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Week of: April 1, 2001

Why Prefer Scarcity to Abundance?

by F.R. Duplantier

Skeptics think that seeing is believing; visionaries know that it's really just the opposite..

Privatization of federal lands could help solve so many problems. By eliminating the cost of public upkeep -- and generating revenue through the initial sale of each parcel and the subsequent taxation of the new property owner -- privatization could substantially reduce the federal debt. Perhaps the old "forty acres and a mule" idea could be resurrected and adapted to current conditions, thereby allowing welfare reform to be coordinated with land privatization and facilitating the transition of dole recipients to the status of self-supporting taxpayers. Aside from crackpot environmental theories and the ulterior motives of the vested interests who pay for their propagation, what possible argument can be made against transforming the financial liability of federal land into the financial asset of private land?

Before they succumbed to those crackpot theories and joined the ranks of the population controllers, American philanthropists recognized and supported the promise of biotechnology. They should reboard the biotech bandwagon and get the Green Revolution rolling again. Surely this optimistic vision is more appealing than the bleak and depressing one they've been financing for the past three decades. What kind of would-be humanitarian would prefer to stave off disaster in a world of scarcity when he could, instead, be contributing to a better life for all in a world of abundance? A philanthropist who finances a self-fulfilling fear of fecundity is no philanthropist at all, but a misanthrope. It's time to put the phil- back in philanthropy and recapture the loving regard for men and for mankind that once characterized the eleemosynary enterprise. It may require a leap of faith, but what worthwhile endeavor doesn't?

The Mean Green Joes of the environmental movement will undoubtedly continue their misanthropic misadventures, and that's their prerogative. They would be welcome to wage their cockeyed campaigns if only they did so on their own dime, and not at taxpayer expense. What's galling about the Greens is not that they want to send us all back to the Stone Age, but that they insist on buying the one-way tickets with our money! These fatuous freeloaders should forgo the government handouts and finance their own fantasies. Or, if they want us to pay, they should try persuading us to support their cause. If they really believed their own propaganda, maybe they could.

But no rational person can accept the socialistic distortions of radical environmentalists. Black is white. Up is down. Right is wrong. Inversion is the modus operandi of the socialist, the devil's disciple. He twists freedom into license, the loss of self-control. He transforms a child's right to be raised by his parents free of outside interference into government- enforced claims against those parents. He contorts the concept of property rights -- the foundation of all free societies -- so that it no longer means the right of the owner to freely use his property, but the right of the property to be free from its owner's use (or the right of the community to enjoy what belongs to the individual). No one with a decent education would fall for these impostures. Perhaps that's why we have the school system we do.

 

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