Just as an individual should have the right to control his or her own body, each individual should also have the right to control the fruits of his or her labor. People should have the freedom to engage in voluntary economic exchanges, and to form voluntary economic organizations, whether for non-profit or profit purposes, as long as they respect the equal rights of others.
Property Rights Based on JusticeEdit
- Video: Land Value Tax
There are two forms of property:
- Human-made products, such as cars, houses, and machinery
- Land, which refers to spatial locations, along with the natural resources within those locations - therefore, land was not produced by any person.
Out of justice and practicality, it is proper to allow an individual to keep the rewards from his or her labor. So, there should be the least taxes possible on labor, because taxes on labor take the fruits of labor. Such taxes are not only unjust, but also lower the incentive to be productive. Taxes on income, sales, or buildings all take away the rewards of labor and productivity, so they are the most harmful kinds of taxes. The least harmful tax is a tax on land location value or on extraction of natural resources, because those are not products of labor, but are fixed resources.
Land is fundamentally different from products made by human effort, because no person can produce land, meaning locations and natural resources. So, property in land needs to be treated somewhat differently from other types of property, in order to prevent over-concentrated ownership of land and natural resources.
End Corporate WelfareEdit
Government should not subsidize special interests. For example, corporate welfare should not be provided by government. Also, government should not protect corporations from competition, by such means as monopolistic types of licensing laws, not related to safety or consumer protection. For example, license fees should be no higher than administrative costs, and there should be no arbitrary quotas on the number of licenses issued.
There should be strong laws against business fraud and false advertising, which violate agreements made with others.
There should be strong laws against fraud in employment practices. For example, no company should be allowed to mislead a worker into believing that working conditions are safe if there are chemical or other hazards the company is aware of.
There should be strong laws against polluting the air or water that others must use. In addition, we should remove government obstacles that prevent individuals from suing companies for polluting. For example, we should repeal the Price-Anderson Act, which severely restricts the right of victims of nuclear accidents to sue the owners of nuclear plants. In addition, we should remove laws that require victims to first spend time asking government administrative bureaucracies to look into a situation, rather than letting the victims immediately pursue a court action against a company. The government also should not subsidize developers.
Free Trade with Free CountriesEdit
We should phase in free trade with other free countries, at the same time that we are phasing in more freedom within our own country. It is unjust and impractical to suddenly allow open imports of goods from other countries before we have removed the obstacles that hinder productivity within our own country, such as high taxes on production, and hoarding of land (see 2-a). Also, it is unjust to allow imports of foreign products made using slave labor. There are shades of gray in defining slave labor. In countries that have very little freedom, such as those with high taxes on labor, or monopolistic licensing and landownership patterns, the workers’ lack of freedom can sometimes border on slavery. U.S. policy on tariffs and free trade should be based on general standards of how free a country or foreign industry is, rather than on arbitrary criteria or special interest protectionism.