Property Rights

The cornerstone of modern economies is individually owned property rights.  This allows people to allocate the property into what they regard as optimal directions. Individual gain, especially where there is competition, has proven to be the best means of economically using capital while providing the right incentives for saving. 

 

Not only must established property rights be protected by law but means must be in place to allow new property rights to be created.  This arises most notably in areas of intellectual property and in new discoveries of mineral wealth.  In both cases the ideal solution is one of "finders keepers" though this gives rise to definitional issues and practical means of excluding those who have not contracted with the owner.

 

Property rights are often mitigated by government institutions which claim that individual assets have some monopoly features that justify governmental overrides of their use.  "Access to essential facilities" is used to support claims to socialise private facilities.  It is however very rare that such "essentiality" is present.