[ExI] External costs (was Re: are all cultures equivalent?)

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Tue Apr 21 06:46:58 UTC 2009

On Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 6:51 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2009/4/20 Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>:
>> ### Ah, so you reject the legitimacy of the notion of individual
>> property rights. Fine, since this implies you cannot make an ownership
>> claim to your house and body (remember, you just rejected this type of
>> right), I and my friends will help ourselves to whatever we like. Only
>> cunning and ruthlessness will decide who survives, just like in the
>> old days in the jungle.
> Property law is very complex. There is no obvious or natural set of
> rules to determine who has the right to own what. For example, to most
> societies the idea that someone could own the air is absurd, and to
> some hunter gatherer societies the notion of owning land is equally
> absurd. And the good capitalists in the street I live in would take
> action against me if I decided to use my house as a brothel, since it
> is generally felt (rightly or wrongly) that this would ruin the
> amenity of the street, and is contrary to town planning laws. Like
> taxes, town planning laws and environment protection laws are
> something most people support (which is why they exist) but which most
> people would flout if there was a profit in it for them to do so and
> they could get away with it.

### The main point of my paragraph is that once you agree on a method
of generating property rights (be it polycentric, or other less smart
ways) it is a very bad idea to break such laws, whatever their
specific content might be.


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