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giovedì 21 luglio 2011

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The corollary of the right of ownership is the right of disownership. So if I cannot sell a thing, it is evident that I do not really own
*F.A. Harper, Liberty, a Path to Its Recovery 

Whatever the form of government, the rulers are the true owners of the property. However, in a democracy or, in the long run under any form of government, the rulers are transitory.
 

They can always lose an election or be overthrown by a coup d’etat.
Hence, no government official regards himself as more than a transitory owner. As a result, while a private owner, secure in his property and owning its capital value, plans the use of his resource over a long period of time, the government official must milk the property as quickly as he can, since he has no security of ownership. Further, even the entrenched civil servant must do the same, for no government official can sell the capitalized value of his property, as private owners can. 


In short, government officials own the use of resources, but not their capital value (except in the case of the “private property” of a hereditary monarch). When only the current use can be owned, but not the resource itself, there will quickly ensue uneconomic exhaustion of the resources, since it will be to no one’s benefit to conserve it over a period of time and to every owner’s advantage to use it up as quickly as possible. 

In the same way, government officials will consume their property as rapidly as possible

Rothbard, "Power and Market" pag. 232 


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