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Just a matter of time

By Albert V. Burns
web posted April 8, 2002

When Thomas Jefferson was writing the first draft of the Declaration of Independence, he wrote: "...that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and private property...." Unfortunately for our current times, in the final draft the words "private property" were changed to "the pursuit of happiness."

That change may not seem important to most people, but it is incredibly important to the future of this country and our people. The Founding Fathers well knew that without the right of individuals to own, control, benefit from, and dispose of private property there can be no freedom. Private property is the foundation on which all the other freedoms are built.

Now it appears that there is a determined, concerted drive on the part of government at all levels to interfere with and destroy the idea of private ownership and control of property. That attack, of course, was the very basis of the whole communist drive for the control of people.

There is now a "guidebook", a federally funded guidebook which took seven years to produce and cost nearly $2 million taxpayer dollars. The title of this "guidebook" is the "Growing Smart Legislative Guidebook." The U. S.

Department of Housing and Urban Development sponsored it. The "American Planning Association" drafted it. In addition to the funding from HUD, the project also received money from the Department of Transportation, EPA, FEMA, Department of Agriculture, the Annie Casey Foundation, the Siemens Corporation and the American Planning Association (APA).

This 2000 page document is the product of "Growing Smart" a long term project of the APA, a non-governmental organization of land use planners. This guidebook is basically a collection of statutes which state legislatures will be "encouraged" to enact to establish planning, land development controls, regulations, procedural processes, etc. In short, the means to take control of private property from the hands of those who actually own the property. While this guidebook was being produced, there were no public hearings, no public notice and virtually no one in Congress was even aware that this was being produced. Property rights groups and small business owners were carefully excluded from participation in the development.

The guidebook contains recommendations for state and local agencies to change their ordinances and policies. It is a mechanism for the federalization of all land control in the United States. It is a formula for "top-down" planning and control of all land and businesses with local communities, and owners, losing virtually any input into the process.

Back in the 70's, Morris Udall introduced a bill in the House that would have done essentially the same thing. Because of massive outcry from the public, the bill was soundly defeated. Congress would almost certainly reject such a proposal again. So a different approach was decided upon.

The APA developed the plan for HUD as a "guidebook" for state legislatures. HUD then paid the APA. Now HUD will have one of three alternatives: approve the guidebook, reject it, or approve it with the insistence that a dissenting report be included in the report. If it is approved by the Secretary of HUD, it would have the weight of the federal government behind it. If the third alternative is chosen, the APA would still own the plan (even though it was paid for by the government) and could still peddle it to state governments but without the backing (openly) of the federal government. So far as the American public is concerned, the only safe (?) alternative is choice two, outright rejection.

Those already on record as opposing this attack on private property include the Defenders of Property Rights, National Black Chamber of Commerce, The Small Business Survival Committee, the National Cattlemen's Association, Competitive Enterprise Institute, the American Conservative Union, and other individuals and groups.

A letter written and endorsed by these opponents of the "Growing Smart Legislative Guidebook" states: "The Legislative Guidebook as presently drafted federalizes local and state land use control, tramples private property rights, discriminates against minority business owners and impedes economic development."

This "guidebook" is an impending disaster waiting to be imposed on an unsuspecting American people.

While most people have never considered the question, it is a fact that "control" is more important than "ownership." That may seem a contradiction, but let's assume that you buy a car - a very nice expensive car. You buy it, you pay for the license, insurance, upkeep, fuel, repairs and all other expenses, expecting to drive it where and when you choose to do so. Ah, but there is a problem that interferes with your plans.

Government! Bureaucrats, in their infinite wisdom, dictate that the car may only be driven on back roads that are generally in bad repair. Further, to encourage production in third world nations, they mandate that you may only use cheap, foreign made imitations of genuine factory parts in repairing your car. To add final insult to injury, you may only use the lowest grade of gasoline in the engine of your car although the factory says it should have the highest octane available. The value of your new expensive car has been drastically reduced by government intervention.

If you check any good textbook on economics, this is the very definition of fascism: government control of privately owned property. Contrary to what most people believe, fascism is an economic system, not a political system.

Fascism is much more efficient that socialism, where the state owns some of the property or communism where the state owns all of the property. So long as a citizen believes he owns a piece of property, he will, normally, do whatever is necessary to maintain that property taking the burden off the state. That is what this new guidebook is all about - those who don't own the property have the power to control what they don't own!

Over 200 years ago, Goethe said, "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." It is long past time for the American people to look, with clear eyes, at what has been happening in this country for the past six or seven decades.

You need to read more about it at http //www.worldnetdaily.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=25381

I urge everyone concerned about the future of this country and their children to go there, download the article, study it, and then forward it widely to friends, relatives, etc.

Albert V. Burns, a retired civil engineer, is a writer and political activist who lives in Spanish Fork, Utah.

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