Private Property Rights
“Life, Liberty and Property”
Many Historians believe that the Founders considered using the phrase; “Life, Liberty and Property” when writing the Declaration of Independence and influenced by Thomas Jefferson, settled on Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The phrase “Life, Liberty and Property” is mentioned in the 5th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. There is no doubt the founders believed private property rights were the foundation of individual liberty based on the natural right to own with what our labor produces. We often think that when discussing property we mean land, but property means anything that is rightfully yours, such as your car, cell phone, golf clubs, etc.
It has been our free market system that has allowed individuals to prosper and the free market system depends on private property rights to function. Private owners take better care of their property, if not they will bear the consequences of reduced property values and in contrast, government owned land is often in disrepair and resources are depleted.
When government places restraints on property rights it takes away our freedom to prosper and moves more power to government. We need strong protections of property rights to protect individual liberty and restrain the growth of government. The Founders created a government to protect private property rights and unfortunately now has become the biggest threat to property rights.