Where We Worry About Armrest Rights

Whether looking at armrests or reclining rights, seat savers or window shades, airplane etiquette is unclear about what we temporarily “own.”

Why We Want to Overfish

A Montauk fisherman is in court because of a 74,000-pound catch. Where are we going? To the tragedy of the commons. Overfishing Rules Our story starts in 1976. Moving from 12 to 200 miles, the U.S. expanded its jurisdiction over…

Who Owns the Moon’s Resources?

With four countries having made lunar landings, we can ask if any one can own moon water and other lunar resouces.

A Closer Look at the World’s Top and Bottom Laissez-Faire Countries

Looking closely at the Index of Economic Freedom, we can see where property rights help to boost market activity.

The AI People We Know

Thinking of a Microsoft patent, we can ask if we want AI people with specific personalities that can converse with us.

How Password Sharing Is Similar to (Airplane Seat) Recline Rage

Many of us share Netflix passwords. We think it is okay to recline in our airplane seat. And we would be horrified if someone casually took the groceries out of our cart at the checkout. All three situations are similar.…

The Mystery of the Artless Heist

When the ownership rights of a $3.1 million John Constable painting are unclear, no one can buy or sell, display, or conserve it.

The Pitch That’s An Airline Problem

When you think about shrinking airline seats, you could consider pitch and width, but really the problem is all about property rights.

The Economy Where Black is Banned

Like Turkmenistan and Zimbabwe, wherever property rights are unpredictable, we can assume that we have a command economy.

Why Meteorite Ownership Matters

While it can be tough to decide who owns a meteorite, in China and the U.S., those “intergalactic” property rights matter since they determine who profits.