Monday, September 26, 2005

Property Rights and Our Pig Pens

Politicians finally stood up for property rights. Lawmakers killed a bill last week that would have increased the required distance between pigpens and any building used for human habitation from 50 to 100 feet. It’s just too bad that the only reason the House defeated the legislation was because many representatives themselves own piggeries. Every type of property out there should be afforded the same protection from government regulation.

But proponents, like Rep. Tagovailoa and Paopao, say that the public’s health is superior to "our love for our pigs." I say that if people were held personally responsible and liable for their actions, the government wouldn’t have to undermine our rights to our property to address health concerns.

If you build your pigpen too close and get sick, you pay more in personal medical costs. If you get anyone else sick, you can get sued for negligence and would have to pay for their medical costs. If you get your own kids sick, you can lose custody due to neglect and would have to pay for their medical costs. And if you get your tenants sick, they can sue you for medical costs and move out taking their rent money with them.

But the only problem with the above is that our socialized healthcare system takes the “medical costs” out of the equation. This is what you call a “moral hazard.” Because people believe the government would cover their medical costs, they take more risks to their and others’ safety than they would otherwise. Obesity and other health problems are also products of the moral hazard epidemic.

Since the government provides our healthcare, the ASG has authority over public health issues. Don’t be surprised when we see legislation to regulate, limit or tax the fast food industry because it’s supposedly their fault that people don’t have enough self-control to watch what they’re eating. Then, the politicians will patronize us by saying that we’re too weak-minded to muster up the will power to just say “no” to a Big Mac. All in the name of “public health” and “socialized medicine.”

A government big enough to give medical care is big enough to tell you how to eat and how far your pigpens should be from your home.

It’s just too bad that not enough politicians own gas stations, taxis, buses, banks, barber shops and beauty salons as well. Because if they did, we would have less licensing requirements, price controls/limits and other frivolous regulations that stagnate the growth of our economy and make us dependent on federal handouts and the canneries.

When politicians bring up another bright idea like this regulating your property, tell them, “This is my ‘pigpen.’ Leave me alone.”


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