Saturday, April 14, 2012

Rand Simberg on a Space Property Rights initiative

Rand is proposing property rights for space.  Property rights are key to economic development.  It allows investment without fear of arbitrary confiscation.  As a reminder 2012 is 150th anniversary of the homesteading act of 1862.  The Homestead Act allowed people to claim 160 acres.  They had to farm and live on it for five years to gain title.
We haven’t treated space as a frontier.  Entered space during the Cold War.  Claimed space was for all mankind.  The Antarctic Treaty which had no declarations of national sovereignty.  The goal was to end expensive space race.  (Rand said it worked.)  They space treaty did not outlaw private property off planet. 
Rand proposes that the United States Government recognizes a claim on the moon by a non-government entity under certain conditions.  The entity is not necessarily American and the claim will not necessarily be physically defended by the United States Government.
The conditions:  Must permanently occupy the territory.  He is proposing people could get 4% of the moon, or 6.5% of Mars.  A claim might be worth $15 billion.
You can find more details on Homesteading the Final Frontier.


Mike Woods from Indianapolis said...

Wow, this is an idea that deserves some consideration, although it may be hard for many people to come to grips with...the idea of private property rights in space.

Henry Cate said...

Yes, it is nice to have this idea floating around.