On Property Rights

Property rights aren’t a difficult concept to grasp. All it comes down to is, “Who had it first?” It’s the very same question we ask children when they’re fighting over a toy. Answering this question is usually not difficult, but sometimes the best we can do is to answer it relativistically, “Between those who are in conflict over the item, who had it first?” If a third party enters the conflict then it’s simply a matter of determining among the three parties, “Who had it first?” After the matter is settled and some time passes, if a new party disputes ownership of the item then all we have to ask is, “Who had it first?” I’ve yet to hear a single valid counter-argument to a “Who had it first?” property rights convention that was not without unsurmountable problems that always entailed property insecurity, and chaos. And that’s today’s two cents.

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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.

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