Moral Rights, Human Rights and Property Rights
08 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
The conflict down through the ages, especially in America, has been between human rights and property rights. The resurgence of laissez faire classical liberal sentiments in the last 60 years, in the form of libertarianism for the modern age, holds property rights supreme and tantamount to liberty and freedom themselves. Taxes are theft is the more extreme view.
But, most problematically, this supreme status for wealth as property rights for conservatives arises no matter how such wealth or property rights were acquired, Once acquired by however means wealth's property rights status becomes supreme and inviolate. No questions on the morality of those property rights or their acquisition are never raised. This is morally preposterous.
Property rights to wealth acquired by theft certainly stand on a different moral footing that those acquired by personal invention, Southern wealth or property rights based on slavery derives from the immoral theft of the value of human labor. The Kennedy patriarch acquired wealth illegally by bootlegged liquor. Sen Byrd of Virginia temporarily imported cheap labor from the Caribbean. Others acquire property by outrageous usury, e.g., sport figures use usury to acquire property rights by means of strings of rent to own cheap real properties. Some acquire wealth or property by inheritance.
The moral basis of the acquisition of property clearly varies widely, but no note of it is taken by conservatives as bearing on property rights. Once acquired, property rights became supremely inviolate, cast in stone, permanent above all. Could a sillier moral proposition be imagined? A better rule would be "easy come (more immorally), easy go (in higher taxes), (This is a new rationale to divest property owners of income acquired passively as economic rent by higher taxes on such income.)
The point is along this scale of moral to immoral acquisition of wealth or property rights, human needs or rights, in inverse proportion, intervene and supersede so that property rights are no longer supreme but descend proportionally in importance with more immoral acquisition and human rights and needs rise in inverse proportion, This is economics reinstated here as moral philosophy.
This idea is worthy of consideration in this era of dishonesty, especially when we get the idea backwards so, by taxing passive economic rental income at rates LESS than ordinary hard earned income. But then maybe that is just because property owners have rigged the system in their favor.