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Funny how no one paid attention to my last post, not even to say that I am utterly wrong.

I could "grr" at you if you'd like... :thumbsup:

But in all seriousness, I have become dissatisfied on my thinking so I’m going to take a break. I am still sure of my first couple posts but I lost it in the last couple... I’ll be back.

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Would all roads be owned privately in a purely capticalist system? Would all roads be toll roads?

I've read through this whole thread but it digresses so far from the original question I need to start at the beginning with my thought. (Hello by the way, I'm new)

Wouldn't we want government to still secure roads as a part of protection? Borders and such. Not to mention speed limits (I'm sure a great marketing ploy would be unlimited roads-but how safe?) the real issue to me here seems to be that this is still a government function we would voluntarily pay into so as to have access to all roads (as we do now) and not be bartering every few miles for the price of our commute. It is included in my mind to protection because criminals use roads, police and fire need roads, and everybody needs unrestricted access. Otherwise wouldn't you end up with poorer citizens restricted to one section because they couldn't afford the roads to get out? And don't you think it would result in a ridiculous array of thouroughfares that go nowhere with no compatible design?

Forgive my naivete, but that's how it appears to me straight off.

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Dominique, I will not answer all of the questions in your post, except to say that collective ownership of roads is not the function of the government. The purpose of this post is to ease your mind on the economics of private transportation.

First off, the goal of private roadway companies would be to ensure as many customers and income as possible. To achieve this they would need to keep tolls low, keep roads safe, ease congestion, and keep payment simplified.

In the case of toll highways, there are already electronic passes that bill your credit card when you pass under a radio frequency identifier. You purchase the cheap and simple RFID from the company, put money in an account with them, and you are able to drive on and off of toll highways with no congestion and lines. Any company to implement this type of service on the free market would earn more customers.

On streets in commercial areas, the businesses in the district will probably pay to maintain the roads themselves, and will not place any charges to drive through them. Their incentive is to get customers to their stores, not to drive them away.

In residential neighbourhoods, roads will generally be built by developers and landowners. In my case, I live on a privately built and maintained road sustained by the strata fees required by people living in the condos. It snowed today, and a backhoe was hired to clear the snow early in the morning.

It is in a road company's interest to connect drivers smoothly with other roads, even if they are going to a competitors roadway--otherwise he would have no customers. To expand his market, he wants to connect to as many other roads as possible, and make his roads inviting to drivers.

Eliminating the enormous subsidy for automobile orientated transportation and delimiting regulation on other forms of transport will spur fast, cheap, and convenient methods of travel. If the market is there, a bullet-train will be built by a company looking for a profit (like Dagny did). When rail-transit systems are built, there is little need to worry about compatability with other companies because they are point-to-point transportation.

What I find enormously backward are the regulations on vans and cabs in North America. Go to Asia, and a man with a van (or even motorcycle taxi) can make a living driving people to and fro. You often pay only half a buck to drive half way through the city. I've heard that business liscences for cab drivers in New York are thousands of dollars now. I'm sure the same is with buses, otherwise we would see more private bussing like in other countries, rather than almost purely government subsidized public transit.

[Edit]

[This bridge is completely privately made]

[Who Cooked the Jam? An article on roadways by the Von Mises Institute]

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Would all roads be owned privately in a purely capticalist system? Would all roads be toll roads?

Yes, all roads will be privately owned. No, I think our legal system will come-up with a payment schedule plan for every commuter who will use a privately owned road. In the Philippines, where I grew up, every city has various private subdivisions. Each subdivision has their own guard posts to guard entries in each subdivision. Homeowners need to have a car sticker to identify their residence within the subdivision. If you are a guest, the guard usually calls the homeowner, whom you are visiting within their subdivision, for security reasons. Some subdivisions demand a minimal fee. Some subdivisions just check your license and purpose in entering in their subdivision.

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Dominique, I will not answer all of the questions in your post, except to say that collective ownership of roads is not the function of the government. The purpose of this post is to ease your mind on the economics of private transportation.

Thank you very much. That was illuminating. When I first saw the question posed I was intrigued but had trouble getting into the thread in the way that it progressed. It makes more sense to me now. I still have questions, but I think on reflection I can probably answer them myself. Thanks again ;)

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Funny how no one paid attention to my last post, not even to say that I am utterly wrong.

I did read your post, but I think you are quite right--that's why I preferred to concentrate my efforts on trapping GoodOrigamiMan! ;)

If you insist, I will make one comment though:

I think that the right to life takes priority over the right to own property

I wouldn't say that rights can be prioritized. A properly defined right can never conflict with another person's right, as rights are not conditional but absolute. Since there can be no conflict, there is no need for priorities. If the exercise of a purported "right" would violate a right of another person, then the former is not a right in the first place.

Another thing to keep in mind is that a properly defined right is a right to a certain set of actions, not to a state of affairs. So you don't look at a map that shows who owns what and ask, "Is this a rightful pattern of ownership?" Instead, you look at a proposed action, for example the action of purchasing a block of land and banning GoodOrigamiMan from it, and ask, "Would that be a rightful action?"

Now, suppose that GoodOrigamiMan wants to build a homestead in an undeveloped--and therefore unowned--area somewhere in the mountains. Does he have a right to do that? Sure, he does.

After that, Michael Moore goes there and builds his own homestead to the north of GoodOrigamiMan's and doesn't allow GoodOrigamiMan to pass through it. Can he rightfully do that? Yes, he can.

Next, Moore builds a studio to the east of GoodOrigamiMan's place, and likewise keeps it private. Is he within his rights? Sure enough, he is.

Then, he erects a lookout tower to the west of GoodOrigamiMan's property, and also makes it entirely private. Can he do this by right? He absolutely can.

Finally, Mike wants to build a car park to the south of our friend's home, similarly denying him passage through it, so that he would be completely surrounded by property inaccessible to him. Would THIS action be rightful? No, it wouldn't, since it would violate GoodOrigamiMan's right to his liberty. Mr. Moore's rights end where Mr. Origami's rights begin.

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I know of no "right to access ones property."  Does a man in prison who owns a home on malibu beach have a right to access his property?  In this country, you have a right "to own prperty."  If and when you access it is a contextual issue.  When you board an airplane, do you have a right to have access to your hunting rifle? 

Admittedly, this is conjecture, but the right to property would be pretty meaningless if you could not get to it, and the right to access it might stem from this fact.

People in prison suffer a loss of rights in general, so it would not apply to them.

The right of the airline to require you to meet the terms of its "contract" for providing transport services overrides your right to always carry your rifle.

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If you insist, I will make one comment though:

I wouldn't say that rights can be prioritized. A properly defined right can never conflict with another person's right, as rights are not conditional but absolute. Since there can be no conflict, there is no need for priorities. If the exercise of a purported "right" would violate a right of another person, then the former is not a right in the first place.

LOL! :)

I asked for this, right?

Anyway, what I meant to say was that no one can use his property to threaten another man's life. I see that my statement was wrong in the sense that no one can claim another man's property because he needs it to live. I guess I didn't have this inversion of my original thought in mind, which caused me to write what I did.

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There is no right to access your land thru anyone else’s land! 

Actually, there is. It is called an easement.

An easement is established as a property right by the first person to acquire title by using the land. The original owner earned a right to access his land by ... accessing his land first. After that, the easement "went with the land" unless the owner of the land voluntarily sold or abandoned or gave away his easement.

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An easement is established as a property right by the first person to acquire title by using the land.  The original owner earned a right to access his land by ... accessing his land first.  After that, the easement "went with the land" unless the owner of the land voluntarily sold or abandoned or gave away his easement.

This is what I don’t understand though... Now if you have a right to do something – it means in effect that you do not need under any circumstance to ask for any type of permission. Now I am not saying, as some people have misinterpreted me, that I should shrivel up and die if I was trapped by private property – but if I did have to trespass I would recognize my action as trespassing regardless of whether or not my life was in danger.. I would see myself in the wrong – more or less so depending on my actions that led to that situation – and would seek to compensate whoever’s rights I violated.

Now in a capitalist society pretty much anyone who owns land is going to be surrounded by private property. So where does your right to go thru someone else’s land stop? Is it your right to go thru one person’s private land to say hi to your friend on his private land? I mean the stores are private property, the roads are private property, and this presents no problem because they like good capitalists want your business.

But my objection goes like this... lets say you gain property rights to land by accessing it, then you retain the right access it, so you are retaining the right to get to the road, to take the road to the airport, to take the plane to Los Angeles, take the gold line to Pasadena, and then to walk on the sidewalk to your bungalow home? I’m just noting – where does your right to access your land stop?

A special “right to access” would seem to need go no farther than once the realm of the irrational liberals who are trying to trap you – all you need is to get to one privately run express way and the rest of the world is in your reach.

Anyways, clarification would be appreciated. :dough:

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An easement is established as a property right by the first person to acquire title by using the land.  The original owner earned a right to access his land by ... accessing his land first.  After that, the easement "went with the land" unless the owner of the land voluntarily sold or abandoned or gave away his easement.

This is what I don’t understand though...  Now if you have a right to do something – it means in effect that you do not need under any circumstance to ask for any type of permission.  Now I am not saying, as some people have misinterpreted me, that I should shrivel up and die if I was trapped by private property – but if I did have to trespass I would recognize my action as trespassing regardless of whether or not my life was in danger.

It is not trasspassing. If you have an easement to access your property by passing over someone else's property, you have a right to do it and the property owner would be violating your rights to stop you.

Now in a capitalist society pretty much anyone who owns land is going to be surrounded by private property.  So where does your right to go thru someone else’s land stop?
If you read a property deed, it should be spelled out in detail. For instance, we own the land our house is on all the way to the street including the sidewalk in front of it. There is, however, a public easement granted to anyone who wants to peacefully walk down our sidewalk in order to get to the houses on either side of us. We used to own a house and land that had an easement granted to the utility company to access the telephone pole they owned on our property. A previous owner wrote that into the deed in exchange for the utility company establishing service for him.

But my objection goes like this... lets say you gain property rights to land by accessing it, then you retain the right access it, so you are retaining the right to get to the road, to take the road to the airport, to take the plane to Los Angeles, take the gold line to Pasadena, and then to walk on the sidewalk to your bungalow home?  I’m just noting – where does your right to access your land stop? 

Like I wrote above, that is spelled out in the land deeds of your adjoining neighbors. An easement involving just one neighbor is usually sufficient to get you to a public right-of-way -- like my sidewalk.

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It is not trasspassing.  If you have an easement to access your property by passing over someone else's property, you have a right to do it and the property owner would be violating your rights to stop you.

Sorry, I wasn’t responding in the context of having an easement present – just noting that if there was a situation of ‘trespass or die’ – I would trespass, then do my best to make up for it.

If you read a property deed, it should be spelled out in detail.  For instance, we own the land our house is on all the way to the street including the sidewalk in front of it.  There is, however, a public easement granted to anyone who wants to peacefully walk down our sidewalk in order to get to the houses on either side of us.  We used to own a house and land that had an easement granted to the utility company to access the telephone pole they owned on our property.  A previous owner wrote that into the deed in exchange for the utility company establishing service for him.
These easements sound to me like contractual agreements – which would makes sense if you are exchanging a service with lets say a road or power company. However are you making a distinction between a right to access your property and a contract that promises access to the road and sidewalk?

Like I wrote above, that is spelled out in the land deeds of your adjoining neighbors.  An easement involving just one neighbor is usually sufficient to get you to a public right-of-way -- like my sidewalk.
It seems an easement would guarantee you the right of way, but if you did not have one would you say that it is inherent in owning any house next to a street? If is it a contract that was originally made with the house and road owner that is passed down, then isn't that all it is? If so then I don’t see how it conflicts with my original position.
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It seems an easement would guarantee you the right of way, but if you did not have one would you say that it is inherent in owning any house next to a street?  If is it a contract that was originally made with the house and road owner that is passed down, then isn't that all it is?  If so then I don’t see how it conflicts with my original position.

Here's how it usually happens:

Someone homesteads some unowned land -- let's say 40 acres -- and uses a common dirt road, also used by his neighbors, to travel into town. That thoroughfare becomes established, by use, as a public right of way. (If, someday, someone wants to build another road going to town on land he owns, he can do so and charge a fee for its use, but he can't limit access on the original road.)

Years later, the homesteader wants to sell off ten acres adjacent to the road, ten acres in the back, and keep the twenty in the middle where his house is. Since he used to get to the road by travelling along the eastern edge of the property, he has an easement there, established by use, as belonging to the owners of the original 40 acres. Just to be safe, he writes that explicitly into the deed for the roadside land. To reassure the buyer of the back ten acres, he puts an explicit easement onto his twenty acre plot, but specifying that it only runs along the eastern side of the property for a width of twenty feet. There's already a road there and he doesn't want the guy in the back wandering anywhere else through his land.

He goes to the Registrar of Deeds and does a subdivision of the land. Before the Registrar issues the new deeds, he verifies that the easements and other issues that arise in a subdivision have been properly addressed.

In essence, an easement is a property right that, like all other property rights, is initially established and owned by the first person to use it as property. After that, it is the subject of contractual agreements between that owner and the people he trades with.

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Betsy, I agree with what you are saying – I’m just trying to figure out if I was more wrong or not right. So in regards to what Bryan said at the begging of this thread,

If someone is using their property to block access to your property they are violating your property rights.

The answer to this depends* on whether, A: there was a easement or contract. Or in absence of either, B: whether or not the property doing to blocking was previously used for travel. ?

If someone used a road to access his land and then that road was made unavailable or blocked – that would be violation of this rights via a non-contractual but inherent easement. This would also be the case for the land in-between the road and the house, albeit private property the rights remain to the original owner (the person or people who used it productively) and new owners could not come in then deny passage. Fair enough, and you can put it in writing just to be sure, makes sense.

Now if you buy a house that was accessed by a road you retain the same easement since it is attached to the property. And once again, having it in writing is a good thing.

My last question, unless you spark another one, is: Can you think of any circumstance where a person could block another man’s property, or access to, without violating his rights?

*I'm assuming there is a 'yes' answer to my last questoin. :D

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It is impossible by definition: The blocking IS the rights violation.

I considered that but dismissed it because “blocking” could either be active or passive. Meaning I could build a big wall around your property, or I could have a big wall and sell you the property in the middle without an easement.

I still hold fast that the latter case is not a rights violation.

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I considered that but dismissed it because “blocking” could either be active or passive.  Meaning I could build a big wall around your property, or I could have a big wall and sell you the property in the middle without an easement.

I still hold fast that the latter case is not a rights violation.

Of course not, but it isn't blocking either. It is helping a fool part with his money! :P

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My problem with the scenarios given above is alluded to in GoodOrigamiMan's post: "I mean the stores are private property, the roads are private property, and this presents no problem because they like good capitalists want your business."

As long as people are good capitalists, then no problem, and I don't think that it will be a problem with some commercial enterprises. But what is to keep environmentalist wack-jobs from buying large tracts of land with the express purpose of thwarting transportation, industry, etc.? I can just imagine a George Soros type buying up land around any company on his hit list and making access difficult if not impossible. I can see coalitions of people like George Soros combining their resources to wield even greater power to affect their particular agendas. Also, purely from the standpoint of capital, how is a company going to be able to afford enough land in order to ensure the swift distribution of products? This need to purchase land for infrastructure seems likely to kill small businesses.

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My last question, unless you spark another one, is:  Can you think of any circumstance where a person could block another man’s property, or access to, without violating his rights?   

Since the usual easements are assumed, the only way it could happen is if the person with the easement explicitly disposes of it by contract, gift, etc.

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But what is to keep  environmentalist wack-jobs from buying large tracts of land with the express purpose of thwarting transportation, industry, etc.?  I can just imagine a George Soros type buying up land around any company on his hit list and making access difficult if not impossible.

That can't happen. The company has a property right (an easement) in the land that Soros buys which the pre-Soros owner can't sell.

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Of course not, but it isn't blocking either. It is helping a fool part with his money! <_<

A brick wall is blocking me if I want to reach the other side – regardless of whether or not I have the right. Blocking qua blocking isn’t illegal – I think you would concede that I could legally block you from entering my house.

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