Are Property Rights Now More Clearly Defined for Organic Farmers in Minnesota?

Michael Giberson The United States Supreme Court chose to let stand a Minnesota Supreme Court decision concerning the rights of organic farmers exposed to pesticide drift from neighboring conventional farms. In the case┬áJohnson v. Paynesville Farmers Union Cooperative Oil Co., the organic-farming Johnsons had sued conventional-farming Paynesville for damages after pesticide drift from Paynesville’s farm … More Are Property Rights Now More Clearly Defined for Organic Farmers in Minnesota?

Minnesota Supreme Court Rules Pesticide Drift is Not a Trespass, but Might Be a Nuisance

Michael Giberson The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled today that pesticide drifting across property lines onto an organic farmer’s crop does not constitute a trespass under state law. The court dismissed the trespass claim as well as accompanying claims asserting nuisance and negligence under laws that govern organic farming. The organic farming laws regulate what a … More Minnesota Supreme Court Rules Pesticide Drift is Not a Trespass, but Might Be a Nuisance

Schmidtz on the Philosophy of Property

Michael Giberson At Bleeding Heart Libertarians, University of Arizona philosopher David Schmidtz discusses what a good concept of property does for society. He sums his view concisely at the end, reproduced below. Go read the rest of it for the background and support for these conclusions. To summarize, in more concrete terms, when a system … More Schmidtz on the Philosophy of Property

Applying Coase to Wildlife Preservation

Lynne Kiesling I loved seeing pictures a couple of weeks ago of an endangered Bengal tiger and her cubs from a hidden camera. Large predator wildlife that roam and are territorial often face reductions in their territory when humans move in; in the Bengal tiger territory in India, both traditional farming and the construction of … More Applying Coase to Wildlife Preservation

A Coasian Look at Pesticide and Genetic Drift

Michael Giberson A few weeks back Lynne drew attention to an interesting property dispute between neighboring farmers in Minnesota, currently the subject of legal action (see news summary here, related court decision here). In brief, the issue is pesticide drift from conventionally farmed crops onto a neighboring organic farm, and whether the organic farm can … More A Coasian Look at Pesticide and Genetic Drift

On the Obligations of Income-Earners and Property-Owners to Pay Taxes

Michael Giberson Perhaps you’ve seen the video of Elizabeth Warren, hoping to be elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts, in which she declaims that since roads and police and fire protection are funded through taxes, people have no real claim to their income or wealth against a government that wants to take it. After … More On the Obligations of Income-Earners and Property-Owners to Pay Taxes

Coase, Legal Liability, and Pesticide Drift

Lynne Kiesling A ruling last week from Minnesota’s Court of Appeals provides an interesting case study in using common law and legal liability (a la Coase) in an environmental case. As summarized in the St. Cloud Times, the issue at hand is pesticide drift — when pesticide spray on one field is carried over to … More Coase, Legal Liability, and Pesticide Drift

Montana-alberta Transmission Line Developer Wants Eminent Domain Power to Overcome Landowner’s Resistance

Michael Giberson The Montana-Alberta Tie Line, a transmission project linking Alberta and Western U.S. power markets, has stalled over the resistance of one landowner, who has claimed the proposed line would cross wetlands and native American heritage sites on her land. MATL tried exercising eminent domain last July to take the easement it wants, but … More Montana-alberta Transmission Line Developer Wants Eminent Domain Power to Overcome Landowner’s Resistance

Texas Water Rampage

Michael Giberson Clarity in the law is usually deemed a virtue. Groundwater planning processes implemented in Texas a few years ago have led to a few legal fights and the legislature has taken up groundwater law to help clear up some of the confusion. The conflict has arisen when groundwater management districts issue landowners permits … More Texas Water Rampage

The Struggle to Protect Property Claims in Virtual Worlds

Michael Giberson The Los Angeles Times has the story: “A real-world battle over virtual-property rights.” Apparently virtual world developer/promoter/host Linden Labs has changed its terms of service for Second Life over time to diminish the central importance of user ownership of virtual property created within the Second Life service. The most recent user agreement reportedly … More The Struggle to Protect Property Claims in Virtual Worlds