That’s part of why, paradoxically, the poor need property rights even more than the rich: What the poor possess is definitionally small. As a result, it’s all too easy to take everything that they have. Including their sense of dignity. Including their ability to trust. And, finally, including their sense of community, which has to start (and I do feel a bit pedantic saying it) with the understanding that community leaders and enforcers aren’t just out to squeeze them for cash. That the leaders and enforcers don’t see them merely as yet another home to be searched, another gun to seize, another dog to shoot, and another marijuana conviction waiting to happen.
The poor need security not just in their own property, but also in that of others. And these others aren’t necessarily poor. It’s a good thing whenever the owner of a grocery store franchise feels confident enough to get started in a neighborhood that maybe wasn’t so well-off, and that maybe lacked good choices beforehand. But that won’t happen without a measure of trust, and when the community has good reason not to trust, well, outsiders probably won’t trust either.
Taken together, this all represents a serious threat to Google’s presumed superiority, especially in product search. Amazon knows what books you’ve read, what music you listen to and what products you’ve bought. Facebook knows what you like, what your friends like and how much you influence each other. For advertisers and retailers, it is easy to see why Amazon and Facebook are increasingly compelling partners.
So to say that Google will be able to leverage its success in general search into dominance of more specialized markets completely misses the mark. There is nothing here that should worry antitrust regulators. Competition with Google may not and need not look exactly like Google itself, but it is competition nonetheless.
Dan Mitchell rightly calls civil asset forfeiture just what it is: theft. Truly, it’s difficult to believe that civil asset forfeiture – a practice that would cause the most sociopathic banana-republic dictator to blush – is still routine throughout the United States (although, as Dan notes, New Mexico is taking steps to scale it back there).