"All systems are capitalist. It's just a matter of who owns and controls the capital -- ancient king, dictator, or private individual. We should properly be looking at the contrast between a free market system where individuals have the right to live like kings if they have the ability to earn that right and government control of the market system such as we find today in socialist nations. "
-- Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911 - 2004) American President
"Nobody spends somebody else's money as carefully as he spends his own. Nobody uses somebody else's resources as carefully as he uses his own. So if you want efficiency and effectiveness, if you want knowledge to be properly utilized, you have to do it through the means of private property."
-- Milton Friedman (1912 - 2006) American Nobel Laureate economist
"While it might surprise many ecologists to hear, capitalism is itself the ultimate form of conservationism. Capitalists seek to conserve resources, not because of sentimental feelings about nature or the earth or whales or worry about the well-being of future generations, but simply because every drop of oil, every ton of ore, every shipment of wood saved is a cost reduction and money in the pocket. "
-- Steven E Plaut (1951 - ) Israeli economist
"No person shall be ... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
-- Fifth Amendement to the Constitution of the United States (1791)
-- The Principles of the Free Market
The term 'sustainability' has lately been misused in public debate to justify regulation or even seizure of private property. Garrett Hardin published The Tragedy of the Commons in the journal Science in 1968, documenting the inevitable effects of communal ownership of property. When property is communally owned he presents mathematical arguments that it is in every individuals best interest to over-utilize communal resources until they are utterly exhausted.
Historically, private property is managed better and more sustainably by individuals and corporations than by governments or communally. Private resources tend to be utilized sustainably if only to retain their resale value and to pass on to the next generation. Government controlled resources tend to be forbidden or exploited to most benefit whoever is in power at that moment.