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farmer
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Joined: December 16th, 2002, 7:09 am

I challenge any of you Wilmott "scientists" to explain private property.

December 16th, 2002, 7:50 am

I had just been forming a list of sorts in my sleep. Most any rule can be followed long before the reasons it should be followed can be explained (e.g. "wash your hands before dinner"). My list consisted of the ages at which people become capable of understanding the reasons behind some very basic rules of human behavior. But when I got to the end of the list I could not complete it, and so I woke up. Maybe you can help me:1. Social Justice- second grade - if Johnny can't have cake, then nobody should be allowed to have any cake.2. Global Warming - eighth grade - carbon dioxide is a "greenhouse" gas.3. Human Rights - eleventh grade - do unto others as you would have them do unto you?4. Black Scholes - college sophomore - you can construct a continuous replicating portfolio...5. Marriage - graduate school- unmarried men are aimless, women are miserable, and children are volatile balls of protoplasm.6. Private Property - ??Of course we all participated in the eighth-grade science fair, and as a result so-called "global warming" is a pop-culture scientist's dream. But I don't remember any classes on private property, nothing beyond peope who don't get rewarded in proportion to their work will be lazy. Of course even Lenin recgonized that, and solved it simply by stating that people who didn't work would be treated "as cattle."But apparently that wasn't enough, there was still something critical he was missing. So I'm wondering, in the absence of religion, if any of you floundering imbeciles and adherents of "social justice," can actually explain the science behind the primary rule actually keeping us alive and above ground for the bulk of human history? If private property is the denial of opportunity, how does it prevent starvation?When we erode private-property rights, what are we eroding, what is the differential effect?Or would you have us discard it in favor of things even a state-college nitwit can understand, like the simple condom farmer
 
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FDAXHunter
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Joined: November 5th, 2002, 4:08 pm

I challenge any of you Wilmott "scientists" to explain private property.

December 16th, 2002, 8:03 am

Hm... interesting list:1. Why shouldn't Johnny have the cake... better if he has it, than if nobody has it.2. CO2 is not really the major problem, methane is.3. Kants categorical imperative never really made it into the subconcious behavior of the human race, I don't think.4. Actually, you can't construct a continuous replicating portfolio.5. - No comment -6. How about "Private Property - Trespassers will be shot"As to the rest of your question, I have no idea.Regards.
 
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Johnny
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I challenge any of you Wilmott "scientists" to explain private property.

December 16th, 2002, 9:28 am

1. Social Justice - if Johnny can't have cake, then nobody should be allowed to have any cake2. Global Warming - everybody eating cake means too much farting means too much methane: Global Warming3. Human Rights - Johnny should give everyone else enough cake that if positions were reversed, he'd still be happy (Rawls)4. Black Scholes - cannot continuously replicate cake payoff as baking time leads to excess discrete time intervals5. Marriage - someone to make cake for me? someone to share my cake with?6. Private Property - it's my cake and I'll eat it all if I want to. Cannot make anyone else better off by giving them cake without making me worse off by taking some of my cake away (Pareto).Farmer: are you in any way related to MobPsycho?
 
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FDAXHunter
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Joined: November 5th, 2002, 4:08 pm

I challenge any of you Wilmott "scientists" to explain private property.

December 16th, 2002, 9:37 am

For that, Johnny should have all the cake, and shouldn't have to share it.All the best, Merry Christmas.
 
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Marsden
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Joined: August 20th, 2001, 5:42 pm

I challenge any of you Wilmott "scientists" to explain private property.

December 16th, 2002, 2:04 pm

Several years ago, I documented the following rules of canine property law:1. Ownership is initially claimed by picking up an object with one's mouth.2. Ownership is maintained either by keeping an object in one's mouth or by keeping it in a position such that it can immediately be taken into one's mouth.3. An unowned object may be claimed by any dog; however, if more than own dog claims ownership of a given item at roughly the same time, then the biggest dog takes ownership.4. A previously owned object becomes unowned and available for new ownership when the dog that previously owned it fails to pay attention to it and another dog claims ownership of it as described above.As with most polite social constructs of humans, our property laws were no doubt derived from canine property laws. However, our simian jealousies and egos have prevented us from effectively copying the elegant laws of the canines, much to our misery.
 
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kr
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Joined: September 27th, 2002, 1:19 pm

I challenge any of you Wilmott "scientists" to explain private property.

December 16th, 2002, 8:19 pm

Maybe I'm missing the point... but I don't think anyone responded to the question. Ownership means stewardship. So, even when you are a kid you don't loan your bike because the neighborhood punks are going to mess it up. It's the one force that acts to resist the depreciation of the property. People are expected to learn this informally once they start to live on their own, when parents stop replacing everything that gets lost or stolen. When private-property rights are eroded, the net benefits of the property rapidly evaporate. Public-property alternatives rarely work because the joint cooperation event is too unlikely (stag vs. hare game theory issue). The difference in retained value is gigantic.
 
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Aaron
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Joined: July 23rd, 2001, 3:46 pm

I challenge any of you Wilmott "scientists" to explain private property.

December 16th, 2002, 8:43 pm

Private property antedates second grade by five years. All parents know the toddler rules of possession:What I like is mine.What is in my hand is mine.What I see first is mine.What looks like mine is mine.What I can take is mine.What is broccoli is yours.The general concept of private property is older than Homo Sapiens, many animals have territories and other constructs they manifest property rights toward. However, the specific meaning in different in different cultures, historical periods and situations. One basic attribute is the right to use the property, another is the right to exclude others from using it. Typically these rights are constrained, for example, I might have the right to use something, but not destroy it or maintain possession if I do not use it. I may be allowed to prevent others from use that would damage the property or commercial use, but not otherwise. Some rights may be exercised unilaterally, others may require consent of others.Therefore, I don't think there is any general concept of private property that needs to be defended or interpreted by "scientists" with or without quotes. It's a shorthand expression for a variety of different legal arrangements like "membership" or "consent."
 
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DominicConnor
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Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

I challenge any of you Wilmott "scientists" to explain private property.

December 17th, 2002, 8:04 am

A scientific defintion requires that you can say a is or is not owned.I define property as that which you can deny to others.It follows that ownership is a list of actions that you can deny to others. Common law (Britain, Canada, USA, Australia, etc) doesn't really have absolute ownership, rather the law and courts can decide that a certain individual has a greater claim to certain rights than another. Thus you may own a share's dividend, but not the voting rights, or grazing on land but not the mineral rights.The Soviet Union, China, Iraq, Iran and Israel and Europe have used variants of the Napoleonic code, which has absolute ownership, at least in theory.Under British law you don't own your own body, indeed it cannot be owned by anyone, even when you are dead. As I understand it, this is an artifact of our abolition of slavery. The is abolition of course was done at the point of a gun, Unfortunately we were not at that time powerful enough to impose it upon the USA like we did most everywhere else. Thus the states were condemnd many years later to a nasty war.Dominiconnor
 
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FDAXHunter
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Joined: November 5th, 2002, 4:08 pm

I challenge any of you Wilmott "scientists" to explain private property.

December 17th, 2002, 8:09 am

According to the Devil's Dictionary (by Ambrose Bierce):PROPERTY, n. Any material thing, having no particular value, that may be held by A against the cupidity of B. Whatever gratifies the passion for possession in one and disappoints it in all others. The object of man's brief rapacity and long indifference. Regards.
 
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rcohen
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Joined: November 15th, 2001, 12:06 pm

I challenge any of you Wilmott "scientists" to explain private property.

December 17th, 2002, 1:00 pm

Your private property is something that if you lose it in a gambling endeavor, no one gives a s***, except you and the winner.
 
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Hiboumalin
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Joined: September 9th, 2002, 8:42 pm

I challenge any of you Wilmott "scientists" to explain private property.

December 17th, 2002, 1:55 pm

"The first man who, having built a fence around a piece of land said "this is mine", and found somebody stupid enough to believe it, this man is the true founder of society"Jean Jacques Rousseau.I know my translation might slightly su#$, feel free to provide a better one ;-)Property rights - 10th grade "usus, fructus, abusus"Peace,Hiboumalin
Last edited by Hiboumalin on December 16th, 2002, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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James
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Joined: January 23rd, 2002, 2:24 pm

I challenge any of you Wilmott "scientists" to explain private property.

December 17th, 2002, 2:42 pm

The scientific explaination of private property is derived from experiment and observation. Right? Reproducible results. Right? Scientific method. Right?"Scientific Method: The principals and empirical processes of discovery and demonstration considered characteristic of or necessary for scientific investigation, generally involving the observation of phenomena, the formulation of a hypothesis concrning the phenomena, experimentation to demonstrate the truth or falseness of the hypothesis, and a conclusion that validates or modifies the hypothesis."By now, on a superficial level, most folks have observed you don't take care of others toys as well as you take care of your own.But basically, private property has greater utility both for preservation (capital preservation), and multiplication (improvement of capital).At this point in 'history' I would argue folks scientifically know private property is more optimal than public property in the same way we know drinking water keeps you from being dehydrated.Places that preserve and protect private property through a social contract = constantly increasing standard of living and even more property.Places that are communal property states enforced by power of 'communal' government = constantly worsening standard of living, crappier stuff.After running this 'experiment' for the last hundred years using real countries, real lives, and real property, I'd say the 'scientific' verdict pretty much was in.But if you want to read why in a more rigorous way, I suggest Hayek's Road to Serfdom. Followed or proceeded by Von Meises's Human Action.
 
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Aaron
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Joined: July 23rd, 2001, 3:46 pm

I challenge any of you Wilmott "scientists" to explain private property.

December 17th, 2002, 3:49 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: DCFCA scientific defintion requires that you can say a is or is not owned.....The is abolition of course was done at the point of a gun, Unfortunately we were not at that time powerful enough to impose it upon the USA like we did most everywhere else. Thus the states were condemnd many years later to a nasty war.I disagree, I think you have defined an "exclusive" definition rather than a "scientific" one. There are many fuzzy concepts in science, which are true to varying degrees of different things. Also there are multicategory definitions. An example of the first is "solid." Most things that can exist in solid and liquid phases move sharply from one to the other, but a few such as butter, have a gradual transition in which the substance is neither solid nor not-solid. An example of the second is subatomic electric charge. It's not true that particles either have it or they don't, they can be +1, --1/3 or a number of other possible values."Private property" is both fuzzy (there are many intermediate states between total ownership and total non-ownership) and multicategory (you can have a life estate, beneficial interest, possession or many other types of ownership).England not only did not try to abolish slavery in what is now the United States, it allied with the South (the pro-slavery side) in the US Civil War and picked up far more profit from the system than any Southern planter. Many English people worked against slavery, but the financial and political elite in London were strongly in favor of it (the same is true, even more so, of the financial elite in New York; in fact New York would have joined the South in the Civil War if it could have figured out how to do it geographically. I don't know about London). I feel that the moral guilt for slavery falls lighter on the actual slaveowner than the people who made profits from the system. I think slavery represents an important challenge to the profession of finance, as well as law and politics, because it shows how easily the field lends its power to clearly evil goals.
 
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DominicConnor
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Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

I challenge any of you Wilmott "scientists" to explain private property.

December 17th, 2002, 4:40 pm

> it allied with the South (the pro-slavery side) It did not ally with the South. It was certainly very sympathetic to their cause, and some individuals took action, mostly in the cause of what they would regard as free trade. Shots were exchanged, but no real war.However even the dimmest Brit worked out the the South never had chance against an industrialised state.Supporting the South would have been really quite easy. Sail the British fleet into Washington. As you may recall the White house is that colour for that very reason.At that point in time Britain had no decent enemies, so could have focused its might solely on the northern states which it outgunned handsomely. It could have roped in some German states, and possibly France.New York could have secceeded with British cover. Perhaps Britain would have kept NY as part of the settlement as a free port.However, by this time British sentiment had moved on from military supported emancipation to a sortb of libertarianism where it was deemed that if you weren't smart enough to free yourself, then you deserved what you got.You're right of course that the money men liked being a war supplier and didn't want the appalling cost of supporting a bunch of degenerates. Alas, Britain failed to learn the lesson of the folly of choosing officers from an inbred class of upper class drones, and the effect of modern weapons on troops crossing open ground. This led to the carnage in WWI.>I feel that the moral guilt for slavery falls lighter I don't see it as guilt. I'm a Heinleiner, I believe in personal superiority, not racial. I am superior to an Afrikaner or a southern slave owner because I don't need laws to coddle me against competition. I win or lose on my own merits, but of course see my disclaimer.Evil is not the same as very bad.Slaveowners weren't 'evil'. Most genuinely believed that black people's "true" position was as slaves, and that little could be expected of them. The latter of course being an aspect of modern left-wing views of coloured people. Again as a Heinleiner, albeit a white person, I fear for the effect that being a slaveowning society has on the owners.To be "evil" requires that you know what you are doing is wrong. Everything else is weakness, ba luck, stupidity, religious fervour or incompetence.
 
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jaiman
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Joined: February 13th, 2002, 4:37 pm

I challenge any of you Wilmott "scientists" to explain private property.

December 17th, 2002, 7:57 pm

The White House is white because some Canadians burned it down. The true north strong and free indeed.
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