Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Property rights in an ISIS city

Planet Money had a great episode recently detailing a smuggled-out city budgeting document for a Syrian city that has now fallen to ISIS, the terror organization.  It turns out that ISIS runs its civil operations with an administrative precision.  The line item that caught my ear was "confiscations"--the taking of real and personal private property of the city's residents--to fund the city's operation.  According to the report, some 40% of the city budget under ISIS derived from such confiscations.  One town's confiscations to make the city budget:  17 houses, 80 cars, 36 trucks, land, cigarettes, and sheep.

Oh, and by the way, you need a permit to loot antiquities in an ISIS jurisdiction.  For that, ISIS might set a new standard for licensure and taxes in lawless behavior.

Quite remarkable.  The detailed discussion of the city budget begins around Minute 9:00.

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