The Restoration of Property
A Reexamination of a Natural Right
A CESJ “Paradigm Paper”
by Michael D. Greaney
ISBN 978-0944997079 • 136 pp. • $10.00 (U.S.)
In 1936 Hilaire Belloc, with G. K. Chesterton revered as one of the founders of distributism, wrote of the restoration of property. Trapped within what Louis Kelso and Mortimer Adler called “the slavery of past savings,” however, Belloc’s insightful analysis suffered from the lack of an effective program of implementation. The best he could do was to recommend burdening the rich with laws and regulations to keep them from using their power to prevent capital acquisition by others.
A better, Just Third Way solution would be to remove systemic barriers in the form of flawed tax, monetary, financial and legal systems that inhibit or prevent capital acquisition by the non-rich. At a time when most people are focused on the results of unjust tax, monetary and fiscal policies, and seek government assistance to stave off the effects of generations of bad decisions, this short book suggests a better alternative: Focus on the causes of the growing wealth and opportunity gap and its attendant problems.
The Restoration of Property by Michael D. Greaney, Director of Research of the Center for Economic and Social Justice, recommends that we take a hard look at our institutions, especially those governing taxation, money and credit. Understood from a Just Third Way perspective we can more accurately determine how these flawed institutions hinder access of most people today to the means of acquiring and possessing property in capital. Armed with new insights from a just free enterprise system for the 21st Century, we will then know how we must change “the system.”
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