It’s very easy to think of property rights only in terms of land and what is referred to as the “bundle of rights” that come with land ownership: Water rights, mineral rights, etc. So a landowner could hold the deed to the land, but sell the mineral rights to an oil company and it’s all covered under “property” rights.
But in the broader sense, property rights can also refer to things that are owned or created by you: Websites, writing, art, intellectual property including memes, trademarks and copyrights. But it also refers to your wealth, meager as it may be, it’s yours and no one has the right to it- it’s your property. If you are robbed, a crime has been committed, you have the right to seek recourse.
This is an extremely important concept to understand because if affects how and what the government is “entitled” to and is the underlying theme behind politics. The government is legally allowed to tax you (take you property) in part, (perhaps in theory?) because they offer you something in exchange- roads, police, fire are the few that are often used as examples.
An extraordinary post from Roger D. Luchs at American Thinker discusses the over-reaching effects of ObamaCare on property rights in America, including the history of property rights, and how the Constitution has been interpreted to protect those rights. The entire piece, ObamaCare: The 28th Amendment is excellent, but a small excerpt is here:
Absent a change in that law, then, the President’s ability to infringe upon and override state sovereignty over insurance business conducted within the states’ respective borders is minimal. ObamaCare, nevertheless, includes several mandates to insurers which arguably exceed the Federal government’s powers to regulate insurance. However, those pale in comparison to the individual mandate.
It is that mandate that most clearly signals Obama’s intent to “rewrite” the Constitution to dispense with its fundamental character. The mandate implicates the Bill of Rights’ guarantee that persons may not be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Obama, in this regard, must be creative, because his mandate infringes upon the same right of privacy liberals fought for years to establish, in order to afford women a constitutional right to abortion. It seems self-evident that if that right inhibits the Federal and state governments from intruding upon a woman’s choice, then it also protects women, and men, from government interference in their choices affecting their personal physical and mental well-being.
ObamaCare’s guiding principle, however, is not paternalism. It is about the government’s power to identify “public uses,” as contemplated by the Fifth Amendment, and then compel unwilling individuals to engage in conduct that would, in the government’s view, advance such uses. Requiring someone to buy health insurance from a private insurer is no different, in kind, from forcing New London, Connecticut property owners to sell their land to a private development authority established by the city, so that it could devote that property to more “productive” uses In the case of ObamaCare, the “public use” contemplated is a Federally- controlled, all encompassing healthcare system that would compel the citizenry to purchase insurance, to facilitate the government’s exercise of control over how they make use of the healthcare system, which comprises about 16% of the private economy. It is a means to achieving a Federally-prescribed end.
However unjust the circumstances in Ms. Kelo’s case, at least the Fifth Amendment ensured that she would receive “just compensation”. The Constitution expressly recognizes the doctrine of eminent domain, though that is an ancient doctrine founded on the principle that real property belongs to its owners, and they may not be compelled by government to part with it, except under limited circumstances, and for a fair price.
Anyone forced to buy health insurance will also be compelled to part with private property, i.e., private wealth, but unlike in: Kelo what he receives in return is what the government instructs him to receive, i.e. insurance from a private insurer, the content of which will be regulated, to some extent, by the Federal government. It is fair to ask, if the Constitution required amendment to authorize a Federal income tax which taxpayers must pay to avoid punishment, why should an amendment not also be a prerequisite to the implementation of ObamaCare?
There is much, much more. Read the entire piece here.