Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Wipe out the RotoVegas crims?

I haven't commented on this so far, but I really can't believe this is still causing such debate in the Commentariat. I'm referring to the question of whether or not to ban repeat criminals from the Rotorua town centre.

Isn't the flavour of this similar to other questions that have people tangled up in knots? Should we ban smoking in bars? Should club members be allowed to blackball new members? Should employers be forced to adopt racial quotas? Should we be allowed to separate Muslim from non-Muslim bathers on Italian beaches?

The answer to all these questions is the same: "Who's this 'we,' white man?"

That is: "Who owns the bar?" "Who owns the club?" "Whose place of business is this?" "Who owns the beach?" That's right, the way to cut this Gordian knot is with property rights. If this was a Rotorua shop we were talking about, or a Rotorua shopping mall, 'we' would (or should) have no say in whom the shop- or mall-owner wishes to ban from his property. It's the same with beach and bar and business and bordello: He who has the property makes the rules.

The reason you and I are still discussing this is that downtown RotoVegas is owned by the 'public,' ie., by nobody, so that rules on behaviour downtown can only be those implemented by the council and enforced by the police and objected to by 'snivel libertarians' with the cry of "Big Brother!" (To which I can only say, "Oh, Brother!")

Enact or recognise property rights in the RotoVegas CBD however -- for example, by granting shop-owners property rights in the 'public' areas of the town, just as they might have as part of a body corporate in a mall -- and you'll see that as those with a legitimate property right they can make whatever rules or policies they like consistent with their need to make a dollar.

Just another example of how private property de-politicises so called thorny issues.

Of course, another way of solving the problem is to actually lock up real repeat criminals (instead of people like Tim Selwyn), but I'm no more optimistic on that score than I am on this one.

LINK: 5 women, 111 convictions - Sunday Star-Times
Sun, sea and sharia on women-only Italian beach - Guardian [Hat tip Relative Humility]

TAGS: Politics-NZ, Property Rights

Labels: , ,

6 Comments:

Blogger Graeme Edgeler said...

"The reason you and I are still discussing this is that downtown RotoVegas is owned by the 'public,'
ie., by nobody, so that rules on behaviour downtown can only be those implemented by the council."

Interesting moral theory, but as a legal argument this cuts little mustard. Under The Local Government Act 1974 s 316, the roads in the Rotorua CBD are owned by the RCC.

8/08/2006 02:47:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

"Interesting moral theory, but as a legal argument this cuts little mustard."

Well of course it cuts little legal mustard under today's law. I think that's my point really: that ignoring property rights de-politicises arguments such as this, whereas recognising them or granting them would offer greater sanity, and infinitely more practicality -- and would leve Steve Chadwick with nothing to do. ;^)

8/08/2006 04:35:00 pm  
Anonymous polemic said...

PC, I'mnot sure how you've solved the issue.

You say the rights of property owners absolutely overrides the rights of all those who would choose to use their property.

You would shift the decision to private owners and wipe your hands clean of the decisions they would make; if a publican barred entry into his business based on the colour of a customers skin then it is not suddenly de-politicised just because it wasn't your decision. (Well, it might in the libertarian framework)

Inevitiably neighbouring businesses would have to band together to co-ordinate their activities, paying fees to a corporate body that enforces their rules and maintains land that was once public property and that body would have to have thorny discussions about whether it is 'right' to bar certain people or not.

Surprisingly, even property owners might have differing opinions on whether they're purely out to make a buck.

It strikes me that not all businesses are individuals, or morally absent, either.

8/08/2006 07:56:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

Just think how it works in shopping malls, Polemic.

I wouldn't "shift the decision to private owners" -- it is their decision to make.

"...if a publican barred entry into his business based on the colour of a customers skin then it is not suddenly de-politicised just because it wasn't your decision."

Well, yes it is. An owner may choose to be as irrational as they wish - they may even choose to bar libertarians! -- and they're also free to take the consequences.

"Inevitiably neighbouring businesses would have to band together to co-ordinate their activities..."

So they would. Just think how it works in shopping malls, and how many, ie., how few, discussions we've had about who they choose to have around their premises.

8/08/2006 09:27:00 pm  
Blogger sagenz said...

its a logical extension of prison. somebody commits a series of petty crimes that do not of themselves justify detention. however a properly legally determined decision to exclude certain people from an area where they are more of a menace to society. Why not?

and as Graeme says the council has the land and therefore the rights.

8/08/2006 11:00:00 pm  
Blogger libertyscott said...

I'd take a variance of "3 strikes and your out" with the justice system. You'd earn demerit points, like drivers. It doesn't count for a first offence, unless its murder, because everyone gets one chance of rehab, but the second offence plus the first gives you a score.

When you hit 100, you get detained for an extended period (e.g. 10 years if all property offences, 30 years if violent offences). You get 5 points for vandalism, but 50 for rape, or whatever. Say 10 for burglary and after 10 burglaries you are sent off for a long period to protect society, on TOP of the sentence for that crime. So a second rape would mean on top of say 10 years for the rape, there are another 30 for reoffending, which pretty much means life.

What it recognises is that recividism is not acknowledged in sentencing. It would deal appropriately with sexual offences (whereby there is a sentence and chance for rehab, but a repeat offender simply needs to be shut away).

8/09/2006 03:16:00 am  

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