Originally Posted by RussP
What Are Property Rights?
"Whether they are formal or informal, whether they apply to tangible or intangible assets, property rights consist of multiple characteristics often referred to by lawyers as a bundle of sticks, each of which represents a different aspect of property ownership. These ownership characteristics include the right to use (and so to proﬁt from) an asset, the right to exclude others from using the asset, and the right to transfer the asset to others. In its most complete form, ownership of property grants the owner control of all the sticks as long as use does not infringe on the rights of others. The owner of a car, for example, has the right to carry friends and family in the car, as long as he or she drives it in a manner that does not endanger other drivers. Property rights allow the owner to determine the uses of the asset and to derive value from the asset. They also ensure the owner of the rights to physically transform and even destroy the asset."
"Locke’s perspective inﬂuenced Adam Smith’s work, especially The Wealth of Nations (1776), a century later. Smith built on Locke’s view that property existed within a larger system of natural rights and that the institutions of property and government were self-reinforcing."
"The authors of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution shared Locke’s and Smith’s beliefs in the importance of private ownership. The Founding Fathers ﬁrmly believed that the human right to private property had to be protected in law as the basis for individual liberty, a free society, and a free economy. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, for example, was aimed at protecting private property from governmental takings. Because the rule of law and constitutions guaranteed the sanctity of property in England and the United States during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, trade and commerce ﬂourished and economies grew."
"PROPERTY RIGHTS: The right to life is the source of all rights—and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product is a slave."
Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selﬁshness