Harriet Harman, property rights and the rule of law
If property rights – which include, of course, pension entitlements – were to be determined by “the court of public opinion” the results would be economically catastrophic. Resources would be diverted to those deemed morally worthy, or able to capture the political process, rather than to enterprises that would put them to their most productive use. Distortion of the market process by attempting to deliberately assign income and wealth always results in impoverishment – thus always proving counter-productive. Sadly, there is no shortage of examples of societies that have met such a fate. The Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites are one example from recent history. Zimbabwe offers a contemporary case.