Monday, October 22, 2007

Ownership society is a slogan for a model of society promoted by United States President George W. Bush. It takes as lead values personal responsibility, economic liberty, and the owning of property. The ownership society discussed by Bush also extends to certain proposals of specific models of health care and social security.

Ownership society History
As formulated by the Cato Institute (see original quote and external link below), the desiderata are that
Here the comments in brackets are an interpretation or paraphrase, consistent with a generalised idea of ownership. The conceptual link here is by means of the idea that private property, the most familiar and everyday form of ownership, is being extended. Control is closely associated with ownership in that sense.
This Cato Institute formulation is not, however, in terms of positive policies. It is more accurately a definition of ownership by taking the state out of the loop. So, for example, in health care ownership is not being defined just on the basis of informed consent.
There is no real originality, politically speaking, in the connection made between individual ownership of property and political stake-holding. This was an idea discussed in Europe and America in the eighteenth century. (For example that the franchise should only be for property holders.)
The novelty of the Cato Institute formulation would lie in the extrapolation. In the case of savings, for example, the extension would be an assertion of property rights in money held in savings or collected tax revenues.

patients have control of [decisions on] their personal health care,
parents control [i.e. have power over] their children's education, and
workers control [i.e. have some responsibility for the investment of, or explicit property rights in] their retirement savings.

No comments: