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Protecting Property Rights to Preserve Freedom and Prosperity: A Memo to President-elect Obama

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Publication Date: January 2009

Publisher(s): Heritage Foundation (Washington, D.C.)

Author(s): Andrew M. Grossman

Special Collection: Presidential Advisory

Topic: Economics (Property and wealth)
Law and ethics (Real estate and property law)

Keywords: Presidential transition; Eminent domain; Property rights

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States


Government policies that place property rights at risk and upset reasonable investment-backed expectations discourage all investment, innovation, and beneficial risk-taking and dampen economic growth. When property rights are uncertain, neighborhoods are consumed by blight, entrepreneurs suffer for lack of credit, and those who are well connected appropriate the resources of those who lack financial means and political connections--what is known as "crony capitalism." Strong legal protections for property rights are therefore a necessary condition for our continued economic and civil prosperity.