can command how one will live, who one will serve, etc. But if one has one's right to life and one's right to private property secured, others must ask for one's support or help or consent and are barred from simply using a person against his or her will.

Of course, modern liberals like Professor Dworkin don't approve of this principle because they believe that people must be available to government to order about, to conscript for all sorts of purposes they do not themselves freely accept. This is the Left's major thesis, after all – people belong to society, to humanity, to the body politic. (The most forceful advocate of this was the French philosopher Auguste Comte, who wrote

…All human rights … are as absurd as they are immoral. This ["to live for others"], the definitive formula of human morality, gives a direct sanction exclusively to our instincts of benevolence, the common source of happiness and duty. [Man must serve] Humanity, whose we are entirely." August Comte, The Catechism of Positive Religion (Clifton, NJ: Augustus M. Kelley Publ., 1973), pp. 212-30.

It is no accident that the first thing Karl Marx listed as in need of abolition on the way to socialism and communism is the right to private property. That principle, when observed and protected, is what makes us sovereign individuals instead of serfs and slaves or mere cells in the "organic body" of society.

Sadly, the American Founders spelled out excellent ideas in the Declaration of Independence but then, in the pursuit of national unity they compromised them in the US Constitution. But today, with the leadership of the likes of Professor Dworkin, even the ideas of the Declaration are in jeopardy, ready to be abrogated in the name of some undefined public or common good or the will of the people. It is going to be most important whether this jeopardy will be effectively resisted or yielded to in the coming decades. On that issue the future of human liberty will hinge.



Midas Member
Sr Site Supporter
Apr 2, 2010
Some have made the point that property rights had been used to justify slavery
BB, I believe this to be true !! Property owners become the slaves - to PROPERTY TAXES ! sarc.

According to these enemies of a free people, those that chose to sit on their ass & not work/produce, are entitled to all the same benefits as those of us who get out & work for a living.

These morons are our enemy & don't ever forget it !


Mother Lode Found
Mother Lode
Sr Site Supporter
Mar 31, 2010
For some time now there has been a movement in PA to do away with property taxes. Looks like it may be making some headway.

Lawmaker says plan to replace school property taxes on the way

Legislation to change the way districts are funded, which school officials have railed against, is expected to be introduced by the end of the month.

State Sen. Bob Mensch, R-24, of Lansdale, a co-sponsor of the measure, told Indian Valley business leaders that he recognizes parts of the bill will "need to be refined to where's it's operational. Before we take that leap, we need to know it's going to work well."

Mensch's comments at Friday's Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce legislative breakfast were in response to Nick Braccio, a member of the Souderton Area School Board who questioned the sustainability of the plan to significantly limit most property taxes in favor of increased sales and income taxes, and shift control of revenue from local school boards to Harrisburg.

"The introduction of a bill is just that," said Mensch, whose senatorial district includes parts of Berks, Montgomery and Bucks counties. "It's not the final bill. I support the notion of fixing the property tax."

The controversial measure, sponsored by state Sen. David Argall, R-29, of Berks and Schuylkill counties, has bipartisan support and failed in the last legislative session by one vote.

Argall's legislation would increase the state's income tax from 3.07 percent to 4.95 percent and raise the sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent. Additionally, to make up the nearly $14 billion needed to fund the commonwealth's 500 school districts, the sales tax would expand to items now exempted, including groceries, clothing, beer, liquor, financial, funeral and salon services, and nonprescription drugs.

The new revenue sources would replace dollar-for-dollar the revenues lost by the school property tax elimination, Argall's co-sponsorship memoranda states. A portion of the school property tax would remain only to pay off debt service.

Act 1 of 2006, the state's property tax law that allows tax increases based on an inflation formula, plus exceptions for items such as retirement and special education costs, would end. Under Argall's plan, any district seeking to spend above the allotment from the state would need to seek a voter referendum. Districts could increase the local personal income tax or earned income tax if approved by the voters in that district.

School leaders across the state, including those in Bucks and Montgomery counties, have voiced opposition to the plan.

In Quakertown, school director Ronald Jackson said, "I would love to see property taxes go away, but my biggest fear is that we give all that money to Harrisburg, then we have to hope and pray that any funding formula they create would be equal to what we get from property taxes — and I don't trust them. I think they will fail miserably with that tax (to fund all schools)."

Jeffrey Garton, a solicitor for the Central Bucks and Quakertown districts, said that the measure would bring "a tremendous shift" in the tax burden from businesses and "fall on individuals."

David Baldinger, who leads the Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations, has been an advocate of the legislation for years. He said his opponents "are in absolute panic mode" and are using "exaggeration and lies by omission."

On loss of local control, he said the Argall legislation "removes the ability of some five school board members to raise property taxes at will. School districts are free to use money any way they wish. For them to say the sky is falling and Harrisburg is going to control our schools is just an out-and-out lie."

Baldinger said the measure calls for a "dollar-for-dollar replacement for all property taxes eliminated in any district. It gets back every penny. They're using that as an excuse to fight the bill."

On Friday, Mensch admitted he's concerned funding control would be too "Harrisburg-centric."

"If the money all goes to Harrisburg, how do we make up the dollar-for-dollar match?" he said. "The money should not go into the general fund."

State pensions were also discussed at the session, in which Mensch and state representatives from Montgomery County Robert Godshall, R-53, and Marcy Toepel, R-147, were the guest speakers.

Mensch called pensions the "ever-growing problem in the state," with an unfunded liability of between $70 million and $80 million between the Public School Employees' Retirement System, State Employees' Retirement System and 2,400 municipal pension plans.

"Our budget is $32 billion," Mensch said. "If we paid for nothing else, it would take more than two years to pay for it."

He said one-third of every tax dollar "goes directly to retiring the unfunded liability. We need to correct that trend."

Toepel said the biggest challenge is the state requirement to not negatively impact pensions of current employees. "That is one parameter we have to stay with," she said.

"We can't touch what's there now, but with new people we can," added Godshall, who said he prefers a defined contribution rather than a defined benefit plan. "That's the way it is in the real community, the real world," he said.

John Duerksen, an Indian Valley chamber member who asked the lawmakers if pensions will be dealt with this session, said, "The longer we wait, the worse it gets. It's a hard issue for taxpayers. The longer we wait, the more painful the changes will be."

Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 33 cents a day.

Gary Weckselblatt: 215-345-3169; email: gweckselblatt@calkins.com; Twitter: @gweckselblatt



Mother Lode Found
Mother Lode
Sr Site Supporter
Mar 31, 2010
If interested more info can be found here:


School district with 2 sets of books:

Lower Merion School District Forced to Withdraw Tax Hike
Read more at http://www.phillymag.com/news/2016/...ced-to-withdraw-tax-hike/#AAjJsTsrabI5OBV5.99

LMSD: 3.85 percent school tax hike proposed for 2017-18

Put Lower Merion School District tax increase to referendum