I’m a devoted reader of my local newspaper. Last week the paper printed a broadside written by some fellow in a tinfoil hat. The good fellow maintained the NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard) who are raising a howl over a monstrosity proposed by a land developer have no business objecting to the bad effects the development will have on their lives. Land developers and speculators, so the writer maintains, are entitled to do anything they want under the rubric of Sacred Private Property Rights.
Well, these Sacred Private Property Rights are a shoe that fits both feet. If a developer feels he or she can dump on other property owners, simply because the developer owns land, then those other property owners – who also own land – have every right to dump on the developer. One man’s right is another man’s wrong.
Because Sacred Private Property Rights can be in conflict, there has to be some kind of tie-breaker. I think that the Sacred Private Property Rights of those owning single-family dwellings (houses) trump those of speculators, developers and real estate salesmen. To some this idea smacks of heresy for in the USA, we have an overweening concern for businesses. The belief seems to be “Business before people”.
After the Bush Depression, most of us have had the scales fall from our eyes and see businesses for what they are, and they are not benign (see my previous post). We must rein them in.
While we are on the subject of Sacred Private Property Rights, I’d like to clear up something about your Sacred Private Property Rights: You are the last one on the food chain.
- First, Uncle Sam can condemn your Sacred Private Property and “take it for public use” (and sometimes for private use too).
- Next comes the state, which can ‘take” property for the same reason.
- Followed by the county.
- Then the city.
- Then the bank, if you owe on it and don’t pay.
- And the county again for property taxes, which if you don’t pay, it’ll “take” too.
- And don’t forget zoning and permits – you have to get governmental permission to build anything, even to simply add toilet, let alone fill a wetland.
- Finally, at the bottom, comes you.