Volume 1503 Number 1
Take it away from them!
We noted scattered “feel good” signs entreating us to “Save Banning Ranch.” “Banning Ranch” is a plot of seacoast land that investors thought would be appealing to homeowners.
Some people believe the area should remain undeveloped for various reasons. But the agitators don’t want to exert their effort or spend their time to preserve the area. They don’t want to crowdsource the funds, raise the money or even donate to buy the land from its owners.
Instead, they demand that our government exert its power to take ownership rights away from the owners for “the better good for all.” They want the “better good” that they envision to be decreed, so they will have to personally spend no money, sweat and tears.
The landowners invested money they could have used to fund vacations, buy vehicles, and enjoy electronic gadgets. They put their reputations on the line with their friends and fellow investors. They used money they that had earned with their sweat, courage, and skill, to take yet another risk by buying property no one had ever built houses on before.
The agitators are self-absorbed as well as misguided. They don’t want Banning Ranch “saved” they want it forcefully removed from the owners. They are not willing to use their own resources and energy to make the area an “unimproved spot of natural beauty” at all. They are demanding that government use its power to disenfranchise the landowners.
Now if they were willing to invest more of themselves than spending a few evenings quoting “cherry picked” statistics to each other at protest meetings we might be impressed; then we might donate, might try to help. They aren’t, though. (Of course, if the government they want to intervene were to declare that their own neighborhood would better serve the City and County as a sports complex . . . well, property rights would become far more important to them. It just depends on whose ox is being gored.)
Could private individuals really do anything, or is a private citizen helpless against the transgressions of “developers?” There are lots of examples that shout YES!
Ducks Unlimited buys land that ducks like with members raising the money themselves to pay for it. Members spend countless hours setting up nest boxes, improving drainage and patrolling to protect the hens and their eggs. They invest a lot of sweat, tears, money – their own and what they can raise – as they build and protect. We’ve never seen a Ducks Unlimited meeting focused on how “they” are “doing it to us.” Instead, members roll up their sleeves, open their wallets and make the effort.
“Save Banning Ranch” must be a euphemism for “take the land away from other people who are more (financially) successful than we are.”
That’s too bad: their agitation/activism distracts attention and delays efforts to find viable – and just – solutions.