Small Correction

My review of Michael Otsuka’s Libertarianism Without Inequality appears in the January, 2005 issue of Reason, not the December, 2004 issue, as I had written earlier. Oops. When it is finally posted on their web site, I’ll put up a link. (The January issue is already in mailboxes and at news stands.)

2 Responses to “Small Correction”

  1. Great review! You have quite an ability to take a book whose excerpts alone make my eyes gloss over (i.e. “Ã?Â?Ã?¢Ã?¢?Ã?¬Ã?Â?Ã?¦where ‘betterment’ is to be measured in terms of welfare understood as the ‘satisfaction of the self-interested preferences that the individual would have after ideal deliberation while thinking clearly with full pertinent information regarding those preferences.'” Whew!!!), make it understandable, and then refute the key premises in a way that’s readable and easy to retain.

    One question though: Could you elaborate on your statement that Otsuka “fails to distinguish between wealth and value, which are economic concepts, and property, which is a legal concept. Legal institutions can reassign property titles, but if property is constantly, chaotically, and unpredictably reassigned, it’s not ‘property’ at all; it has no legal security.”

    This is the first time I can remember reading these concepts defined as such. I’ve always though that your property is your property. A government confiscating it and reassigning it doesn’t make it any less your property, it simply means they are not recognizing that which is yours.

    Any further reading you could suggest on the topic? Or does this come down to an argument about whether rights are natural or conventional?