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Capitalism and Zoning Laws

September 29, 2011

Are city zoning laws necessary? Why or why not?

Zoning laws are not necessary. Why? It’s because property owners should have the freedom over their land property. Zoning laws are a form of statist regulations. They are based on the premise that your local government knows what’s good for you and it has the right to put things in order. But we all know that if you violated the property rights of your neighbor, then your neighbor would have the right to go after you in the proper court of law. What would prevent you from doing improper/illegal things? The individual rights and property rights of others.

Regarding your answer on the city zoning laws, what if a harmful industrial plant (radioactive/noisy/pollutive) were built within a residential area? What should the people and the government do?

That’s a very good question. The very first idea that hit my head is that no rational, thinking, intelligent businessman or investor would put up a “harmful industrial plant” within a residential area. That would be self-defeating and economically dangerous to the company and its owners/investors. But what if “a harmful industrial plant (radioactive/noisy/pollutive) was built within a residential area.”

That question tells me that the “harmful industrial plant” had already been built within a residential area. Can the government or the people do something in the absence of zoning laws?

First, those who have the right of action- that is, the right to sue- against that “harmful industrial plant” are none other than the affected or injured members of that residential area, not the government. Again, the context of your question is, a harmful industrial plant now operates in a residential area- and perhaps has been there since time immemorial.

There are a number of ways to get rid of that industrial plant if certain members of that community were indeed affected by its operations and/or activities. Here, the limitation on that industrial plant is not merely the community members’ property rights, but most importantly their “individual rights” as well.

There are possible instances wherein affected/injured community members may sue that harmful industrial plant for huge damages. Like I said, the proper role here of the government is to protect those whose rights have been affected. It has the duty to protect the innocent against the guilty. There rule or logic here is: Your right ends when others’ begin.

These possible instances are as follows:

  1. If the plant emitted harmful radioactive and/or pollutive substances that severely affected the health of the community members.
  2. If the plant continuously caused unbearable, unnecessary noise that affected the community as a whole.
  3. If the plant illegally, unreasonably, wantonly dumped industrial waste that affected the community members’ health, convenience, etc. Mere dumping of industrial waste that affected community members’ health and environmental condition could give these affected community members the right to sue the plant’s owners and executives.
  4. If the plant emitted harmful smokes and other substances that are harmful to community members’ health.
  5. If the plant’s other operations significantly altered the community’s ecological balance and condition, the logical result of which is that some community members’ health conditions have been severely affected. Examples of this are as follows: contamination of water bodies, contamination of water and air that affected the community’s livelihood, etc.

Any of the above-mentioned instances could give the affected/injured community members the right to sue the plant and its owners/executives and ask for huge damages. Again, the only proper role of the government is to protect rights. Even if the plant had been operating in that area for more than 50 years- or long before it was categorized as a ‘residential area’- it has to be held accountable for possible violation of rights it wantonly committed. Let us assume that such a place was considered or categorized as a residential area 10 years ago. If this is the case, the plant’s owners/executives should have weighed down the situation and have the prudence and foresight to make the right decision.

They should have thought: Is it still economically viable to remain in that area? Or: is it now time to relocate to a “safer” place? To remain or to relocate indeed involves some economic factors and/or options. But the plant owners need to logically, rationally assess the situation by considering the economic, ecological, and human impact of their decision to stay or to relocate. Negligence is committed through lack of foresight, lack of skills, imprudence, or the failure to logically assess the situation, which promptly calls for the doer’s/ involved person’s prudent, immediate judgment.

In case of industrial crisis, the plant owners/executives cannot simply raise a defense that the crisis was caused by “force majeure” or “an act of god”. In the first place, they should be fully aware of the NATURE of their enterprise or business. They should understand that the nature of their enterprise could affect other people’s health and lives. Thus, their decision should involve extra care and prudence. They cannot simply interpose a defense that “they were not able to relocate due to financial constraints.” Human life is superior to an enterprises’ desire to make profits. This is why the government and the courts need to properly, logically assess the facts of every case, which involves the violation of rights.

There are many ways to violate a person’s rights. The most known examples are murder, theft, robbery, physical injury, etc. But one’s rights can be violated by simply dumping garbage or harmful substances in front of his/her house. If it were established that certain mysterious/new diseases or illnesses that affected a number of community members had been caused by the plant’s emission of harmful industrial substances/smokes, then the government has the duty to punish the guilty and protect those whose rights were affected. Apart from imposing huge fines and damages, the court may also order the relocation of the plant.

Capitalism does not postulate that anything or any activity that makes profits is good. If a profit-making activity violates or transgresses upon a person’s rights, then capitalism demands justice. Capitalism is NOT synonymous to corporatism, a system which combines government and corporate interests. In a capitalist society, the only proper role of the government, the powers of which are properly limited by law or the Constitution, is to protect people’s rights.

45 Comments leave one →
  1. September 30, 2011 3:38

    Sensible article is sensible.

    @last paragraph:

    That’s what leftists never understand; the difference between capitalism and corporatism. They’re so used to using strawman arguments regarding the Industrial Revolution and the Great Depression to supposedly expose the ills of the free market.

  2. GabbyD permalink
    October 1, 2011 3:38

    i’m so curious: what about mass transportation? do u believe in public mass transportation?

    • October 1, 2011 3:38

      “do u believe in public mass transportation?”

      – Do you agree with me that PUVs are private vehicles/properties? They’re privately owned. The only thing is that they’re called “public” simply because they serve the public. Malls cater to the public. They should be called public malls, too (pun intended). MRT/LRT services, which are subsidized by the government, should be privatized. But even if they’re privately owned, they would still be called mass public transit. You get the drift. It’s not that I believe in public transport. You should have asked: Do you believe that transport is to be funded, financed, subsidized by the government. NOPE, I don’t.

      • GabbyD permalink
        October 1, 2011 3:38

        sometimes they are privately owned. sometimes not. also, this doesnt include other forms, such as buses, trains, light rail, etc. MOST of these other services arent private.

        so, you are against these? why?

      • October 2, 2011 3:38

        “sometimes they are privately owned. sometimes not. also, this doesnt include other forms, such as buses, trains, light rail, etc. MOST of these other services arent private.”

        — Give me a jeepney or bus company that’s owned by the government. I’m against government ownership and/or subsidy of any form of public transport. Like I said, MRT/LRT should be privatized. Comprehension skills and logic are very important here. I don’t know why you thought that I’m against buses, trains, light rail. I’m against government ownership and/or subsidy of these public transport systems.

      • GabbyD permalink
        October 2, 2011 3:38

        well, since MOST (if not all) city buses, light rail and trains IN THE WORLD are owned publicly, (or at least highly subsidized), its natural to think that you are against public mass transportation. note that many of these services are well liked, and run well.

      • October 2, 2011 3:38

        Public transportation does not mean the transport services it renders are government owned. What’s the heck is wrong with you? Have you ever heard the term “PUBLIC CARRIER”? Also terms like public speeches, public showing, public entertainment, public toilets, public markets, etc? I don’t oppose these things, including public transport. What I oppose is government ownership and subsidy of these things. You still don’t understand it, I believe, coz you have some problem. But some brain lol!

        Also, have you ever heard the term “publicly traded company”. PTCs are not government-owned. They’re called “public” simply because they offer their securities (stock/shares, bonds/loans, etc.) for sale to the general public, typically through a stock exchange. You got it now? I know you still don’t coz you’ve got some mental problem.

        You said: “well, since MOST (if not all) city buses, light rail and trains IN THE WORLD are owned publicly, (or at least highly subsidized), its natural to think that you are against public mass transportation.”

        uLOL! Name city buses that are owned by the government in RP. Name at least one bus corporation or jeepney company that’s owned by the government. If you can’t, quit thinking.

      • GabbyD permalink
        October 2, 2011 3:38

        fyi: “public toilets, public markets” are in fact mostly owned by the govt. the govt doesnt have a monopoly on these tho.

  3. GabbyD permalink
    October 2, 2011 3:38

    the philippines in fact is one of the rare examples where city buses arent owned/run/subsidized by the govt.

    unless you are saying that public transport system in philippines is the envy of the world?

    in THE WORLD, its relatively rare. do you know of any examples of light rail or city bus system, thats well run, that is 100% privately owned?

    i’m sure you know of one — you are the expert after all.

    • October 2, 2011 3:38

      “the philippines in fact is one of the rare examples where city buses arent owned/run/subsidized by the govt.”

      — You must be speaking of the socialist states wherein public transport is being provided by their governments. Not all “public” thingies are owned by the government, idiot. Lol!

      ““public toilets, public markets” are in fact mostly owned by the govt.”

      — That’s what i opposed. I need to repeat my position again since you’re clearly an idiot: What I oppose is the government ownership/subsidy of things.

      Better migrate to North Korea if you want every public thingy owned and operated by the government. You clearly deserve to live and die in NK.

      • GabbyD permalink
        October 3, 2011 3:38

        ok. so your position isnt based on international experience on how most efficiently to provide these services, but based on philosophy?

        is there any evidence AT ALL , anywhere in the world, that can support your proposal?

      • October 3, 2011 3:38

        I have no time to talk to a moron… ;-))))

      • GabbyD permalink
        October 3, 2011 3:38

        ok. so i guess THERE IS NO EVIDENCE in THE WORLD that you can muster.

        its sad, but true.

        its also interesting that you hold up philippine mass transportation as a good thing. sad, but interesting.

      • October 3, 2011 3:38

        You cannot even support your public transport idiocy. You cannot even name a single bus or jeepney company owned by the government. Your premise is that all “public” is government owned, idiot. You’re clearly speaking of purely communist countries like North Korea where you belong.

        I made myself very clear: I oppose government ownership and/or subsidy of public transport. If still that’s not clear to you, better commit suicide or go to NK.

      • GabbyD permalink
        October 3, 2011 3:38

        maybe you dont know, so let me help you out.

        the transport systems of major bus, subway, lightrail systems in the US are heavily supported by the government. NY, LA, Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, …. etc….

        NK is such a bizarre example. i dont care about NKorea’s transport system.who cares about north korea?

        however, South Korea and Japan has mass transport that is heavily subsidized (at least).

        my own point is clear: in MOST countries in the world, mass public transport is either owned by the govt, or subsidized by it.

      • October 3, 2011 3:38

        You idiot/moron asked me: “do u believe in public mass transportation?”

        Yes, I do. But I don’t believe they must be subsidized by the government. That’s what you don’t get because you’re a moron.

        You moron said: “the transport systems of major bus, subway, lightrail systems in the US are heavily supported by the government.”

        “Heavily supported by the government”? Where did you get that? Any source to your stupid claim? So what now if they’re “heavily supported”?

        “NK is such a bizarre example. i dont care about NKorea’s transport system.who cares about north korea?”

        — Idiot, that’s your perfect example of public transport that’s wholly owned and funded by the government. NK perfectly fits your ideal public transport system.

        Tell me, moron, is everything public “government owned”?

        “my own point is clear: in MOST countries in the world, mass public transport is either owned by the govt, or subsidized by it.”

        — So what? That’s totally pointless, moron. You want everything owned by the government?

      • GabbyD permalink
        October 3, 2011 3:38

        so understanding how public mass transportation is provided in other/most other countries in the world is POINTLESS?

        i see. evidence less arguments is your thing.

        ““Heavily supported by the government”? Where did you get that? Any source to your stupid claim? So what now if they’re “heavily supported”? ”

        if they are subsidized, that means that the govt has a hand in providing these goods.

        its a fact that a VAST MAJORITY OF MASS TRANSPORT in the world is subsidized (at least!) by their governments.

        if you didnt know this fact, then maybe i over estimated your knowledge of the world.🙂

      • October 4, 2011 3:38

        Again…

        “Heavily supported by the government”? Where did you get that? Any source to your stupid claim? So what now if they’re “heavily supported”?

        “its a fact that a VAST MAJORITY OF MASS TRANSPORT in the world is subsidized (at least!) by their governments.”

        — Yes, and you’re speaking of the statist/socialist countries on earth. I don’t contest that, moron. Like I said, the perfect example of your idiocy is North Korea, Cuba, or Venezuela. Is that your point? Now that’s pointless, moron.

      • GabbyD permalink
        October 4, 2011 3:38

        –> “Heavily supported by the government”? Where did you get that? Any source to your stupid claim? So what now if they’re “heavily supported”?”

        where did i get that? this is a FACT.

        listen. research the subway and bus systems of chicago, NY, LA, etc…

        KNOW how they funded. please, i WANT to help you argue. but you cannot ignore best practice in tranportation around the world just because u feel like it.

      • October 4, 2011 3:38

        “where did i get that? this is a FACT.”

        Where’s your proof, moron? Your empty mind? Where’s the heck is your proof that “transport systems of major bus, subway, lightrail systems in the US are heavily supported by the government. NY, LA, Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, …. etc….” Where? Your empty mind lol!

        So how were they funded? Tell me…What government-funded “bus systems” are you talking about, moron? You’re indeed crazy.

        Again, you’re speaking of socialist countries that fund everything, moron. Your point is, you think that every term that includes the word “public” is government-funded like public transport, public utility vehicles, etc. You’re indeed a moron. Nobody’s denying that governments across the world have been subsidizing roads, railways, etc. The point is, that should stop, moron…

  4. GabbyD permalink
    October 2, 2011 3:38

    ok. lets talk about using courts to deal with pollution, or other negative externalities.

    who pays for the costs of the court case?

    • October 2, 2011 3:38

      Talk to your own self.

      • GabbyD permalink
        October 3, 2011 3:38

        do you think costs of launching a court case are miniscule? trivial?

        did you factor this into your analysis?

  5. GabbyD permalink
    October 3, 2011 3:38

    i’m trying to take your ideas seriously. perhaps, more seriously then you take them yourself.

    so i’m pushing your ideas — can they actually work in the real world? have they ever worked in the real world?

    or are you working on FAITH?

  6. GabbyD permalink
    October 4, 2011 3:38

    why dont u google all those places and LEARN!

    here is one. washington DC’s METRO:

    “The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (often abbreviated as WMATA and commonly referred to as Metro) is a tri-jurisdictional government agency that operates transit service in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, including the Metrorail, Metrobus and MetroAccess. WMATA was created by interstate compact, authorized by the United States Congress, and jointly funded by the District of Columbia, jurisdictions in suburban Maryland, and northern Virginia.”

    they run the trains and buses in the greater DC area.

    this is the case for the US, Europe… indeed, MOST OF THE WORLD.

    • October 4, 2011 3:38

      LMAO!

      Hey moron! The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is just like the Light Rail Transit Authority in the Philippines, idiot! You’re indeed crazy. What else? What about bus companies, taxi companies, etc. in the US? They are also owned and operated by the government, moron? Are public utility vehicles (PUVs) also government owned?

      “this is the case for the US, Europe… indeed, MOST OF THE WORLD.”

      So what, moron? That’s the case in socialist countries like North Korea, moron.

      • GabbyD permalink
        October 4, 2011 3:38

        well, the METRO actually handles buses too.

        but wait… so you are OK with govt subsidized/controlled light rail? if yes, why?

      • October 4, 2011 3:38

        So what? Are PUVs government owned, moron?

        https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2010/08/08/privatize-mrt-lrt-no-to-subsidy/
        https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/the-ph-government-needs-bailout-privatize-mrtlrt/

    • GabbyD permalink
      October 4, 2011 3:38

      ah, ok. so its is PURELY PHILOSOPHY.

      but if it is, are you willing to call how mass transport is done in virtually ALL CITIES in the world AS SOCIALIST?

  7. GabbyD permalink
    October 4, 2011 3:38

    Listen, why dont you think about the question of mass transit for a minute, and compose a coherent response.

    you say privatize them all. this despite the vast majority of mass transport in world’s cities are govt controlled, if not govt subsidized.

    why? beyond the philosophy, why? will public transport become more efficient? is there underprovision that will be solved? will prices fall?

    if there are no arguments other than philosophy, are you saying that the cities of the world are socialist because of this?

  8. October 4, 2011 3:38

    Yes, privatize all, including your empty brain….😉

    • GabbyD permalink
      October 5, 2011 3:38

      and to be sure — there is NO evidence that will help. right?

      do you have ANY EVIDENCE privatization will help?

      • October 5, 2011 3:38

        The evidence is all around you, moron. Of course you can never see it because you have an empty mind. It is impossible to explain the self-evident to a moron like you. That’s logic. The very evidence that state ownership of all modes of production failed and killed people is North Korea, including all socialist countries on earth, past and present.

    • GabbyD permalink
      October 5, 2011 3:38

      ok. name one problem that privatization of buses, light rail can solve?

      • October 5, 2011 3:38

        It solves many things, including your ignorance…

      • GabbyD permalink
        October 5, 2011 3:38

        so i asked you to name one thing, and you didn’t.

        thats interesting. i’m led to conclude there is no problem at all. you just WANT it.

        you want it to happen, despite no real need for it, nothing its meant to solve, and no evidence that it works well ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.

        wow, think about it. this is highly illogical. this is called “faith”, which would be ok, except that you are an atheist.

      • October 5, 2011 3:38

        Lol! You’re indeed a moron. The fact that you don’t know how privatization solves problems shows you’re more than a moron. It solves the following:

        1. Government’s fiscal problems

        2. Corruption

        3. Technical and business incompetence

        4. Government monopoly

        5. Unemployment

      • GabbyD permalink
        October 5, 2011 3:38

        so, are you saying that if the washington DC metro chooses to privatize its transport system, DC would:

        lower corruption –> IS THERE CORRUPTION IN DC TRANSPORT?
        lower incompetence–> is DC transport inefficient?
        increase employment –> how would it increase employment?
        solve Gov’t fiscal problems –> really?

  9. Xoce Rixjal permalink
    October 6, 2011 3:38

    @GabbyD: He’s really not worth it, you know. He’ll just keep calling you names and resort to logical errors that he’ll then accuse you of committing. Best thing for people to do here is just ignore the blog and read something that actually makes sense.

    @Froi: LMAO

    • GabbyD permalink
      October 6, 2011 3:38

      hi xoce, i’m really curious as to the source of his opinions. if its really just a PHILOSOPHICAL position divorced from analysis and evidence, i can accept it. after our too long of an exchange, after repeated requests for examples of what he’s talking about — nothing…

      so i guess he really is evidence-less… which makes it more interesting…. why hold positions on economics and politics on things that you dont have evidence for?

      • October 6, 2011 3:38

        It’s a waste of time to argue with a moron like you. If you don’t understand how privatization benefits the entire humanity, go commit a suicide. Your premise is, you want the government to fund everything. That didn’t work and that will never work. Where will the government get the money to fund almost everything? The evidence of privatization is all around you, moron. If you have a cellphone, colored TV, laptop, computer, car, or anything of value, then that’s the living, existing, and best evidence that privatization works and the only way, moron.

        It’s proven, only an idiot would agree with another idiot… Xoce Rixjal is more than a moron.

        The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident

      • GabbyD permalink
        October 6, 2011 3:38

        ok. privatization MAY be beneficial. it depends.

        for example — city buses in metro manila are PRIVATELY OWNED.

        QUESTION: does this mean that transportation in the city is optimal? even close to it?

  10. Xoce Rixjal permalink
    October 7, 2011 3:38

    Thanks for the compliment Froi! Or, do you NOT understand what “more than a moron” means?

    @Gabby – yes, I do think that, for the most part, Froi likes to battle on purely rhetorical grounds. My problem with this is that the issues he loves to address aren’t rhetorical, I guess it’s an attempt to keep attention on himself.

  11. ayayay permalink
    October 10, 2011 3:38

    Exchanges like these keep me coming back.🙂

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