USA 15th in Property Rights Protections. Behind…Finland?

Media Appearances, Property Rights, Frontier Centre

A news release from the Frontier Centre for Public Policy in Winnipeg points us to the most recent survey of international private property rights. The good news? The U.S. is in the top 20 percent worldwide when it comes to protecting all sorts of property rights. But before we get all self-congratulatory, consider the chart on page 28, where you will find the good ol’ USA ranks 15th…behind Finland, Singapore, Austria, Denmark, Canada and others.

Okay, so what’s the big deal? Well, consider what’s happening with property rights right here in Virginia:

House Bill 652, offered by minority leader Ward Armstrong, makes it easier to recover damages when government seizure impairs access to property. Opposing the bill, VDOT estimated that it could cost tens of millions of dollars a year. That amounts to an admission that property owners are being robbed of equivalent sums without HB 652’s protections. The measure has passed the House. A Senate Courts of Justice subcommittee is slated to take it up today.

Armstrong’s bill, which I’ve written about here and here passed the House 98-1, with only freshman Republican John Cox voting against it.

The bill does come up today, so if you can spare a moment, drop the Senators on the subcommittee an email, and tell them to recommend the bill’s passage.

And while you’re at it, remember this, again from the RTD:

Stealing from the poor to give to the rich is quite popular with municipal governments eager to rake in big bucks — which is precisely why measures such as HJ 115 and the substantially similar SJ 27 are so badly needed. Unfortunately, those measures won’t reach the governor’s desk this year — which makes it all the more important that HB 652 does.

Municipal governments, VDOT, and a host of others, to be more accurate.

The sad thing is that most of the assaults on private property come from government, and legislation designed to stop those assaults is undermined by lobbyists paid for with your tax dollars.

But hey…at least we’ve got more protections than Bangladesh, right?