Arguing yes: entrepreneur Mitch Golden.
Arguing no: lawyer Raymond Dowd.
Hosted by Todd Seavey and moderated by Michel Evanchik.
Wednesday, Jan. 7, 8pm.
Basement level, 266 Broome St. at Allen St. on the Lower East Side, one block south and three west of the Delancey St. F J M Z subway stop.
And January is this blog’s “Month of Liberty (i.e., Property),” exploring similar issues and making the case for the centrality of property rights to politics, morals, and civilization — though the debate question itself is a divisive and tricky one (even among my libertarian kind), I have to admit.
Ambiguities notwithstanding though, this month I hope to show why my ultimate affiliation is to property rights as the greatest social problem-solver, not to any particular political tribe or cultural package deal. Compared to property rights (carefully defined, broadly applied, and consistently enforced), everything else is either a distraction, a source of division, or a bracketable less-urgent issue.
[...] There was some controversy last month (perhaps not as exciting as our Debate at Lolita Bar tomorrow night, of course) over a new Washington, DC visitors center that heaps praise on federal government, complete with a big inscribed quote from nineteenth-century lawyer Rufus Choate that struck some religious conservatives as bordering on idolatry: “We have built no temple but the Capitol. We consult no common oracle but the Constitution.” [...]
[...] If property rights (though not necessarily intellectual property rights, for reasons we’ll discuss at tonight’s 8pm debate) allow resources to flow in an efficient, voluntary to their most-valued uses (as suggested in my Monday entry), while government causes resources to flow in an inefficient, coerced, and arbitrary fashion, we should constantly be on guard for legal changes that blur the line between the private (that is, private-property) sector and the public (that is, government-controlled) sector. Every dime transferred from the private to the public sector is a tragedy, another opportunity for waste and lost opportunity — lost human happiness and potential. [...]
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