05.22.07

Good fences, poor neighbors

Posted in Society at 9:33 by RjZ


On 75th Street, Boulder, Colorado

From what I can tell, the owners of this rather unattractive wall are upset that someone complained to the authorities about it being too tall. They’re obviously so fuming mad at the invasion of privacy, and more likely the cost of redoing their wall, that they’ve been forced to neglect proper grammar in their protest. My libertarian views might be inclined to side with them too.

The easy thing about libertarianism, though, is that most problems can be analyzed with incredibly simple premises. For example, a couple of guiding principles for libertarians might be: “very few laws, vigorously enforced,” and “your right to hit me stops and my face.” Fact is, if there is a law restricting the height of this wall then it is the property owner’s responsibility to follow it. They can hope to do whatever they wish and that everyone else will remember the “virtue of live and let live” but it’s gonna cost them quite a bit if that pesky law is enforced after all. While there ought to be as few laws as possible, if one does make it on the books, it needs to be enforced or all of the laws become questionable.

Should there be such a law restricting the height of a wall on private property? That’s where the second principle comes into play. Of course one should be allowed to do whatever they wish on their own property, but when those activities aren’t private at all, and effect the security, safety or even mountain views of others, then they need to be looked at more closely.

I don’t happen to know the details of what regulation was broken here or whether or not I agree with the regulation that is in place. I like the protest, but, in the end, I can’t really agree. Too bad the property owners or their contractors didn’t read up on local regulations before building a wall. That’s gonna cost them.

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