Who Needs Freedom?

If you read the Baltimore Sun on a regular basis, you read a lot of editorials which are trite, juvenile, unenlightened, and asinine. But not many of those columns were as disturbing as the one in this morning’s paper penned by Roy Gothie of the Maryland State Highway Administration. While Gothie makes valid points about the need to protect the health of the Bay, what he writes is a frightening vision into an O’Malleyian dystopia.

In Gothie’s world, people only have property rights at the whim and call of the state:

The modern concept of property rights substantially contributes to the Chesapeake Bay‘s continued decline. At this point, tinkering around the edges of the issue with minor changes to laws and regulations will no longer be enough to save the bay. Only a societal decision to redefine an individual’s rights regarding property can restore the bay and other critical ecosystems.

Developers, industrialists, homeowners and farmers have long assumed that the core bundle of rights attached to a piece of property exists to benefit the property owners. This is not exactly the case. Property rights are creations of the state, designed to ensure a stable, civil society and a functioning economy. Thus, any property rights a land owner possesses exist mainly to serve the greater public good.

Read that again.

Thus, any property rights a land owner possesses exist mainly to serve the greater public good.

In the warped mind of this state bureaucrat, your property rights are valid only so long as what you do with the land conforms to what the state decides is in the state’s best interest. If this guy had his way, you would not be able to do anything on your property, property that you have purchased, property that you rightfully have paid for, unless the state allows you to do it in the name of the state and the name of the citizenry.

Rarely, if ever, has the Baltimore Sun ever printed such a direct and vicious assault on the American way of life than it has with this column. I am extremely disturbed by the fact that an individual who has such an anti-American, anti-freedom view of private property rights is, in fact, employed by the state as a planner. What decisions are being made by the State Highway Administration that deal with your property rights and the property rights of your neighbors? In what ways does Roy Gothie believe that the state can put your land to better use than you can? Perhaps it’s time for a full and comprehensive investigation into SHA’s land use activities.

Private property rights are a basic human right, one that has been a part of civilized societies for thousands of years. Unfortunately, sometimes you get delusional folks such as Roy Gothie who believe that humans can’t handle our basic human rights. I think maybe the state of Maryland should ship him back to Michigan, whence he came. We can certainly use our state resources better than employing people with such radical views…

(Crossposted)






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