A Modest Proposal

by Elias Blum

Why are property rights over people not protected by law? People can own land and water, which we did not build or create. People can own ideas. People can even own corporations, which are legal persons. So why can we not own other people?

Just think how easy it would be to solve migration or homelessness if people had an economic value. These problems are really a case of not allowing the market the freedom to do its job in allocating resources according to economic efficiency. People have lots of uses – they can be forced to labour. Or they -particularly females – can be used as recreational devices in the adult entertainment industry. Not to mention their use as a source of protein or fertilizer.

People could be a valuable commodity for investors, too. There could be growth in the financial sector if there was, say, a futures market in humans.

Moreover, creating a market in humans would reduce problems associated with an aging population, because owners would have a strong market-incentive for culling those who are no longer economically productive.

Of course, it might be asked how one is to acquire property in persons in the first place. The most obvious answer is through debt. Rather than bankruptcy rules, which allow certain debts to be unpaid and therefore encourage indulgence (imagine if we did that to Greece!), persons who fall into unpayable debt could simply be sold at auction for the benefit of their creditors.

All this potential economic activity squashed by the dead hand of big government because anti-market hippie do-gooders don’t want to respect property rights!

[For similarly ridiculous, immoral and abhorrent ideas brought to you by the forces of oligarchic capitalism, see here: http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/planning-transport/britain-needs-more-slums/ ].