Property Rights and Wrongs :

Longtime reader(s) of this blog will know that I have referenced the British based but globally inspired news magazine The Economist several times. I read it weekly. I enjoy it’s very neutral and open views on the world as a “liberal newspaper”. Quotations there because while they consider themselves liberal, I find them liberal on social issues yet conservative on fiscal issues (for the most part). The word liberal definitely means different things depending on what country you are in (in Canada, my home country, for example, the Liberal Party leader is a handsome, rich, spoiled kid – the very definitely of privilege (father was a former Prime Minister) -  who says the right things and takes amazing selfies yet isn’t so great at running a country – and the world adores him! Personally I think they should make him a mascot. He excels in the outward facing, ineffective role.). But those thoughts and terms and politicizing are for another day. I hope I didn’t make my fellow Canucks angry with the honesty.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not protect property rights in Canada (Constitutionally). There has been some debate on whether there is anything to be worried about there and that property rights protections may be covered elsewhere. I know – it’s hard to be tough on a document written and adopted by old people who had zero thought or idea on how the world would look today. Just look at our US neighbors and the battles they have over modern day constitutional rights compared to historical context on execution of such rights. IE: No person needs 40+ guns in a hotel room in the USA unless they plan on killing 50+ people and injuring 10x that amount in quick succession. BUT, the 1800’s law protects that guy who might be able to afford a single shot musket. Those are the same things, right?

Still off track. Let’s see, offended Canada for their PM-darlingism, and offended the 29% or so of hardcore Republican Americans for their guns above lives mindset (at least one, of which, reads this blog. Hi Mehlan! I still love you. And your country).. can I pick on the EU or the Middle East? North Korea? Wait – SO off track. That’s right. Property Rights.

The Economist had a nice article about Digital property rights. It’s a nice read. It basically covers the thought of how manufacturers are now licencing everything as services now instead of actual products so the buyer has less rights in the end. The good old days if I bought something I could do what I wanted with it, including reselling it. That of course has gone the way of the dodo bird in favor of paying for access, terms of service, and the like. This is moving from strict software platforms to even actual, hard goods. For example – did you know that if you own a Tesla you cannot use it to be employed by Uber? They explicitly restrict that specifically.  Could you imagine if every other car company said that? (Why haven’t they yet? It’s coming, soon. So then they can sell more taxi fleet vehicles..).

I’m tired today and uncharacteristically snarky about some things in the world, which we are supposed to just accept now as the way things are. They weren’t always that way, and don’t have to be.  Property rights in general are starting to give me concern and while it is very early in the changes to hard goods it doesn’t seem unrealistic that the world of business is moving further in the wrong direction there. A direction our beloved video games have lead the charge in and continue to constrict for their users and markets.

I might start reading more, and do a book blog instead. As long as it’s not a digital book, of which I would only own access to.

5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. “Could you imagine if every other car company said that?”

    I wish! Uber is the devil. If you want to look at where we’re losing rights you can start there. A hundred and fifty years of strife and sacrifice to win recognition for collective bargaining and job security and all that work tricked away by the same guys who used to run the Company Store.

    1. Uber is the best! They took everything that was bad about Taxi cabs – dirty, unsafe vehicles. Calling for one. Waiting for one wondering if it will come, and if it does, if someone else will grab it first. Paying for one as they fumble with the visa/debit because they only want cash, drivers taking the “long way” when they know you are from out of town to drive up fares….also giving drivers the freedom to work when they can/need/want to.

      Is the UK a Taxi-utopia? Most drivers of cabs (when I am forced to use one, because Uber isn’t in that market) don’t own the car or the licence – that is owned by big companies. And the immigrant driver is paying for the right to use that cab through their own wages and get what is left over.

      Maybe there are unions in specific markets but not mine, and my tip amount tends to be based on if they own the cab or not. If they do, I tip less, because they are more in control of their livliehood. If they are renting the cab from a big business to make a percentage of the fare after they pay rent, gas, and wear and tear I tip more.

      But UBER did everything way better than Taxis, who have had 150 years to perfect the art of picking someone up in a clean, safe vehicle in a convenient manner and remembering that the customer is important. Taxis could have made their own technology but were too busy ignoring customer needs while maximizing returns. The Uber experience is so seamless and enjoyable it is no surprise to me they are doing well. Taxis could also easily put a dent into their business if they adopted the same mentality and technology.

      I travel a lot for work and used to take a lot of cabs in different markets.

    1. I do believe in gun rights and I think Canada does it in a pretty balanced way. Where you can own a handgun but not an armory =)

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