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Nationalization is the involuntary transfer of private property to government ownership through confiscation, expropriation, or seizure, often with no compensation paid to the private owner. If the asset is transferred through a forced sale, the price is usually nonnegotiable and often set below the fair market value. In rare cases, an asset is confiscated by one level of government from another, as might be the case when a national entity seizes municipal property, for example, to consolidate an industry under national control.

The classic argument for nationalization stems from the idea that some essential services and commodities are so critical to citizen's lives that they cannot be entrusted to private enterprises, with motives (usually profit) that may be at odds with ensuring the general welfare. ...

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