In a recent post, I argued that one of the benefits of including a textual reference to property rights in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as suggested all too briefly by Stephen Harper during the campaign, would be as a catalyst for placing the subject of the distinction between private property and public interest within the broader debates of the country. As a demonstration, BB&T, an American banking, insurance and financial institution announced yesterday
Would this sort of energized discussion and corporate policy happen in Canada? Including property rights in the Charter is no guarantee that it would, but considering the passion for defending what are only privileges and immunities interpreted as rights in the Charter, a genuine right might excite a more genuine defense.
it will not lend to commercial developers that plan to build condominiums, shopping malls and other private projects on land taken from private citizens by government entities using eminent domain.
Cynics and critics of capitalism may like to suggest that BB&T's policy is no more than a marketing campaign in the expectation of profits than a statement of principles — to which I would rejoin, so what? The difference between profits and principles is ultimately rhetorical in the context of business. Businesses will not realize their potential for profit in environments where property is subject to arbitrary and poltiically-motivated expropriation. At the very least, BB&T's collateral runs the risk of being seized.
Links via Reason's Hit and Run.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Posted by MapMaster on Thursday, January 26, 2006