Keep your nose on your own property

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for March 28, 2018)

 

Neglecting to understand which things are your business, and which are not, causes many problems.

People spend too much time with their noses in places where they don’t belong while ignoring things for which they are responsible.

If there’s a guy living in a hole, it is none of your business unless you are the guy in the hole or the owner of the property where the hole was dug. No one else gets to have a say.

It’s not your business just because you are law enforcement or a politician who imagines some sort of authority over an area. It’s not your business simply because you object to people living in holes. It doesn’t justify more laws or more welfare. Don’t give government any excuse to be people-botherers.

If the guy in the hole or the property owner wants your help, go ahead. Help with your own time or money, not by deciding other people’s money should be confiscated for your good intentions. Not by asking armed government employees to stop people from living in ways you don’t like.

Keep your nose on your own property.

Property rights are critical. Even the imaginary problem of immigration could be solved by people minding their own business and respecting property rights. Invite or exclude anyone from your own property for any reason. Recognize that your property rights end at your property lines, and that no one can rightfully control the property of another. Not even if you call yourself a government and pretend your authority extends over other people’s property.

Every person is either where they have a right to be, or they are trespassing. Laws don’t change this. If someone is where they have a right to be, it’s none of your business even if you wish they didn’t have a right to be there, or even if you imagine laws can trump property rights. If someone is on property without the explicit permission of the owner he is trespassing and has no right to be there. This doesn’t change if he is a government employee going where he wasn’t invited.

You are not trespassing if the owner of the property has come to a mutually agreeable arrangement with you, regardless of the government papers which may be lacking. You can’t be trespassing if you are on public land.

Respecting property rights, along with knowing what is your business and what isn’t, would go a long way toward making society civilized again.


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