This is your brain on property rights | TheUnion.com
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This is your brain on property rights

In their war with nature, property rights proponents remind me of the illegal drugs public service announcement on TV. The one in which young people proclaim “I helped kill a police officer,” and “I helped finance a kidnapping.” The point is made when the contrite rationalizing (of their drug purchases) begins; “It’s my body,” and “It’s not like I’m hurting anyone else.” In the same way, “It’s my property,” and “What I do on my own land is my business” matches this way of dodging responsibility. Without doubt, unbalanced land use harms everyone over the long term as natural resources are depleted or irretrievably lost.

I think the defining moment in the property rights debate came when a candidate’s pickup truck was stolen. The victim had no comment about the thief, but reported “I’m dying to know who his friends are” (The Union, Jan. 9): A revealing and disturbing statement. This timber industry candidate disagrees strongly with environmental preservation. I can guess whom he hoped these “friends” might be. I never dreamed protecting the environment might threaten my relatives and friends by association if this person is elected. Perhaps I was wrong.



James Woods

Penn Valley


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