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Property rights - the case for freedom


Fri, Apr 22nd, 2005
Posted in Commentary

In the latter 1700’s our nation was formed on a foundation of personal freedom. In particular, private property rights were established. That choice resulted in the richest, most powerful political entity ever to exist on planet Earth.

In the early part of the 20th century other nations experienced political upheaval and wound up choosing to severely limit personal freedoms. Property and the decisions of how to use it were vested in agencies of the state. Central control was their choice. Results included economic failure, destruction of the human spirit and national collapse within one human lifespan.

We all breathed a sigh of relief when Communism collapsed. A huge threat to our way of life had been diminished. But we must remember history’s lessons. Most great civilizations collapse from within. In my mind, only our judicial system which has chosen to ignore its vow to protect the Constitution, is a greater threat to our way of life than the continuing trend toward public control of private property.

Everyone wants clean air, pure water, economic opportunity, security and a reasonably comfortable and stress-free lifestyle. The goals of all of us are very similar. Where we differ is in how to achieve these goals. Actually the question is quite similar to, “How should we enhance national revenues?” The apparent answer is, “Raise tax rates.” There is no doubt that this will raise revenues for a year or two but then the adjustments that businesses and people naturally make to this loss of funds (their freedom in a real sense) begins to be felt. Revenues decline as jobs are curtailed, businesses expand elsewhere or relocate entirely and the net long-term result is a loss of revenue for the governing body and a loss of economic activity for the area involved.

If a tax cut is made, tax revenues will obviously decline for a period but now, especially if other encouragements are present, the adjustments made by businesses and individuals are toward expansion of economic activity. Revenues rebound as a result of higher gross profits and the long term outcome is sustained higher revenues.

Personal freedom elicits increased economic activity which is the key to attaining the aforementioned “goals.” When China gave up on pure Communism in the economic realm, one of the first steps they took was to provide and guarantee private property rights. The result ha .....
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Peaceful trout streams pose dangerous consequences

Fri, Apr 22nd, 2005
Posted in Commentary

The new fishing regulations are not the only thing trout anglers have to worry about this spring. For the first time in my memory some of the streams are dangerous. The summer of 2004 saw three or four rain storms that climatologists would class as “ ..... 
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When Congress plays God

Fri, Mar 25th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

Congress spent more time passing legislation giving Terry Schiavo’s parents the right to sue in federal court than they did debating on whether to go to war in Iraq.  For the past 15 years, the brain damaged Schiavo has lived ..... 
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Bases in Iraq create occupier role for US

Fri, Mar 18th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

James Baker, in early February, warned that “any appearance of a permanent occupation in Iraq by the US will both undermine domestic support here in the US and play directly into the hands of those in the Middle East who...suspect us of imperial desi ..... 
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PCA/OEA merger will benefit industry at expense of citizens

Fri, Mar 18th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

There is a proposal in Governor Pawlentys’ budget to merge the Pollution Control Agency and the Office of Environmental Assistance. This is being brought forward under the guise of saving money and increasing efficiency. This always sounds good but t ..... 
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Mistrust of Maust was Heartland’s undoing

Fri, Mar 11th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

Mayor Kurt Reicks & Members of the Preston City Council,  We're sorry to report that the Heartland Energy & Recycling project as has been presented, is no longer under consideration. We don't like to admit failure, but we hav ..... 
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A “Free Press” within a democracy

Fri, Feb 25th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

I believe I was in 5th grade when my dad was elected to the school board. The local headline, in our town of 2,300, read “Flaig wins by a landslide.” I recall that it was spring, and the two of us went to mass (on a week day!) to express our thanks f ..... 
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The devil is in the details

Fri, Feb 11th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

Just when you were getting comfortable with the notion that it was the other guy that was getting screwed, ol’ George Bush put out his 2006 budget. And now you know it’s not just the poor that will be getting hammered, but people closer to home like ..... 
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A bad idea whose time has come, again

Fri, Feb 4th, 2005
Posted in Commentary

It’s that silly season - a time before the legislature has to agree on a budget and the real partisan fighting begins - when legislators can tease their constituents with the notion that they are going to sponsor a pork barrel bill in their name. [Read the Rest]
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