Property: Who Owns It? And Labour Legislation

First Published: 2000-01-30

Property is a necessity. “Property” doesn-t mean simply land, or any physical good. It is anything people can use, control, sell or exchange. Property rights mean freedom to do what one chooses with ones property. A business is a property just as a parcel of land; a car or any other object is owned. With a right to ownership comes the necessity to feel legally secure and protected in the right to use of the property.

Labour Legislation now being proposed raises the paramount issue whether an employer or a Minister of government has jurisdiction over critical operations of privately owned business. After the “smoke and mirror” phase of discussion passes there is but one conclusion; if the Labour Bill becomes law the right of individual ownership to private property (one-s business) is no longer a constitutionally protected right. Entitlement to the free use of the property passes to a government Minister who becomes the final arbiter.

Because private property and protection by a Constitution has long been recognized as a fundamental requirement for a civil and prosperous society, it is difficult to comprehend the inevitable degradation of the country when the Labour Bill changes private property rights to collective state rights.

The Labour Bill is just another attempt to “reform” the market economy, to replace competition with government planning that F.A. Hayek in his book Road to Serfdom so relentlessly warned the world against. It is important for all freedom loving people to recognize the signs and stand in defense of private property and the inherent right of the individual owner to be the sole arbiter of its use.

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