Saturday, December 16, 2006

Time's Person of the Year.


**EXCLUSIVE** 7:38 PM ET... YOU were named TIME magazine 'Person of the Year' Saturday for the explosive growth and influence of user-generated Internet content such as 'blogs', video-file sharing site YouTube and social network MySpace... You -- YES, YOU -- beat out candidates including Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, China's President Hu Jintao, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi... YOU, YOU, YOU.... IT'S YOU!

Cool. I knew I'd be famous one day.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Ephemeral security.

I rent a basement suite where I live, and will be moving to a new one in a few days. My impending move has got me thinking that private property rights are meaningless if you can't own land.

Living in our consumer driven society, I have acquired much stuff over the past seven years. However, I found myself looking at the prospect of not being able to find comparable space at a price I could afford. Thus, I must divest myself of some of my possessions in order to fit into a new location. That's why the acquisition of wealth will not motivate a homeless person. What you can't fit on your back (or, if you're lucky, in your car), you can't possess. Of course property values and rent can change. Living in the city "on the grid" so to speak, you are at the mercy of a utility company to provide heat, power and water. So you work. You work to live, to hold onto that which you have.

In Canada, our Constitution does not contain any rights to private property. Some may say that those rights exist in practice anyway. However, even if you "own" property, the government has the right to tax it based on its value.

So the widowed grandmother must sell her property to pay the tax on it. Its not like there is a little spigot in her house she can turn to cash in on the speculative real estate market she's become a victim of. That why property tax is an oxymoron. It isn't your property if you have to keep paying somebody else for the right to keep it.