Why should we support property rights?
Easy, relatively correct answers:
- Data: It seems to work to increase prosperity, and a rising tide seems like it really does lift all boats. Therefore for any society that I am in, or any society I am concerned about the general welfare of...I should advocate property rights. There is no known system that makes the poorest members of a society more better off over time than do property rights.
- Freedom: All known leader-selection processes select for the amoral/actively immoral leaders (as judged by any extant moral framework besides might makes right). Any approach that removes decisions from central authority, and distributes to is a good one. Mob rule may or may not compare favorably to evil autocrats (fewer genocides, anyhow), but it certainly ain't much better. Property rights is both better than mobs and better than autocrat decisions over time in almost 100% of cases...therefore we should support it if we are allowed to participate in the property-ownership business, or if we are disinterested observers preferring maxU.
- Conservativism: Don't break shit that works Especially the important stuff. This is highly underappreciated by all non-conservatives.
- Fairness: Bob built wealth in circumstance Y. If you politically switch circumstances to circumstance X ( < Y), then, you're pre-empting Bob's decision...(and screwing with the likelihood of future Bob's creating wealth).
Reasons that fail fast:
- It's morally right. Under what model -- we've largely established on this blog that: ∀u ∈ y'all : u cannot justify your moral position as socially prescriptive.
- It benefits those excluded from the society, or from the market. It doesn't.
- Just deserts -- at 95% fidelity, the only factor involved in deserts and the modern world is being born in the right place. SOME folks (Bezos? Brin? Gates? Jobs?) appear to have been irreplaceable. Also, there are immigrants. Everyone else...we have our wealth/standard of living 98% because we're lucky to have been born where we were born, or our parents were good country-pickers...and maybe 2% because of your talents. Someone else could, and probably does do almost exactly what you do...You're replaceable, and most of what you have is good luck on your part, having been born into a good society (immigrants win on moral status here, but found isn't MUCH better than born into for just desert).
So...how do you justify the existence of a status quo that screws a set of people to those people? Usually, you don't. Might makes right, full stop.
So...back to Caplan's question...who is screwed worse...peaceful immigrants who'd like to work in the USA without welfare, or historical Jim-Crow suffering blacks?
I've said it before, and I'll say it again...you have to treat immigrants as massively subhuman in your moral calculus to be. Or you can just be human...naturally anti-foreign ... and make up reasons why you are after the fact.