Overgovernment: Brown Thumb Edition
Who knew that
wanna-be tyrants bureaucrats hate plants?
Last August, Morrison’s front and back yards were filled with flowers in bloom, lemon, stevia, garlic chives, grapes, strawberries, apple mint, spearmint, peppermint, an apple tree, walnut tree, pecan trees and much more.
She got a letter from the city saying there had been a complaint about her yard.
She said she took pictures to meet with city inspectors, but they wouldn’t listen, so she invited them to her home so they could point out the problem areas.
“Everything, everything needs to go,” Morrison said they told her.
…She said she went to court on August 15, and the judge told them to come back in October. But the very next day, men were cutting down most of her plants.
They even cut down some of her trees -– ones that bore fruit and nuts -– and went up next to her house and basically removed everything in her front flower bed.
…Morrison said she had a problem at her last property with code enforcement, so this time, she read the ordinance, which says plants can’t be over 12-inches tall unless they’re used for human consumption. She made sure everything she grew could be eaten, which she told the inspectors.
“Every word out of their mouth was, ‘we don’t care,’” Morrison said.
…Morrison said she used many of the plants that were destroyed to treat her diabetes, high-blood pressure and arthritis.
“Not only are the plants my livelihood, they’re my food and I was unemployed at the time and had no food left, no medicine left, and I didn’t have insurance,” Morrison said. “They took away my life and livelihood.”
Less flippantly, this sort of tyranny is only possible because earlier governments have succeeded in devaluing economic and property rights. The New Deal era sold a scared public on the idea that economic liberty stood in the way of economic security. After some bullying, the Supreme Court then provided its rubber stamp. And so we’ve handed government control over the economy and anything that might rationally or irrationally be said to impact it in exchange for handouts and the illusion of fiscal security.
Economic and property rights, as this case demonstrates, are truly at the heart of all liberty. What manner of liberty can we be said to have if a citizen cannot grow sustenance from his or her own land? Other than life, I can think of no more basic liberty in all of human history than that of providing sustenance for oneself.