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DADDY WARBUCKS
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WorldNetDaily / Commentary

Henry Lamb

The selling out of America


Posted: December 4, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern

? 2004 WorldNetDaily.com

For nearly 200 years, governments in America rarely bought private property, except "... for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards and other needful buildings," as specified in the U.S. Constitution. In the last 30 years, however, all governments ? federal, state, and local ? have gone on a buying spree, gobbling up land everywhere to protect and preserve, which, incidentally, is not one of the purposes authorized by the Constitution.

Why has this change in acquisition policy come about, and what are the long-term consequences?

The change in policy coincides with the rise of the environmental movement in the '60s and '70s. The idea that government should own and control all the land emerged in 1976 from the U.N. Conference on Human Settlements (HABITAT I) that met in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The conference report contained 65 pages of specific recommendations for government to acquire or control private property. The preamble to the report says:


Land ... cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. The provision of decent dwellings and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interests of society as a whole. Public control of land use is therefore indispensable. ...
Several of the same environmental organizations that helped shape this policy through the International Union for the Conservation of Nature launched domestic campaigns to get government to buy or regulate private property.
The Nature Conservancy announced its program to save America's "Last Great Places" and began buying up vast stretches of private real estate, often with grants from taxpayers. Other organizations promoted state and local campaigns to buy up "open space" to prevent urban sprawl.

In two separate sessions of Congress, these same environmental organizations promoted legislation to set aside $3 billion each year for 18 years, expressly for the purpose of buying private property.

Opponents were able to seriously weaken these efforts, but nevertheless, each year, more and more local, state and federal tax dollars are being used to buy private property.

Simultaneously, increasingly restrictive land-use planning, zoning and regulatory control laws have also been adopted by every level of government.

The consequences of these efforts are now being felt across the land. In Big Sur, Calif., for example, more than 70 percent of the land is publicly owned. The price of land has skyrocketed to the point that life-long residents have been forced to move away, and property taxes are confiscatory.

Increasing property tax is one of the first consequences of excessive government ownership. The cost of government does not decrease, but the number of property owners who must pay the costs does decrease, thereby forcing the remaining property owners to pay a higher rate, in both taxes and fees.

Even more important is the long-term consequence. Currently, governments own about 42 percent of the total land area in the U.S. Land trusts own an additional unknowable amount of land. Fast-forward 50 years. At the current rate of "preservation," governments and land trusts will own most of the land, and by 2100, private property will be a distant memory.

In this new world, people will have to live on property that is owned by the government ? or a land trust. Farmers will have to farm land that also is owned by the government or a land trust, and industry will have to operate using resources that are publicly owned.

Get the picture? He who owns the land controls its use ? and gathers its wealth.

Sadly, many people are eager to sell their land or the use of their land through easements to the government or to a land trust. These buyers have no shortage of money and can offer tax breaks that private buyers cannot. Consequently, America is being sold out.

Every new land-acquisition appropriation in Washington or at the state and local level moves America closer and closer to that socialist utopia described in the 1976 U.N. document, which declares that "public control of land use is therefore indispensable."


Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the /Environmental Conservation Organization and chairman of /Sovereignty International.
 

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Private land ownership is already a thing of the past. Nobody owns their land, they rent it. Don't believe me, miss paying your taxes for a year and see who owns it.
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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I have conflicting emotions on this issue. I hate to hear stories of the government seizing homes and farms in order to resell it to corporations wanting to build shopping malls, factories, and casinos. Then again, it really bothers me that the rich and powerful have managed to buy up a lot of our natural environment for personal gain. I think there is a delicate balance that must be maintained in order to retain the beauty of our country for future generations.

That's not an easy task to manage and keep everyone satisfied.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
To me it is an issue of volume and purpose.

One example close to home.

The township I live in is quite hilly and forested but also very developed. Our trustees took adavantage of a state program where they were authorized by law to acquire "greenspace".

They buy parcels that are undeveloped and do nothing with them. They have no maintenance costs or any use. They can not be used for development or any other reason. The sole purpose is to maintain some of the original character of the land here.

Quite often they get land donated. A lot of it is not that easily buildable but it serves the purpose.
 

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Yeah, I have no problem with Federal and State Forrests and Parks. I enjoy a good picnic every now and then. As long as it stops there. But, if we are not careful, it's only a matter of time before we are subjects and not citizens.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A lot of it starts with great intentions and then goes bad.

For many years, I was involved in site selection for new factories for my company. We had a bias for small towns in semi rural areas.

Most of these small towns were dying. Becoming nothing but senior citizens because there were no jobs for their kids. The kids had to move away.

City fathers get together and set up an economic development agency sanctioned by state law. They buy private land and develop it into an industrial park. They start to woo businesses with tax incentives and other things to bring in the jobs.

What started out as a win-win is often now turning into a giveaway that does not really add the good jobs originally intended.

I have seen it done very intelligently but also very foolishly.
 

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Custer said:
I have seen it done very intelligently but also very foolishly.
Sadly more often than not, it is done foolishly. And like you said, if gov programs stayed with there original intent, it wouldn't be so bad. But how often does that happen? Sooner or later someone always screws it up.
 

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Code name: Felix
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Interesting you should bring that up.

We have a lot of privately owned land in the south end of the county that's federally protected as "wetlands", we are talking about thousands of acres of land that have no use and EPA will not let you build, farm or hunt. However, if you are willing to pay a restitution fee of $20,000 per acre they'll allow you to farm it, but there are no roads, dirt or asphalt to take you there, so what do you do if you own it? Pay taxes and nothing else. Most of them are for sale, and unscrupulous realtors try to sell them to unaware buyers who later get stuck with them.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It is worse out west. I think the Feds own most of the land.

That fact sort of shows you how the Federal government changed from the original intent of the Founders.
 

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Property is theft.

-Proudhon
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
There is no such thing as property rights. Only individual rights in property.

Custer.
 

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There is no longer an aparatus by which you can purchase allodial title to land anymore... period.

Lynch
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
There has always been taxes on land and even going back to the Founders day that is how most people lost their land.
 

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Code name: Felix
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Cephus said:
Noway and nohow can you own a piece of land. TAXES TAXES TAXES
That's why Senator Graham, who's family owns the most expensive land in Miami still keeps cows in some parcels, surrounded by multimillion dollars shopping centers, office buildings and million dollar homes: Agricultural classification.
 

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Lucky me, I don't have to pay one dime in taxes on my little spread.
 

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How did you manage that?

I know of loopholes, but none that are completely on the up and up.

Lynch
 

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Lynch said:
How did you manage that?

I know of loopholes, but none that are completely on the up and up.

Lynch
In Louisiana we have an homestead exemption. Don't have to pay as long as I'm living on the property.:)
 

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Interesting... how does property qualify as a homestead?

Lynch
 

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Lynch said:
Interesting... how does property qualify as a homestead?

Lynch
Just has to be worth less than $75,000.00, I think.
 
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