Political theory lacks a compelling account of public property. Addressing this gap, I present a “deep public ownership” model, according to which the body politic ultimately owns all the resources within its jurisdiction. I argue that this model is compatible with liberal intuitions regarding private property. I then contend that the model expands the scope of government’s duty to uphold the equality of all citizens, by challenging private property constraints on antidiscriminatory government policies. I anticipate the worry that the model supports excessive government intrusion into private affairs. I close by discussing abuse of public property by elected leaders.
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