While a private citizen has a natural right to do with his property as he wishes, a commercial entity does not.
To: Old Professer
A commercial entity only exists at the pleasure of the people - by and through their government. A commercial entity is not born with natural rights conveyed by the diety of your choice, it is created with the permission of the people. A commercial entity like a corporation is a grant of limited liability to its officers, employees, and stockholders - nobody has a natural right to limited liability. In the case of the commercial entities, the people giveth and the people can regulate. Make no mistake, to what extent the people regulate is entirely another issue - but commercial or other "artificial persons" or entities have no "rights" rather they have authorities, and the people are responsible for extending, withdrawing, or not extending those authorities.
The idea that commercial entities like corporations have "rights" is legal sophistry. Just because what an "artificial person" (i.e., corporation) does relative to property it owns can be regulated does not mean that similar regulation can extend to a "natural person" acting as a private citizen.
When Americans don't understand the difference between "natural persons" with God-given rights to private property recognized by a Constitution, and "artificial persons" whose authorities to property only exist to the extent the people are willing to authorize, it becomes possible to regulate a natural person with his property as if it were an artificial person.
In the case at hand, if the farmer were to chop up his land into parcels himself, put the infrastructure in himself, build the houses on the lots himself, etc., hey, it's private property, it's being developed by a private citizen, in the absence of any demonstrable damages to anyone else, govt has nothing to say about it. If the farmer wants to sell the land to Big Giant Developer, Inc., that's another story if BGD Inc. is prohibited from doing what it wants by govt. The farmer can't complain when he can't sell his property at the price a commercial developer would pay him if the commercial developer only exists because the people say it can. He has every right to sell it to another guy who is not an artificial entity.
Rights come with responsibilities and by definition, artificial persons have no rights, only permission. Unfortunately, everybody in this country wants their cake and to eat it too. They want private property rights but they want limited liablility. Or, they forget the distinction between who has rights and who has only permission and accept the position of the artificial person as the natural state of affairs and then wonder why some clueless bureaucrat (or clueless judge) isn't respecting the rights they should have.
posted on 12/03/2003 2:51:36 PM PST
(Ok, mic check...line one...)
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