Economics of Ownership

I count myself among those individuals who believe the Bible to be far more than a book of storied ancients. Robert Higgs of the Independent Institute finds that it includes sound economic thinking with regards to personal property and ownership:

Perhaps the most important proposition in the economics of property rights is that people will not care for a resource they do not own as well as they will care for a resource they do own. It is amazing how much fashionable economic belief — for example, nearly everything ever advanced in support of socialism, as well as the bulk of what passes for environmentalist policy proposals — fails to take adequate account of this virtually axiomatic proposition.


In the tenth chapter of the Gospel According to John, Jesus is trying to make a point, but his listeners are not getting it, so he finally gives them a parable he can be sure they will understand (verses 11-13):

The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away — and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.

There you have it–wisdom from Jesus the Carpenter which is apparently beyond the grasp of many a well-studied but ignorant socialist of today.

HT: There’s My Two Cents