7. Why would a system establish ownership of property rights?
There are numerous theories regarding the reason or justification for the legal system recognizing property ownership rights. Some theories adopt a pessimistic view of human nature and the intentions of those to exclude others from their resources. Other less cynical theories attribute ownership rights with incentivizing individuals to undertake activities that benefit society at large. That is, ownership of property incentivizes individuals to increase productivity and create new resources, which ultimately benefits society.
• Discussion: These theories underlie two contrasting, yet common, forms of government: Communism and Capitalism. Communism centralizes control of property in the governing body. For example, Cuba is a communist state that is familiar to most Americans. In Cuba, the government retains membership of land and industry. How do you think this forms of government affects individual and business productivity? The United States, in contrast, is a capitalist system that seeks to promote or incentivize private wealth among individuals. How do you think this form of government affects individual and business productivity? Take some time to think about these two forms of government and how their concept of property ownership differs.