L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 127, June 25, 2001
TRUST ME -- CALL ME!
From: "Curt Howland" <email@example.com>
Much of what we argue against the government doing "for" us is justified by saying that it is a service. I find the echos of this "service" model in much of what Microsoft does, especially in how each generation of their software is fatter, slower, and less useful.
I do not believe Microsoft is a "monopoly" in the technical sense, since they cannot use force against someone who does not want their product. But "freedom" is not endangered only by dark-suited faceless bureaucrats, freedom is in danger from anyone who believes they know better than you how to live your life.
It's 10 o'clock. Do you know where your files are?
From: "John Morris" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
While I'm sure the statists will be all too happy to use the issue to take a few more rights away, the case isn't the simple case of private property rights described. The power company is part owner of the land in question, as he states:
"As part of my land crosses a power line right-of-way, it is already cleared and is ideal for livestock (i.e. my horse). Power lines are a magnet for birds, deer, and (regrettably) four wheel drive enthusiasts."
Guess who cleared that part of his land? Yup, the power company. If every land owner fenced off the power lines the line crews would have a devil of a time maintaining the power grid so free access to their lines and the right/obligation to keep it cleared out was part of what they bought as part of the "right of way".
Now the ATV riders may or may not be trespassing, that would depend on a careful reading of the contracts signed and whether the power company would want to be in the politically uncomfortable position of being seen as stopping the ATV'ing folks if they did turn out to have a say in the matter.
Even without that complication, property rights have always had fuzzy grey areas. See the fights over water in the western US for one example ripped from current events. If every landowner strictly enforced their property lines, there wouldn't be too many square miles left on this planet one would be free to walk outside your own yard and the public streets.
Of course that's about where we now find ourselves. The long term solution is to get our butts off this single overcrowded and overregulated planet and get ourselves some more real estate.