Public vs. Private

Liberty News

Public vs. Private

The two terms have always confused me. In general, public means the people considered as a whole, the populace, the citizenry, etc. Private, on the other hand, refers to particular individuals. So public ownership means ownership by everyone, which is a bewildering concept, to say the least. Private ownership, on the other hand, is straightforward: this is MINE. But is it?

Politicians are prone to speak of certain impressive government buildings as belonging to the public. It sounds good, and probably reassures the politically simple. The White House, we are assured, is the people