Owning Freedom Means Owning America

Deborah Venable



Clipped from an article I wrote over ten years ago:


Freedom – Own It Or Lose It


Freedom of private property ownership is seen by all too many as something that is a “given” in America.  Unfortunately, it isn’t.  Not really, even though it was considered an unalienable right by Thomas Jefferson in the first draft of the Declaration of Independence.  As we know, that got scuttled and replaced with “the pursuit of happiness.”  So, if the freedom to own property and do with it as you see fit were actually an unalienable right, would it make a difference in today’s America?  Perhaps there would be one very big difference.  The battle to preserve it would be waged on the front pages of every publication and in the forefront of every media outlet instead of within small pockets of concerned citizens who are aware of just how important and basic to all other freedoms it is.  The attempt to destroy private property ownership rights would not be buried in fine print of legislation and discussed in secretive planning sessions or watch dogged only by small grassroots organizations and media outlets. 


Why, in the face of repeated historical evidence, is private property ownership downplayed as unimportant in the grand scheme of preserving individual freedoms?  Is it just ignorance of the masses or an overall disrespect for the value of human life itself? 


The right to own property is at the heart of understanding and accepting responsibility.  As the right erodes, so does responsibility for the present and future of man’s existence.  In today’s America, all too many folks have the idea that property ownership goes hand in hand with oppression instead of the other way around.  It is no wonder why we find so few ready to defend America no matter what, and why so many are willing to blame all things evil on wealthy Americans and the American Way Of Life. 


The discussion of property rights is not limited to the ownership of land or “real property,” but land ownership is under constant attack and remains the most important thread in the discussion.  For that reason, all too many citizens distance themselves from the battle because they figure that it doesn’t concern them if they do not own real property.  Point in fact is, however, that Americans need to once again “take ownership” of their freedoms, because only through owning something can you fight to preserve it.  To own something, you must first buy it or have it given to you.  If it is only given, and you never invest anything in it, eventually it will become useless.  This is true even if you buy it and never maintain it.  It certainly will not retain its value or increase in value for future generations.  Does this not describe the condition of our freedoms in America today?  It is time to take responsibility for the fact that we own our freedoms as surely as some of us own a piece of real property somewhere.  Whatever happens to both is entirely up to us.


You might not be surprised to know that there is a definite movement afoot to insure that we cannot do anything about what happens to real private property in America.  The frog has been in the pot for a while now, and the water has almost reached the “cook” stage.  At the very heart of the movement to undermine private property rights is the Growing Smart Project funded by any number of folks interested in seeing to it that they and not you will make decisions about your private property.  The “American Planning Association” has produced a two thousand paged document through this seven-year project beginning in 1994. 


Some may say that this project is all well and good, and where would we be without brilliant people who are dedicated to “planning” in a professional sense.  Of course anyone who has ever dealt with any zoning issues knows full well that intelligence is not necessarily a pre-requisite for landing a job on a planning commission.  It all boils down to a handful of people retaining an enormous amount of power over the freedoms of all, without caring to maintain those freedoms they would take from us.  This “project” is far from innocuous to anyone who values freedom in America today, whether or not they happen also to be landowners. 


The importance of understanding the growing infringements on real property ownership cannot be understated.  Individuals cannot continue to take an adversarial role against “big land owners” or others who have been lucky enough to acquire real property in this country.  Government entities and foreign citizens own far too much real estate in America.  These two groups dwarf private American ownership.  Make no mistake – if free Americans do not own America, her freedoms will not be maintained! 


I have long advised folks to buy land whenever they can afford to do so without going into debt.  Search for land with the various “rights” in tact wherever you find it.  When you have it, hold it, even if you cannot afford to make any improvements on it right away – keep the title clear, pay the taxes on it and keep updated on what is going on in the area around your holdings.  Raise your children to appreciate private property ownership rights, and to understand how they relate to every other freedom we have.  As I look around today, I see all too many folks striving to purchase a handkerchief sized lot with an over-priced house on it and a mortgage they can ill afford, while accepting the mandates handed down by various “homeowner associations” which severely limit what they can do with this property they are supposed to own.  When did the American Dream get re-defined in this manner?


I know about all the strategies for using real estate “purchasing” to grow one’s fortune, and I know that many fortunes have been made in this manner.  There is a downside to this mindset, however, and that is the failure to place a value on the property itself for what it is.  We have recently seen many folks lose their life’s savings, (and fantastic profits), in an over-inflated stock market.  This happened because the stock was not valued for what it was, but for the wealth it might represent.  Real estate may be de-valued on the market for many reasons, but not because it never really existed in the first place. 


Our freedoms continue to be infringed, but we all know they actually exist – and if we will only take ownership once again, we can get them back. 


America’s land and freedoms are at stake.  We must own them or lose them.


Back to the present:


Owning land can be the equivalent of finding a gold mine.  Many people define the American Dream as owning property, but that isn’t really the extent of the American Dream.  The attempt to “own” property in any sense of the word has caused far too many folks to turn their dreams into a nightmare simply by overreaching and burying reality in denial. 


The fact that most people who “own” property these days do not truly own it IS a reality.  They simply have a partial share in ownership and full responsibility for anything that goes wrong on the property.  They could not claim any ownership if not for investors’ dollars that have paid the balance of the full purchase price.  These investors are not required to shoulder any burden for upkeep of said property, and if the deal is written so that insurance and tax fees are bundled into the mortgage, so much the better for the investors.  This is more often the case than not.  In my opinion, the property “owner” is actually much better off if his mortgage is written excluding taxes and insurance, although some “experts” may disagree.  The sole responsibility for direct payment of these two things will go a long way toward keeping a property “owner” grounded in reality as well as considerable savings on interest. 


Most smart folks will tell you that there is good debt and bad debt, and that an “affordable” mortgage on real estate qualifies as the former.  I agree, but with extreme emphasis on the affordable part, and with the added encouragement to pay the debt off as soon as humanly possible.


One of the more unique experiences a person can have in this life is that of participating in the “closing” of a real estate deal.  Having done this on more than one occasion as a buyer and a seller many years ago, I can only imagine that the specifics haven’t changed a whole lot.  Suffice it to say, you come away from the event with a mixed bag of emotions.  The very best feeling in the world, however, only comes from receiving a deed to the property after a paid in full requirement has been met.  Make no mistake, however, you still do not fully own the property.  Just skip a tax payment and that fact will hit you in the face like a block of ice.  Also, “owning” it doesn’t mean that you can do anything you want with it.  Still, owning property should be a goal for anyone who is the least bit interested in controlling more of his own destiny.


For the last twenty years or so, the smart investment guys and far too many political hacks have been actively encouraging foreign investment in American real estate.  That may or may not come as a shock or surprise to you, but it should – especially in these days where hard working, honest American citizens are drowning in debt as they try to capture their own piece of the American Dream.  I find it appalling that wealthy foreign investors are offered the real dream on a silver platter – complete with a fast track to American citizenship, while our own very wealthy citizens are leaving the country in droves because of punishing taxes and regulation on their wealth.  Is that not alarming to anyone else? 


Say what you will, but American citizenship should be among the most cherished possessions of anyone who truly understands this country.  That is fast becoming questionable in the minds of too many wealthy Americans, as well as business owners.  We are upside down in a concrete straitjacket about to be kicked off the pier if we can’t see the danger to everything we hold dear. 


The rush is on, and China is one of the biggest players, in the game of buying and selling of America, but there are others as well.  I call this a gold rush because of the intrinsic value of America, American citizenship, and American real estate.  This may be painful for some that are just waking up with a ho-hum attitude, but you’d better grab a cup of strong coffee and dive into this subject with your eyes wide open. 


To get you started, may I suggest a little research on three things?  You may already think you know all about a couple of them, but as you do your research, think of them altogether, and think about the combined effect of all three.  Simply research “sustainable development”, “Agenda 21”, AND “EB-5” – better yet, plug them all into your search engine at once, and see what you get.  If you are afraid of being called a conspiracy theorist, or if you’d like to try to hang that label on me, I pity you.    


While we are being distracted by the so-called illegal immigration problem and how to deal compassionately with “kids” and others who were smuggled into America through no fault of their own, the REAL problem that will kill us all is being all but ignored.  You can bet that progressives, communists, socialists, and everyone else that hate American traditions do NOT care one iota about those kids.  They may covet the potential of future votes from them but that is as far as it goes.  The economy and jobs may be the biggest concerns being touted by politicians in this election year, but I had much rather see some of them “concerned” with this wholesale of American values.  I would like to see much more in-depth reporting from the press and media about the idea that America is for sale and most Americans either don’t know it or don’t care.


I have read, heard, and watched ad nauseam the commentary on the now famous Obama Roanoke Speech containing the “you didn’t build that” statement from a couple of weeks ago.  It makes no difference to me what he was talking about – private businesses or the infrastructure surrounding them – his comments were wrong on so many levels.  For a guy who is always seeking to take personal credit for everything good and nothing bad about the “unbelievable American system,” he just doesn’t come across as positively uplifting in any way.  Let’s not forget that private businesses ARE privately owned property, while infrastructure funding must first be confiscated from individuals and business entities.  Also, what of the foreign businesses that exist within the same system?  It seems as though this administration never bothers to deride foreign investments in anything, but is content to chastise American wealth and effort at every turn.


The last piece of this that I will ask you to consider is the increasing government and societal attitude that morals do not “belong” to Americans.  We have no right to “own” our appreciation for what is normal, decent human behavior or our duty to protect what is ours against any individual or collective that would seek to strip it from us.  Anyone who espouses such a convoluted philosophy truly does not understand America or the freedom she is supposed to represent.   



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