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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/16006/enjoying-the-right-to-property/

Enjoying the right to property

March 13, 2011 by

In order to alert its readers before they make changes to their (nominal) property, my local paper devoted an article in today’s edition to the morass that is the building code.

It turns out that within the city limits of Columbus, Ohio, you must have a building permit to change a light switch, drywall a basement, or install a water heater. But, according to the paper, you are free to install a swing set, replace a gas appliance, or change a light bulb.

Change a light bulb?!? That’s an odd callout. Isn’t it?

Not really. Since government claims first right to our property and our lives, and based on the existing codes and other interventions, the light bulb callout answers an all-to-real concern.

{ 20 comments }

Scott Lazarowitz March 13, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Perhaps some civil disobedience and withdrawal of consent (to the compulsory totalitarian State) are in order.

Even though the government requires you to get its permission to change a light switch, install a water heater or do drywall, just do those things anyway, without permission. How could a bureaucrat possibly know?

The government’s “first claim to our property and our lives” is by our consent. How did we get to the point that people have consented to giving the State such ownership of our lives and property?

Andrew_M_Garland March 13, 2011 at 5:36 pm

They can and will command you to tear out what you did and redo it under supervision and according to code. They will do this even if the installation meets code, because they want to enforce their right to control the renovation in the first place.

If you disagree, they can place a lien on your property. Then, try to sell it, until they are satisfied.

K. Chris C. March 13, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Hence the 2nd. Amendment.

Freedom Fighter March 13, 2011 at 10:11 pm

I second that motion.

Capn Mike March 13, 2011 at 5:47 pm

As an old sixties hipster:

We NEVER asked permission. We NEVER reported our activities. We NEVER consulted the authorities.

We lived free and broke laws constantly and completely unconsciously.

What the heck has changed? Why are we having this conversation?

Withhold consent for God’s sake.

ACitizenwithoutaCane March 13, 2011 at 8:07 pm

“Why are we having this conversation?”

Because it is important to show how much control the state and its lackeys want for themselves over each citizen.

Charlie March 13, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Wait, you’re not putting in an incandescent bulb, are you? Well, harumph, maybe the authorities do need to keep an eye on you even there…

K. Chris C. March 13, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Of course a lot more could have been said about this article.

Say the $40 light switch change and the local unionized bureaucrat forcing entry to ones home and property for and “inspection” or two:
“…not every project, such as changing a light switch, gets the permit it needs. …permits range from $40 to several hundred dollars”

Now comes the eternal “we protect you, even from yourself argument”:
“But building officials argue that the permits, which prompt an inspection of the project, are designed to protect homeowners from shoddy work, done by themselves or a contractor.”

Then this typical mendacity that reveals the true socialist attitude of the institution he serves; that they own it all and we need to protect it, the “housing stock” that is:
“There are a lot of issues that can pop up – safety issues,” LaCloche said. “It’s our jobs as regulators to ensure that the housing stock remains safe.”

But don’t worry, they’ll help us negotiate their minefield:
“With the help of LaCloche and Roger Eastep, the chief building official in Upper Arlington, we provide a guide to what needs a permit and what doesn’t.”

Matt March 13, 2011 at 10:30 pm

“It’s our jobs as regulators to ensure that the housing stock remains safe.”

You don’t even have to be particularly free-market to realize that this is already done without the need for the gubmint by the home inspector you hire before buying a house. If the previous owner has screwed something up, the home inspector will advise me and I can either negotiate repairs into the price or find a better house elsewhere.

Daniel March 14, 2011 at 3:32 am

No you can’t. Don’t you know human beings are stupid and cretinous beasts of burden acting merely on reflex and instinct.

Where it not for the government, we’d still be living in caves, trying to figure out if rocks are edible, that catch fire and burn up in two minutes flat,

Shay March 14, 2011 at 12:24 pm

“With the help of LaCloche and Roger Eastep, the chief building official in Upper Arlington, we provide a guide to what needs a permit and what doesn’t.”

Hmmm, that sounds unsafe. What if the helpless citizen misreads the guide and fails to get a permit where he is obligated to? We had better just require that he ask big brother to handle the whole task for him.

Big Brother March 13, 2011 at 9:45 pm

But, according to the paper, you are free to install a swing set, replace a gas appliance, or change a light bulb.
For the time being… Thank you, Columbus Dispatch for alerting us to this loophole. A committee has been formed to work on ways to close it.

K. Chris C. March 14, 2011 at 1:19 am

Pick me! Pick me!

I want to chair the light bulb sub-committee of the Owners, Utility and Reconstruction Standards (OURS) loophole adjustment committee.

I will assure owners of a more pervasive secure environment for proper and safe reconstructions and installations of illumination devices of the electromotive nature that lower and reduce the tenebrosity of home and environs.

I’m your man!

Freedom Fighter March 14, 2011 at 2:07 pm

How many bureaucrats does it take to change a light bulb ? LOL !!! >:-D

Avitodvd March 13, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Wow, why we need the conversation? We can’t enjoy the right of our property? Alright? such as change a light bulb? Oh, my god!

ddd March 14, 2011 at 2:24 am
The Admired March 14, 2011 at 1:29 pm

This is both comic and tragic. The government steps on our lives when and where it should not and the opposite is true as well.

Freedom Fighter March 14, 2011 at 2:05 pm

I want to own my own soul !

Why can’t I have private property rights on my own soul ?

What’s the point of owning my own house, own car, full paycheck even my own body if I have to give back my soul to God for him to abuse it again and again ?

If you would fight war to have private property rights, isn’t your soul an even bigger reason to go to war ?

Given that God keeps all life for himself and doesn’t let us own our own soul, doesn’t that make God the enemy ?

You can’t be a christian and a libertarian at the same time.

Patrick March 16, 2011 at 1:12 am

i doubt that many of the folks that make arguments as strong as these believe they are owned by an invisible man in the sky. maybe i’m wrong?

Conveyancing Manchester March 31, 2011 at 11:59 am

This article confirms just how important it is to employ a professional conveyancing expert to handle your property transaction for you. That way, all the idiosyncrasies of your property and just what you can and can’t do with it will be brought to your attention from the outset.

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