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Press Release: Whatever Happened to 'Caveat Emptor'?

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  • Libertarianz Media Centre
    Press Release For Immediate Release Leaky Homes Whatever Happened to Caveat Emptor ? ============================= Owners of leaky homes identify
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 2 4:33 PM
      Press Release
      For Immediate Release
      'Leaky Homes'

      Whatever Happened to 'Caveat Emptor'?

      "Owners of leaky homes identify responsibility for their predicament about
      as well as they identify houses to invest it," says Andrew Bates, a
      spokesman for the Libertarianz Party. "I have any amount of sympathy for
      people who have found themselves in an unfortunate situation in a leaky
      house," says Bates, "but taxpayers and ratepayers should not be forced to
      pay for the poor decisions of these buck-passers. If the contracts that
      home-owners negotiated with their builders did not contain clauses for
      repairs to be made good at the builders' expense then the home owners should
      pay for them, and probably out of the savings they made using such a

      Bates is aware of reports that in some cases builders have used "shell
      companies" to build the houses and collect "quick kill" profits and that
      these companies are nowhere to be found when their customers come calling to
      have their leaks fixed. "Situations like these merely serve to illustrate
      the importance of buying from a reputable builder. Such builders have a lot
      to lose if they do a shoddy job whereas cowboys, who can usually undercut
      them, lose nothing of value when they shut down their companies to avoid the
      costs of repairing ill-considered shortcuts."

      He points out that regulations designed to protect small scale investors
      "merely lull them into a false sense of security, much the same as with
      protectionist securities law - as those who invested in Enron can tell you."
      He also suggests that "instead of blaming the alleged 'infectious greed' of
      builders and other developers, home-buyers should look to the words Alan
      Greenspan wrote in his article 'The Assault on Integrity' and see how they
      relate to the principle of caveat emptor."

      In this August 1963 essay Greenspan points out that small companies must
      struggle for years to develop a reputation for quality products and good
      faith trading. Greenspan also notes that surveyors of quality standards
      employed by the government can be bought but those employed by free market
      quality standards testers have a financial incentive to maintain the
      integrity of their assessment.

      With those words in mind Bates confirms his party's position: "Libertarianz
      maintain the job of government in this case is to uphold contracts that do
      exist, to investigate frauds that may exist, to provide inexpensive access
      to justice where it is needed - and in every other case to get the hell out
      of the way."

      Andrew Bates
      (021) 346 478
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