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"It is embarrassing to have to remind people of this in the United States of America. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson singled out three natural rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The last phrase, appearing instead of "property," has prompted much discussion. I cannot say what Jefferson was thinking. But here's a plausible theory: Property is already implicit in liberty. If you are free, you can use your belongings as you see fit. But by specifying the pursuit of happiness Jefferson might have been pointing out that the blessing of liberty need not be justified through selfless service to others. One's life and happiness on earth are justification enough."
Sheldon Richman (more quotes by Sheldon Richman or books by/about Sheldon Richman)
Editor of The Freeman, author, journalist
Happiness, Liberty, Life, Property