Author: Tom DeWeese
The American system of free enterprise, private property ownership and individual liberty is under attack by a political force that, while plainly out in the open for all to see, is little understood and mostly ignored. Yet an army of private non-governmental organizations (NGOs), city planners and federal agencies have teamed up specifically to change human society under a banner called Sustainable Development. It is gaining power in every state, county and community under the false threat of Environmental Armageddon, demanding that we completely reorganize our economic system, our representative form of government and our individual lifestyle.
While termed in positive sounding purposes, in reality Sustainable policy imposes massive government regulations enforced through state and local governments. These policies place severe restrictions on energy and water use. Development schemes seek to ban the use of cars, instead forcing ridership on massively expensive and inconvenient public transportation systems. Meanwhile, so-called “Visioning” programs follow enforcement of international policies to reorganize communities into a one-size-fits-all straightjacket. In the rural areas such policies are purposely designed to make it nearly impossible to live on the land, leading to the destruction of the ranching and timber industries. In the cities, the policy known as Smart Growth is using federal grant money and public/private partnerships between developers and government officials to impose eminent domain, destroying private ownership. In the inner cities development policies routinely bulldoze low income and ethnic neighborhoods. These are replaced with expensive high-rise condos which the original residents can’t afford, forcing them into government housing and federal welfare programs from which there is no escape and no hope of building a life of their own.
Private property ownership is the single most effective tool to eradicate poverty, yet it is being systematically eliminated under these programs. For homeowners across the nation, property rights have been reduced to the obligation to pay taxes and the mortgage, while nearly every other decision about the use of the property is made by a government agency. Without the right of unrestricted use, property ownership becomes a barren right. Individual choice is eliminated by the dictates of the collective and free enterprise is replaced by partnerships between government and huge corporations. Those private corporations then use their tight connections with government to help eliminate competition, all under the innocent sounding excuse of Sustainable Development. In Sustainable, author Tom DeWeese clearly makes the case that such policies are a war on free enterprise, private property ownership, and individual choice.