|Ted wrote, |
As for the public ownership of land, the only way I can interpret Bill's stance is not that he denies it in fact, but that he prefers to describe it as something other than ownership. In Post 27, I quoted Rand's view on the proper acquisition of original property, to wit:
Observe that she does not regard the government's custodianship as "public property," even though that's what it was called, for she states, "The citizens did not have to pay the government as if it were an owner; ownership began with them, and they earned it . . . Thus the government in this case, was acting not as the owner but as the custodian of ownerless resources . . ." I agree.
A notable example of the proper method of establishing private ownership from scratch, in a previously ownerless area, is the Homestead Act of 1862, by which the government opened the Western frontier for settlement and turned "public land" over to private owners. The government offered a 160-acres farm to any adult citizen who would settle on it and cultivate it for five years, after which it would become his property. Although that land was originally regarded, in law, as "public property," the method of its allocation, in fact, followed the proper principle (in fact, but not in explicit ideological intention). The citizens did not have to pay the government as if it were an owner; ownership began with them, and they earned it by the method which is the source and root of the concept of "property": by working on unused material resources, by turning a wilderness into a civilized settlement. Thus, the government in this case, was acting not as the owner but as the custodian of ownerless resources who defines objectively impartial rules by which potential owners may acquire them.