Forum RIght, 6/5

Who Owns Your Property?

by Mark Luedtke

You probably think you own your property. For several centuries in the US, property rights were almost sacrosanct. Our parents believed they owned their property, and their parents believed they owned their property, so we do the same. But that’s always been a charade. None of us really own property. In the eyes of government’s law and despite the belief of property owners, all property owners have been renters since the founding of the state of Ohio.

To our rulers’ credit, they explicitly told us this in the Ohio constitution. The Ohio constitution states, “Private property shall ever be held inviolate, but subservient to the public welfare.” The design of this sentence tells us much about the motives of our rulers. It’s impossible for private property to be both inviolate and subservient to the public welfare. The sentence is intentionally misleading, but in a rare moment – probably a mistake – of honesty, our rulers informed us unequivocally which of those statements takes precedence by using the conjunction “but” instead of “and.” Despite being educated in government prison-schools, I believe most people can parse this sentence correctly. The conjunction “but” in this sentence tells us that the trailing phrase takes precedence over the initial phrase.

Here’s a more honest re-phrasing of that sentence: “Private property shall ever be subservient to the public welfare.” If you don’t believe me, look it up in a classic grammar book. If you’re a student, please discuss this with your English teacher. Discuss it in class. If your teacher will let you. Because most teachers have the best interests of their students at heart, most will back me up, if their bosses allow them to discuss this subject.

One definition of “own” according to the freedictionary.com is “To have control over.” Of course. We all know that ownership means having ultimate control over property. Despite its misleading language, Ohio constitution states that the state exercises ultimate control over all property. Therefore it owns all property. The Ohio constitution enshrines communism as the law of the state.

If you believe you own your property, you’ve been duped. If you don’t believe me, think about property taxes. What are they other than rent? The state charges you rent in the form of property taxes for nominal control of its property. If you don’t pay the rent, the state cancels your lease and repossesses its property. In Dayton, after government repossesses the property you mistakenly believed you owned, its agents raze your property then spout propaganda about how good destroying your wealth is for our community, as if stealing the property of others and destroying it can ever be good for society.

Recently the Ohio Supreme Court confirmed that the state owns all property, not citizens. The Court unanimously – I can’t stress the word unanimously enough – ruled that the state’s ban onsmokinginbusinessesislegal. The state could have ordered that every business must display a flattering photo of the governor, or that business owners must kneel and kiss the ring of any politician who enters. The specific law is immaterial. The argument for the law is immaterial. According to the constitution and every single Ohio Supreme Court justice, the state, because it owns all property, can exercise any control over its property it chooses. All politicians need to do is crank up the propaganda machine to build a little support. The specific regulations and arguments are just smoke screens designed to distract from this abominable state.

The substance of the decision is that all property belongs to the state. Our rulers benevolently allow us to pay them rent at whatever property tax they decide to charge. They decree. We obey. If we don’t, they will evict us, burn our property to the ground, then do a victory dance in front of their media propagandists. The best we can hope for is that they don’t lock us in a cage for actually thinking we owned the property we bought and paid for.

Refugees from the Soviet Union who fled to America recognize the advance of totalitarianism, but Americans are too spoiled by centuries of relative freedom to recognize totalitarianism’s rapid advance.

As I wrote on this subject a few moths ago, “This case will be decided by what’s in the best personal, economic interest of the Justices.” Confirming the unlimited power of the state is in their best personal and economic interest. Laws are made, interpreted and applied by men. We are ruled by men – dishonest, violent looters – not laws.

Because Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger makes a living off wealth stolen from others, she justifies this abomination by calling it minimally invasive. That’s the point of view of a looter, but from the point of view of a misguided peasant who believed he owned his own property and just realized he was wrong, this is an earth-shattering realization. Government doesn’t exist to protect our rights. Government exists to steal our property using predatory laws, coercion and double-speak to bamboozle us so that we cower and allow the theft.

Mark Luedtke is an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Cincinnati and currently works for a Dayton attorney. He can be reached at MarkLuedtke@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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