Friday, November 26, 2010

Trailer park to kids: 'Go play in the ditch."

Trailer park to kids: 'Go play in the ditch."

Property rights collide in Albuquerque again. A dad is upset that the trailer park manager suggests that resident kids cross a street and play beside a ditch rather than on the trailer park's streets or around other people's trailers.

I can see both sides. If kids are trespassing on the other resident's properties, or blocking traffic by playing in the streets, I can see that the other residents would get upset and demand that the manager "do something". On the other hand, to suggest that the kids cross a busier street to play in a ditch is just absurd. I wonder if he got permission from the ditch-property owner before making that suggestion.

The trailer park owner has a right to restrict use of the property that is not rented to a specific individual, and has an obligation to defend the property rights of those who rent from him. The renters have a right to defend their own rented property from trespassers of any age. Not every right you possess should necessarily be exercised in every situation. Probably this wouldn't have become an issue had the kids respected property rights to begin with, so the parents should emphasize that lesson, too. Of course, that means teaching the parents about property rights first.

I suggest a solution: Let the parents of the kids make an agreement among themselves as to letting the kids play in their respective yards and any other yards that might be offered for the purpose. Maybe there are some adjacent yards that could be used, with the owners' permission, for team sports. Then try to get the kids to agree to stay off other property and off the streets as much as possible, and inform them of the consequences if they don't.

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