SS 300: The Theory of Ownership
While the origin of
ownership and what it entails has been debated by philosophers for
centuries, there are certain intuitions about ownership that are
common to almost all people.
First, it is generally
accepted that one has a right to self-ownership. Without this right,
one would be unfree to make decisions or participate in society. The
right to control one’s future and retirement are the types of
decisions that are critical to self-ownership. Put another way,
since it is your future life, it should be guided by your choices.
Anything less would strip away your ownership of your future.
Second, a logical
consequence of self-ownership is that one also owns the things one
produces. The things one produces are like tangents to the self; by
extension, those things become part of the package a person has an
ownership claim to. Moreover, without an ownership claim to these
items, one does not have a stake in the productivity of society or
one’s role in it. This makes guaranteeing ownership rights to
what a person produces beneficial to society. Since what one produces is
his or her income, that means he or she owns it. Indeed, because you
own your hard earned money, it should not be taken from you. You
should have the final say where your money goes.
accounts take the theory of ownership seriously. PRAs are built
around the idea that you own your future, and that is why these
accounts put your retirement savings back under your control. PRAs
also protect your rights to the income you own, and that is why these
accounts can be invested according to your wishes and passed along to