The Paradox of Property Rights and Economic Development

Recent weeks have seen simmering property rights conflicts around the world: Burmese citizens marching in protest against the government’s seizure of their lands for a hotel zone; Vietnamese villagers contesting the confiscation of their land for an EcoPark satellite city project; and violent clashes breaking out in Panama City over a controversial law allowing the sale of state-owned land in the port city of Colón—Latin America’s largest duty-free zone.

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What do the Occupiers want?

The Occupy Wall Street protesters have been widely criticized for “not having demands”, as if the lack of a clearly articulated policy platform undermines the legitimacy of those crying foul at a system that seems rigged – politically and economically – in favor of the well-connect and wealthy few.

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