Category Archives: Property Rights

Tom DeWeese: SOCIAL JUSTICE, AFFORDABLE HOUSING, AND GOVERNMENT TYRANNY 4 (1)

by Tom DeWeese

You are a poor minority living in a government housing project called “Affordable.” It’s all paid for by the tax dollars of mostly middle-income Americans. Included in still more government programs are monthly checks and coupons to supply food, free healthcare, free education, and let’s also throw in free cell phone.

Does that not make us a generous nation? Are not the poor well cared for and satisfied? Aren’t the taxpayers proud of their contribution to the common good?

The answer to every one of these questions is NO!

First, consider these facts about that stipend income from the welfare check. Originally, it was called “assistance” and the purpose was to help out when the paycheck wasn’t quite covering needs. Then that system was changed and the welfare check means you can’t hold a job as you are collecting that monthly check. If a recipient even tries to put some away in savings, just an attempt to get ahead, it is confiscated and possibly the welfare check stops. It’s no longer “assistance” during hard times. Now it’s control.

Then there is that public housing situation. Here’s what it’s like to actually live in those government projects. In many cites these neighborhoods are drastically rundown in disrepair as lights, air conditioning, and appliances fail to work. The roof leaks, windows are broken, and the plumbing backs up. Trash around the grounds is in ever-growing piles, is rarely, if ever cleaned and hauled away. Don’t even think about any kind of yard work to create a place for the children to play. Worse, the residents live in fear of gang elements like MS-13 that have taken over the neighborhoods to rule as their territory. Pimps, pedophiles, and drug dealers prey on the children. And no matter how many times residents may ask for repairs, it never happens.

Why are the conditions so bad in this government-controlled housing? Government is a monopoly that has no incentive to be efficient. The taxpayers are forced to pay and the money rolls in so the politicians can puff out their chests over how generous THEY are in helping the less fortunate. Meanwhile, the management of these properties is by government bureaucrats with no personal stake in the projects. Their paychecks keep rolling in, no matter what happens to the properties they manage. Only private owners care about the condition of their property.

In such an atmosphere, the inherent hopelessness leaves little room for making future goals for their lives. There is no way out once the system has a hold on you. By herding African-Americans, other minorities, and low-income families like cattle, the government is committing them to a future worse than poverty. They have lost their rights, their choices, and their ability to excel through self-determination and personal growth.

Yet, proponents of government’s fair housing want you to think that those favoring the programs are the compassionate ones, helping minorities to survive in an oppressive capitalist world of the rich. Essentially, fear is the common tactic used to keep minorities in their programs. Anyone who opposes their system of control and, instead, argues sound economics and a system of equal opportunity, is accused of heartlessness and racism, determined to pull the plug on their lifeline.

To promote the fear and division, politicians, the news media, and the public education system continually drive home the message that our nation’s founders created an oppressive society in which Whites got all the goodies and minorities are deliberately oppressed. In addition, goes their propaganda, the free enterprise system is designed to take the money from the poor and put it in the rich man’s pocket. The result is strife, jealousy, and hatred between the races.

This, then, is the announced mission of today’s Democrat party and the official policy driving the Democrat-controlled Congress and the Biden administration. They are determined to be the saviors of the oppressed. Government oversight, redistribution of the wealth, and social justice are the chosen tools to enforce equality.

However, it’s interesting to note that the U.S. government has been on a drive to artificially enforce “equality” since Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” in the 1960s. Trillions have been spent as government size and power has mushroomed, and a whole segment of the population has come under its control, all in the name of compassion. Yet, the only true result has been the massive growth of poverty.

Now this current failed government housing model is being prepared for all of us.  

The new drive is to eliminate single-family home zoning protection. Our new controllers insist that such policy is really designed as a means for wealthy homeowners to “self-segregate” themselves from those they don’t want living in their neighborhoods. Specifically they charge that private property ownership is racist. To establish true “FREEDOM” in America, they tell us we need to open these “white privilege neighborhoods” to allow federal fair housing programs, including high rise government rental units in every neighborhood. They claim single family home neighborhoods contribute to a growing housing shortage. Why, don’t you know, we could put ten families in the area where only one now lives in those neighborhoods. It’s only fair!

Baltimore, Maryland became one of the first cities to feel such pressure and threats as the NAACP sued Baltimore over alleged housing segregation. The NAACP argument was that Section 8 subsidized housing programs “bunch people together, and that it only fuels more crime and other problems.” Not fair!

The solution, says the NAACP, is to “integrate the poor among wealthier families.” Outrageous as it sounds, such social justice mongers actually accuse those living in affluent neighborhoods of “self segregation for white privilege.” Racism!

The pressure from these groups, has resulted in Baltimore being forced to agree to spend $30 million of tax-payer dollars over the next ten years to build 1,000 low-income homes in affluent neighborhoods.

The result will be a destruction of property values and the loss of equity for the homeowners. In short, destruction of earned wealth, leading to destruction of the middle class.  More poor. It’s a growth product.

In Portland, Oregon, the infamous “poster child” of federal Smart Growth development policies, the city council unanimously approved a new tax to raise $12 million per year to pay for “affordable housing.”

Says Portland Commissioner Dan Saltsman, “The lack of affordable housing is the greatest crisis facing our city right now.” Perhaps he should take a long look at the twenty-year Smart Growth history of Portland in which massive amounts of land were locked away to limit the “sprawl” of the city. This led to land shortages, which led to bans on single-family homes, which led to the need for massive high rise apartment buildings, all of which led to higher costs and shortages of homes. Now, Portland has a “crisis “of low-income housings. Their solution is another tax on construction, driving up housing costs even more.

These same attacks on private property are growing across the nation. The Biden Administration is backing the bans on single-family home zoning as part of its official policy. Landlords are being labeled the new boogey men of our day, as taxes, rules, regulations, and even a ban on their ability to qualify potential renters as to whether they can afford to live in the building. Such policy is the destruction of private property rights, targeting an entire industry.

Of course, the government doesn’t say it that way, preferring to pretend that denying people who can’t afford to pay the rent to live in your property is “discrimination.” And how can the landlord survive and provide his property for housing if the tenant can’t pay? The only result will be fewer landlords and fewer choices for housing. Housing shortage, indeed!

All of these policies, instituted in the name of social justice and redistribution of wealth, will very quickly lead to one final solution. Private homes, privately owned rental properties, and the individual owner’s ability to prosper, will disappear. That means the rule of law is dismissed in favor of “fairness.” Social Justice is purely based on redistribution of wealth. Your wealth. That’s money you worked for, saved, invested, and protected for YOUR needs; YOUR dreams; YOUR future.

Eventually – and very soon – the only source of housing will be from government. Take a good look at the destroyed neighborhoods now under government control and see your future. Property rights and personal ownership is an equal opportunity for everyone to build wealth and freedom. It’s how the United States quickly became so prosperous. Government destroys personal choice, incentive, and the wealth created from it. It’s the reason we are now plummeting into poverty.


Bill Lockwood: Losing Property Rights 0 (0)

by Bill Lockwood

Fox & Friends reported Monday that an Ohio business owner “is receiving threats for cooperating with law enforcement officials investigating the looting of her cupcake store last month.” “Kelly Kandah, the owner of Colossal Cupcakes in Cleveland, which was destroyed by looters, said some of those threats include people telling her that when her store is rebuilt, ‘it’s going to happen again.’”

Ms. Kandah said that some of the “complaints” of rioters were due to the fact that her cooperation with the FBI is “upsetting people” because she would involve the police over something such as property.”

The family-owned business, which is Ms. Kandah’s investment of her own private capital, is afraid to re-open after repairs because her plea to law enforcement for protection is seen by the looters as “racist” for “not supporting ‘black lives.’”

Kelly Kandah’s story is only one example of literally hundreds and thousands of private business owners who have lost, and are in the process of losing their own private property to the forces of evil. Violence is sweeping the country in the aftermath of the George Floyd death leaving cities such as Minneapolis looking like the streets of Baghdad.

Socialism Cancels Property Rights

Much of the current hedonistic lawlessness, inclusive of the disrespect of private property, is due to the infusion of socialistic “values” in our people. The doctrine of socialism disdains the very concept of “private property.” Private property is itself considered to be evil, according to Spargo & Arner (Elements of Socialism).

Not only is private property considered to be evil, but is the very cause and root of all societal problems. “Dishonesty” is supposedly caused by “private property” (p. 23); property is that which “divides mankind into classes” (p. 206), and therefore, all property must be leveled.

A malicious view of these socialists is found in their comment regarding “Negroes” and private property. “The ‘thieving propensities’ of the Southern negro do not come from a criminal nature, but from the failure of a simple barbarous people fully to appreciate the conception of private property” (p. 71).

Since private property is seen as a development of evolutionary changes through centuries, and people are as well, Spargo & Arno are suggesting that blacks have not evolved to the point where they have appreciated the developments of civilization.

It is ironic that the current slew of Marxists and socialists in our universities have maligned Christianity with a backward view of blacks and private property—when in point of fact, it is SOCIALISM itself which teaches it.

Like Spargo & Arno of yesteryear, the current Mayor of NYC, Bill de Blasio, himself a Marxist, has decried the very concept of private property in a 2017 interview, as reported by USA Today (9-13-17). Private property is a roadblock to economic progress, per de Blasio.

The mobs, looters, and violence mongers stalking our city streets agree with him. Private property is for destruction. A godless worldview.

The Founders

The founders of America correctly recognized that all of private property is an extension of one’s life, energy, and ingenuity (see W. Cleon Skousen, The Five-Thousand Year Leap, 171). Therefore, “to destroy or confiscate such property is, in reality, an attack on the essence of life itself.”

“The person who has worked to cultivate a farm, obtained food by hunting, carved a beautiful statue, or secured a wage by his labor, has projected his very being—the very essence of his life—into that labor.”

Property rights—or more correctly, the right to property, is in reality an extension of personal liberty. Justice George Sutherland of the U.S. Supreme Court once stated, “… the individual—the man—has three great rights, equally sacred from arbitrary interference: the right to his LIFE, the right to his LIBERTY, the right to his PROPERTY.”

He went on to note that “the three rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worthy living. To give him his liberty but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”

Property rights is an essential ingredient to liberty and freedom. John Adams saw it clearly. “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be secure or liberty cannot exist.”

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “A right to property is founded in our natural wants, in the means with which we are endowed to satisfy these wants, and the right to what we acquire by those means without violating the similar rights of other sensible beings.”

For the reasons cited above, “Life, liberty, and property” is the phrase enshrined two times in our Constitution.

What Occurs When Property Rights Are Not Respected?

W. Cleon Skousen, in The Five-Thousand Year Leap, observed that FOUR things will occur, and have occurred, where the right to property is not preserved.

One, the incentive of an industrious person to develop and improve property is destroyed. This is exactly, to the tee, what is occurring in America right now as Marxist lawless gangs loot and destroy. Kelly Kandah is “AFRAID” to re-open her business, just as she was afraid to DEFEND her business as thugs destroyed it while she hid in the back rooms while the ransacking occurred. “My family built it up, [I] listened to it get absolutely destroyed,” she said on June 2. “That whole time we were locked in there [back bathroom]… I just listened to everything getting shattered and crushed.”

Two, the industrious individual would also be deprived of the fruits of his (or her) labor. Witness again Kelly Kandah, as well as a host of other law-abiding citizens who have lost their life fortune’s while their businesses went up in smoke in recent George Floyd riots.

Three, marauding bands would be tempted to go about the country confiscating by force and violence the good things that others had frugally and painstakingly provided. Who has not seen the video clips of huge Black Lives Matter crowds plus Antifa and useful idiots robbing and pillaging businesses, homes, and grocery stores?

Four, mankind would be impelled to remain on a bare-subsistence level of hand-to-mouth survival because the accumulation of anything would invite attack. Kelly Kandah, who has laboriously accumulated something of value through the years in her Colossal Cupcakes, invites lawless attacks simply due to that fact alone. It matters not that she declares she is “absolutely for the cause” (Black Lives Matter). That cuts no figure to Marxists and violence-mongers. She has accumulated something of value.

Be sure of this. In the wake of destruction of private property also comes destruction of innocent lives. Indeed, some of this has already been occurring. And all of this from a “WOKE” crowd.

Tom DeWeese: Not One Inch… The Battle Cry For Property Rights 0 (0)

Not One Inch… The Battle Cry For Property Rights- “No matter how noble a project may sound, alarm bells should go off when proponents want to enforce their vision in secret.”

by Tom DeWeese

I have been pushing hard lately to let people know that, no matter how big and powerful the opposition, the assault from big government forces can be stopped. That’s why I want to tell you about a recent major victory in Louisiana where a wonderful, determined group of residents rose up and stopped the implementation of the Caddo Lake National Heritage Area. By the way, this is the second NHA we’ve stopped. The Crooked Road NHA in Virginia was successfully shut down by us a few years ago.

National Heritage Areas are one of the most despicable stealth land grabs in the nation. Here’s why. Americans love history. And we love preserving significant places that played an important role in the making of our unique nation. So when we hear of a new plan in our area presented offering a chance to preserve some of our local heritage we are interested and even supportive.

But, in this day of massive government control over so much of our land, our economy, and our basic ability to live free lives, we must be cautious and look at the details of plans, no matter how innocent or well meaning they may seem.

National Heritage Areas are such a concern because they are sold to residents as simply a means to honor historic or cultural events that took place in a specific locale. We are told that they will preserve our culture and honor the past, that they will preserve battlefields where our forefathers fought and died for freedom, and that they will preserve birth places, homes, buildings and hallowed grounds for posterity. Most importantly, we are assured that NHAs will help build tourism and boost local economies.

The residents affected by the Caddo Lake NHA were suspicious because so little information was being released about the project. Who was behind it? Where was the money coming from? Above all, what specific areas were going to be affected?  So some determined residents did their homework. They learned the promises of increased tourism and boosts to the economy were, at best, empty. Rather, they learned NHA’s are little more than pork-barrel earmarks that endanger private property rights and local governmental powers. And a very specific danger is that Heritage Areas have very definite boundaries that come with very definite consequences for folks who reside within them. That’s because funding and technical assistance for Heritages Areas is administered through the National Park Service, a federal agency with a long history of hostility toward private landowners.

Private organizations and planning groups are the actual recipients of most of these funds supposedly earmarked for the Heritage Area. These entities operate as the promoters of the NHA in partnership with the Park Service. Eventually they form a commission or a “managing entity” to enforce the “vision” to implement the Heritage Area.

Typically such commissions consist of strictly ideological special interests groups. In the mix of these groups one will find all of the usual suspects: environmental groups, planning groups, historic preservation groups, all with their own private agendas – all working behind the scenes, creating policy. The managing entity then sets up non-elected boards and regional councils to oversee policy inside the Heritage Area that stretches over numerous communities and counties.

Purchase Tom’s latest book “Sustainable: The WAR on Free Enterprise, Private Property and Individuals”.

In many cases, these groups actually form a compact with the Interior Department to determine the guidelines that will make up a land use management plan and the boundaries of the Heritage Area itself. The management plan is their goal for how they envision the territory inside the boundary to be run. The plan will include guidelines for development goals, energy use, bike trails, undefined conservation controls, tourism, and anything else they want to control.

Now, after the boundaries are drawn and after the management plan has been approved by the Park Service, the management entity and its special interest groups are given the federal funds, typically a million dollars a year, or more, and told to spend that money to get the management plan enacted at the local level.

Here’s how those special interest groups operate with those funds. They go to local county boards and city councils and announce that Congress has passed legislation designating the Heritage Area and that the community is now within those boundaries. They pull out maps and announce the properties they have identified to be significant for preservation.

However, as the managing entity, they dont have the power to make laws but the local elected officials do and so the partnership is born, fed by the federal money. Now the managing entity will help create tools, legislation, guidelines and whatever regulatory procedures are needed to make the management plan come into fruition.

Incredibly, proponents argue that National Heritage Areas do not influence local zoning or land-use planning. Yet by definition this is precisely what they do. Found right in the language of most Heritage Area legislation, the management entity is specifically directed to restore, preserve, and manage anything and everything that is naturally, culturally, historically, and recreationally significant to the Heritage Area.

This sweeping mandate ensures that virtually every square inch of land within the boundaries is subject to the scrutiny of Park Service bureaucrats and their managing partners.

Of course, as with so many other invasive planning schemes, we are always assured that these are local initiatives, and that these are something citizens want in order to bring an honorary federal designation to help drive tourism into their regions. That simply isnt the case. The private, non-governmental organizations and planning groups are the ones who want the plan because they get to enforce their private agendas and then get to live off the grant money as they implement them. As proponents talk about historic preservation inside the Heritage Area, one will also find the catchwords “resource conservation” and “resource stewardship,” for example. That’s the clue to watch for.

It’s all about control. Control of the land, control of resources, control of decision making. How does that fit with their stated purpose of preserving American culture – which, of course, was built on the ideals of free enterprise and private property? In fact, it does the opposite by making government more powerful and dictatorial.

Proponents of NHAs also claim that they are “locally driven” projects. Nothing could be further from the truth. Landowners within the boundaries of proposed Heritage Areas are left in the dark throughout the entire process. For example, the final official map for the Caddo Lakes National Heritage Area, revealing its official boundary, was not to be released to the public until after the actual Congressional legislation was passed.

In addition, Heritage Area proponents refuse to supply a simple written notification to property owners that their land will be inside the boundaries. Seemingly the Park Service and their management “partners” are not too eager to share all the good news with the local citizenry.

I have personally been in meetings with congressional staffers to discuss Heritage Areas. I asked them if they intended to notify affected landowners living inside the boundaries of a specific Heritage Area. They looked at me like I had two heads.

They shuffled their feet and looked down at the table and then said, “There’s no way to do that.” “It would be too costly.” “How could we reach everyone?” I then suggested that they research a little know federal agency called the U.S. Postal Service. Mailmen appear too deliver to each and every one of the homes in the designated area every day.

The fact is, they don’t want to tell you in advance. You might object. And that would disrupt the “process.” No matter how noble a project may sound, alarm bells should go off when proponents want to enforce their vision in secret.

National Heritage Areas depend on federal tax dollars because they lack local interest— and not a single Heritage Area has ever succeeded in attracting that interest throughout their entire infinite lives. The federal money is the villain. If you just wanted to honor an area for its historic or cultural achievements, a simple resolution from Congress and a plaque at the county line could do that. The local Chamber of Commerce could then pick it up from there and build the expected tourism.

But of course, it’s not about that. It’s about control and money – lots of money in the pockets of private groups promoting their own agendas. Including taking control if people’s land.

There are 49 National Heritage Areas across the country so far – with more, now being considered around the country. Caddo Lake NHA, if legislated, would affect 900 square miles of private property, businesses, and whole communities. That’s a massive area to cover.

Along the Mississippi River there are two Heritage Areas, Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area and Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area. Now here is a region rich in history. There must be all kinds of good things happening along the mother of all rivers in the name of heritage preservation.

Well, today you won’t find people participating in one of the grand historic traditions of the river – living on riverboats. There were once whole generations of river people living on such boats. Talk about American heritage – right out of Mark Twain! Continue Reading

APC: https://americanpolicy.org/2018/09/18/not-one-inch-the-battle-cry-for-property-rights/?mc_cid=29efe6ffac&mc_eid=210870cea5

Read Tom Deweese’s Biography

Tom DeWeese: Why Property Rights Matter Prosperity – Stability – Freedom 0 (0)

by Tom DeWeese

There is an all out assault taking place in nearly every community against private property ownership. It’s being perpetrated at every level of government and funded by taxpayer grants. Yet few property owners raise objections, mainly because today most don’t have the basic understanding of the right of property ownership and its vital place in preserving our nation’s prosperity, economic stability and foundation of freedom.

Most Americans tend to think of private property simply as a home — the place where the family resides, store their belongings and find shelter and safety from the elements. It’s where you live. It’s yours because you pay the mortgage and the taxes. That’s about the extent of thought given to property ownership in today’s America.

There was a time when property ownership was considered to be much more. Property, and the ability to own and control it, was life itself. The great economist, John Locke, whose writings and ideas had major influence on the nation’s founders, believed that “life and liberty are secure only so long as the right of property is secure.”

Purchase Tom’s latest book “Sustainable: The WAR on Free Enterprise, Private Property and Individuals”.

Locke advocated that if property rights protection did not exist then the incentive for an industrious person to develop and improve property would be destroyed; depriving that person of the fruits of his labor; that marauding bands would confiscate by force the goods produced by others; and that mankind would be impelled to remain on a bare subsistence level of hand to mouth survival from fear that the accumulation of anything of value would invite attack.

Homeownership, and the equity it creates, has been the main source of wealth for millions of Americans. It’s the reason the United States was able to build incredible wealth and rise above much older nations. Sixty percent of American businesses were created by homeowners using the equity from their homes. Where private property is disallowed teeming and unrelenting poverty is the result.

Locke’s fears have become reality today through the innocent sounding term called “Sustainable Development. Under that banner, the very concept of property rights is being targeted as unrealistic in a drive to reorganize our communities through strict planning regulations.

Proponents define Sustainable Development as: “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”  According to its advocates, to achieve that goal requires massive amounts of land and natural resources to be permanently locked away from use; which translates to control, not conservation, as many perceive it to mean.

Sustainable Development requires a complete transformation of American society that will affect our system of justice, our economic system, and our ability to make individual life choices such as careers, family size, and the location of our homes.

The best known form of the Sustainable transformation is called Smart Growth. We’re told this policy is necessary to create the community of the future, to guarantee effective planning, and, most importantly, to protect the environment by reducing our carbon footprint to combat climate change.

Attending a local public meeting where the community‘s new “visioning” plan is being promoted, citizens will be assured that everything has been prepared by local leaders simply to address unique problems and well-laid plan for the future. However, a little research will show, ironically, that almost every community in every state has a nearly identical plan in process, usually ending with numbers like 2030 or 2050. One can also search the Internet and find such plans as Jamaica 2050 and Dubai 2050. They cover the world and most importantly – they are all the same basic plan no matter where they are, nationally or globally. One thing they all have in common – none of them are LOCAL!… CONTINUE READING ON OUR WEBSITE

APC: https://americanpolicy.org/2018/07/30/why-property-rights-matter-prosperity-stability-freedom/?mc_cid=64f875b2fd&mc_eid=210870cea5

Read Tom Deweese’s Biography