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The Cody Blog: Private Property Is Always Key To Prosperity and Peace

Friday, August 26, 2005

Private Property Is Always Key To Prosperity and Peace

Fascinating Op Ed in the WSJ this week by George Melloan which underscores so many of the points I try to make about private property's ramifications on societies.

Some of the highlights:

Individual Jews and Arabs [in the Middle East] have one common bond: For years they have been pawns in a political chess match, with only limited rights to what U.S. founding fathers held most dear, the ownership of property.

The Arabs of Gaza have even fewer rights. They are 1.3 million souls packed into this tiny enclave on the Mediterranean, with Israel on the north and east and Egypt to the south. Only a privileged few own land. Most of the others are trapped in a squalid welfare state operated by the United Nations.

The U.N. took on the Mideast as one of its first big projects after World War II and, unfortunately, has never left. After granting Israel statehood in 1948, the U.N. turned to the Arabs the Israelis had defeated in battle. Under Resolution 302, the General Assembly in 1949 created the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Today, it is the largest U.N. bureaucracy, with 25,000 employees providing health care, schooling and social services to some 4 million Palestinians in 59 refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza.

Indeed, it can be argued that the Israeli kibbutzim were the only form of communism that ever achieved economic success for any sustained period.

The ambiguities of property rights have been a source of strife in the Mideast for decades. Everyone fights over land, but nobody actually owns it.

Aside from the brilliant analysis of how the lack of private property laws are creating wars and death and destruction and horror and terror....

How about that fact that the single largest UN bureaucracy is the socialist provider to 59 refugee camps in the Middle East. Uh, you think the UN's incented to end the wars, the poverty and create self-sustaining capitalist infrastructure? NO THEY'RE NOT. The UN bureaucracies have a vested interest in keeping these people in poverty and dependent upon the UN.

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10/03/2005 02:14:00 PM  

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