#12 The Essentials of Private Property

Private property seems to be a subject of growing contention in today’s political climate. The clamorous demand for socialism grows louder as wealth inequality becomes increasingly stratified between the have’s and the have not’s. It would take some time to fully dissect all of the externalizations of this populist swell, however if you’ve been following along with our thoughts closely you will be starting to piece together the real causes.

It is most unfortunate, that with growing wealth inequalities, which are exacerbated by expansionary monetary policy, a chorus demand for the abolition of private property is the simultaneous refrain. We understand full well, by studying the Austrian’s and following their logical deductions from first principles, that private property is the corner stone of liberty and the catalyst of a prosperous and fair society. As Mises wrote:

“If history could teach us anything, it would be that private property is inextricably linked with civilization.” -Ludwig von Mises

And Hayek in his footsteps:

“The system of private property is the most important guaranty of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not.”

Thomas Jefferson, in fact, described the current pitfalls of our modern economic paradigm with remarkable prescience:

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.”

It is because these men understood the necessary process of capital accumulation and subsequent deployment of capital by entrepreneurs as the mark of human progress. They knew that without the entrepreneur, the laissez faire feedback loop created by risk and profit incentive would stagnate not just innovation, but the healthy, voluntary cooperation among free men to satisfy the wants and needs of others.

For a deeper analysis on the importance of property, consider some of the podcasts I’ve recorded on the topic of Private property or more recently Bitcoin and socialism.

-Collin

Book of the Month: The Dao of Capital, By Mark Spitznagel

-“what I have dubbed Austrian Investing contrasts starkly to the far more typical investing approach that only weighs current contemporaneous opportunities, one against the other, hungry for yield, blind to the changing opportunities likely to materialize around the next bend (the atemporal head-on clash, which, unlike the shi approach, assesses each exaggerated present moment as the same).”