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What is property?

What is property?

Property is a titled asset.

The other day one of our engineers asked “Can I think of a property as a ballon?” Smiling, I asked what she meant. She drew me that picture. If I want to give you my ballon, she said, I would hand you the string, not the ballon itself. The string is like the property title, transferring the rights to use the asset.

Most of us have some idea what an asset is or could be. We are comfortable with abstract assets like money. Or scarce assets like water. Even ephemeral assets like time itself, can easily be accepted as valuable.

Property rights are one level deeper in abstraction. You need a string to get there. And then you are talking about how you and your ballon can interact with society at large. Property rights deal with interactions between entities.

Personal rights are property rights are therefore connected — two sides of the same coin.

By Sean Moss-Pultz on Nov 26, 2017.