What Does “Ownership” Mean?

I just saw a news article (Pima County Board of Supervisors Votes to Approve Smoking Ban) and it reminded me of those PBS brand commercials built around something like, “You Own This…”?

Basically the gist was that the camera went swooping over the National Mall in DC and then the words would pass over the screen “You Own This…” The shot then faded to helicopter shots of Mt Rushmore and Yosemite followed by “You Own This…” It went through a couple of iterations on this theme, ending finally with a slow fade-in and light flare across the PBS logo and then a last drop in of that phrase, “You Own This…”

How patriotic, right?

I was always really offput by those… In my mind, we don’t own ANY of that. The US federal government owns those assets (PBS being a public-private partnershipy thing). We are given some access to those places and assets, but we don’t OWN them in any meaningful way.

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Conscience and Property Rights

“Conscience is the most sacred of all property” – James Madison. When our govt has come to so blithely restrict and control our rights in real property and in the use of our time (in production and in leisure), is it any wonder that we spend more and more focus every year (on Left and Right) on government’s attempts to restrict and manage topics rightly handled by individual conscience?

If you don’t respect my prerogative to choose how I spend my time and money, why should I expect you to respect my prerogative over my beliefs and opinions. How many on the Left and Right can get behind the simple but profound idea in the history of nations instituted by men, that government, “shall make no law”?

How many of us can put aside our discomfort/unease/uncertainty and instead of supporting the VERSION of law we prefer, can simply and directly say I want NO law.

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch16s23.html

Pima County Passes Smoking Ban

Oh fantastic…

Does anyone else remember those PBS brand commercials built around something like, “You Own This…”? Basically the gist was that the camera went swooping over the National Mall in DC and then the words would pass over the screen “You Own This…” The shot then faded to helicopter shots of Mt Rushmore and Yosemite followed by “You Own This…” It went through a couple of iterations on this theme, ending finally with a slow fade-in and light flare across the PBS logo and then a last drop in of that phrase, “You Own This…”

How patriotic, right?

I was always really offput by those… In my mind, we don’t own ANY of that. The US federal government owns those assets (PBS being a public-private partnershipy thing). We are given some access to those places and assets, but we don’t OWN them in any meaningful way.

Continue reading