Friday, March 22, 2013

Quote of the Day: Distinguishing Property from Wealth

Property is a legal concept, whereas wealth is an economic concept. The two are often confused, but they should be kept quite clearly distinct. The one refers to a set of rights, the other to how people value such rights. The same legal claim to property may yield great wealth today and none tomorrow. Market exchanges change the values of property claims continuously, as Ludwig Lachmann explained clearly in his important essay on “The Market Economy and the Distribution of Wealth.”
This is from Cato Institute’s Tom G. Palmer, in the continuing debate over negative and positive rights at the Cato Unbound

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