Saturday, July 18, 2009

Libertarians: Theft Makes a Poor Memorial

This release was sent out by the The Center for Libertarian Press Information:

Libertarians call on the U.S. Government to forgo the threatened seizure of hundreds of acres of privately owned land for a memorial in western Pennsylvania near Shanksville, where Flight 93 crashed in 2001. They further ask the Park Service to reconsider spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on an extensive memorial, and to instead finance any memorial completely through volunteer contributions.

"The Park Service has had nearly a decade to work with local landowners, and NOW they decide that it's imperative to get the land within the next week," said Rachel Hawkridge, representative to the Libertarian Party's National Committee. "Besides the fact that there can be no 'fair market value' in a forced transaction, we have the underlying issue that ALL of the tax money spent on the memorial has been taken by force or the threat of force. If folks want a memorial, they will be happy to contribute to one - and it will be the exact size that people want it to be. The idea that the Park Service can propose commemorating the self-sacrifice of 40 individuals with the forced sacrifice of the efforts of other individuals indicates to me that the terrorists have, in some small way, won part of the battle already."

Libertarians also decry the purchase of nearly 1,000 acres of land from a coal-mining company, with proceeds to be (according to the Park Service) "placed in a trust fund to operate and maintain in perpetuity the treatment of mine water from a sediment pond on a reclaimed surface mine." To Lee Wrights, representative to the Libertarian Party's National Committee, "this seems like a not-very-subtle way of getting the taxpayers to pay for post-mining remediation. A great deal for PBS Coals; a terrible deal for Americans who have more pressing personal financial needs than bailing out big businesses."

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