Property Rights

Freedom of Contract: A Bedrock of Freedom

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Freedom of contract used to be understood as a cornerstone of civilization and a crucial element in economic progress. The Constitution’s Framers included in Article 1, Section 10, a clause stating that Congress was forbidden to enact any law impairing the obligation of contracts. And in the Civil Rights Act of 1866, Congress included the freedom to enter into ... [click for more]

Trump Sends Property Rights Up in Flames

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Alongside of Catholicism and Protestantism, the primary religion in the United States is not Islam or Judaism but the American civic religion. The Pledge of Allegiance is the creed of this religion and the American flag is its chief symbol. In the American civic religion, the worst sin that an American can commit is to refuse to pledge allegiance to ... [click for more]

The Tyranny of Eminent Domain

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The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain by Ilya Somin (University of Chicago Press, 2015), 336 pages. The Supreme Court’s 2005 decision in Kelo v. City of New London has become infamous, singled out by defenders of liberty and property for special opprobrium. The Court’s opinion was a sobering reminder ... [click for more]

Government versus Progress

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Intellectual Privilege: Copyright, Common Law, and the Common Good by Tom W. Bell (Mercatus Center 2014), 238 pages. Permissionless Innovation: The Continuing Case for Comprehensive Technological Freedom by Adam Thierer (Mercatus Center 2014), 1089 pages. These books cover two different aspects of the same phenomenon — how laws and regulations obstruct progress. Tom Bell’s Intellectual Privilege examines copyright law, which ... [click for more]