In his most recent essay in the conversation, Daniel Klein continues our debate over the question of whether most contemporary liberals assume government “overlordship” of all property — that, in Daniel’s words, “everything is owned by the state.” In my view, outlined in my two previous contributions, most modern liberals don’t make any such assumption. They merely believe that private property rights can often be overridden in order to promote other values, such as equality or utility.

In response, Daniel cites a poll of economists asking whether they believe that “that the minimum wage law is coercive because it (along with concomitant enforcement) threatens physical aggression against people for engaging in certain voluntary, consensual acts.” Some 50.5% chose the response that “I give little to no weight to that definition of liberty; the minimum wage law is not coercive in any significant sense.”