The general belief is that public property is owned by the people. This belief isn’t only uncritical but also uneconomical. If you think that the belief is still economical or rational then how do you define “people” and their “public” ownership of the property? Also, what percentage do the “people” respectively own “public” property? How much is it unfair to share in the whole ownership structure?
These questions cannot be conclusively answered because public property isn’t embodied with the rational calculation of prices, incentives, liberty and ownership. If you’re not an “economist” (government’s bootlicker), you would surely gibe at my assertions.
Public property is a contradiction in terms. There’s nothing called “public”, first of all. What you see around is rational individuals who are driven by the principle of self-interest. You, as an individual, are also driven by your self interest axiom, to read this blog. No one is compelling you. Even if you’re forced to read this blog, you’re still driven by your self-interest policy to obey the command. This proves that there’s nothing called “collective interest” because groups cannot think or reason.
Only individuals can.
Since public property is a generalization, it is to be commonly understood that individuals own the property because ownership gives the individuals a sense of freedom and rights.
Since public property possesses a “common” title, its’ users don’t have rational incentives to take care of it. That’s why public property ends up getting mismanaged or crooked.
What would you prefer to take care of, your private property or collective property? The former gives you the right and freedom to nurture it because private property’s nature is dependent upon your responsibility, whereas the latter does not have any incentive to look after it.
To make the case easier, would you prefer a private swimming pool or a public pool?
Of course, you would dislike the quality of a public pool because you don’t own it to nurture it. This doesn’t mean that we need more government interventionism or supervision. We need more private property rights so that the government (“owner” of public property) does not resort to infringe your personal property or possession.
On the other hand, it is vague to learn that individuals pay “property tax” to the government for owning the property personally. Does it indicate that even private property belongs to the government. If yes, then how do you own yourself? If no, then why would you pay for owning your labor or wealth? Kindly don’t bring the “who will build the roads?” theses here.
It’s not about roads.
It is about axioms like self-ownership, property rights and freedom. Think.
The government doesn’t have to pay fees or even taxes for the creation or maintenance of their personal possession i.e public property. It’s you who has to comply with the draconian land rules/laws of the unaccountable government. If this isn’t modern slavery then what is?
Public property is a vivid manifestation of tragedy of the commons policy. No matter how many euphemisms are played, the political fraternity (monopolist) is the “owner” of public property as they don’t have to pay fees for its utility. It’s you who is being forced to eternally pay for something which you don’t own or dislike to use for its inadequate maintenance.
Stop being public. Start being private.
About the author
Prof. Jaimine Vaishnav is an anarcho-capitalist based in Mumbai, India. His hobbies are about defending the liberties of all his dissents without charging any fee.