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National Hazard

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sad.gif posted on 16-2-2012 at 12:56
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Hazard to Other Members, due to repeated speculation and posting of untested highly dangerous procedures!

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[*] posted on 16-2-2012 at 14:24

The concept of "property rights" is interesting. Property rights originally only applied to things that carried on their bodies. Then there developed collective property rights of a tribe to hunting grounds, and in situations where people remain more stationary, the right to the shelters people had built. The concept of land ownership appeared with the development of agriculture. Property rights were even applied to people in the form of serfdom or slavery!

It was once common for the governments to grant monopoly rights to a certain form of trade. These rights to exclusive trade became commodified, and could be sold, effectively becoming a form of property. This still exists in modern governments. The city of New York, for example, issues only a limited number of taxi licenses, which can be sold by the owner to other individuals.

The individual ‘medallion’ -- the transferable aluminum plate found on the hood of all cabs -- sold for $678,000, according to data compiled from the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

As you can imagine, the taxi businesses that currently hold these licenses have used their influence to prevent the city from issuing any new licenses. When a business pays so much money for such an artificial commodity, it often tries to limit the expansion of supply so that the price of its commodified privilege does not decline, in the same way that homeowners are concerned about declining property prices in their neighborhood.

Utility companies often hold monopoly rights, and since the company can be sold, these rights have become commodified. Many pollution credit exchange schemes seek to commodify the right to pollute (I believe this is wrong, there should only be a flat CO2 tax).

Then, of course, with the industrial revolution, industrial capital became of importance: factories, machines, rail ways, planes.
Of course, this capital was often made by exploited workers. Several governments used policies to impoverish, starve, and imprison their citizens so they would be forced to work in the factories, giving the factory owners a cheap supply of labor.
(forgive my Marxist interpretation of history :P )

The phenomena of "intellectual property rights" is a relatively recent one. And now private corporations own the right to use certain radio/microwave frequencies! This just goes to show that the idea of "property rights" is really an artificial construct, and it is often just institutionalised corruption.

[Edited on 16-2-2012 by AndersHoveland]
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International Hazard

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[*] posted on 19-2-2012 at 01:59
Gigapedia R.I.P.

Just about a year ago re-established itself as
Good run while it lasted

More troubling is the closing of
It's now functional again but you must establish a user account.

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