masthead-highres

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Hands Off Our Stuff -- Personal and National Property Rights Deserve Defense

National Center Policy Analyst Ryan Balis is becoming a prolific online author on the topic of property rights -- both personal and, believe it or not, national.

Writing in Human Events Online July 1, Ryan has this to say about personal property rights:
The public interest law firm Institute for Justice [has] found that governments have wrongly threatened or condemned more than 10,000 properties nationwide for private use since 1998.

This is perhaps unsurprising considering the average homeowner lacks the political connections and financial resources to defend against a major corporation with ambitions on their property, and the Supreme Court's decision in Kelo opens the door to more widespread abuse in the future. Now, a profitable business plan could be all that's needed to move people out of their homes and onto the street...the Kelo case underscores the need to place limits on government's power to evict people from their property. Many states - where this ruling is likely to be battled out - do not have well-defined constitutional guidelines on the permissible exercise of eminent domain power. Fewer than 10 states permit the taking of private property to eliminate 'blight,' but otherwise outlaw it.

In response to the Supreme Court's decision, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) recently introduced legislation to clarify the government's use of eminent domain for genuine public use...
Also on July 1, NewsMax published this piece by Ryan about national property rights:
We look to our nation's most valued landmarks this Independence Day as a reminder of the liberty, strength and justice of America at its best.

Yet politics - international politics, to be exact - is threatening the integrity of long-standing national landmarks traditionally thought of as distinctly American: the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park, to name a few. Since 1972, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - the Paris-based cultural arm of the U.N. - has singled out 22 sites in the U.S. and 788 others worldwide as cultural or natural sites of World Heritage. According to UNESCO, these buildings, monuments and memorials have a special and "outstanding value to humanity." Their preservation, therefore, is a matter of global concern.

It is important to protect national treasures from threats such as visitor overcrowding, theft and weather so that future generations may enjoy their greatness. But managing America's "heritage" at the global level not only is economically impractical, it also confuses the distinctness of our heritage with what the first President Bush called a "new world order."

Heritage within our nation's territorial boundaries belongs to the American people...
Top read the entire Kelo piece, go here; to finish reading about how the U.N.'s World Heritage Areas program essentially cedes a degree of authority over American landmarks to the United Nations, please go here.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:22 AM

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