Sometimes putting human faces on what the government does to people is more effective than reams of statistics and denunciations. From Mark Nestman at nestman.com:
In one of his most memorable statements, former President Ronald Reagan said in his 1981 inaugural address, “Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.”
When faced with a truly intractable problem, it’s tempting to throw our hands in the air and wait for the government to solve it. Whether it’s ensuring sustainable development, fighting the war on drugs, or any other difficult issue, the mainstream media tells us time and again that government ought to pass a law to fix it.
I beg to differ. Here are two stories about people who lost everything to government through no fault of their own. And you could be next.
Retirement Wiped Out by Executive Order
Tom and Jane Flagg have lived in Jersey City, New Jersey for the past 42 years. Only 24 hours before they were scheduled to sell their property there and retire in Tennessee, their lives fell apart.
The Flaggs arrived in Jersey City in the 1970s. The city was rife with crime, but property was cheap. They took a chance and purchased two small homes, both over 100 years old. The homes were well-built, but they needed a great deal of renovation, which the Flaggs did mostly themselves. The family lived in one home and rented out the other.
Forty years later, the neighborhood they bought into has gentrified. Property values have skyrocketed. The Flaggs, now much older, wanted to cash in on the modest nest egg they had painstakingly created. They put the homes up for sale and quickly found a buyer. The closing date was March 24, 2018.
But at the last minute, it was all snatched away from them. On March 23, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop destroyed their retirement with the stroke of a pen. He issued an executive order to stop granting demolition permits for homes that housed four or fewer families. This directly affected the Flaggs, because their buyer planned to tear down both homes and build new structures in their place.
Fulop justified his order in the name of “architectural preservation.” The only way a builder can obtain a demolition permit now is to get approval from the Jersey City historic preservation officer. If that person turns the permit down, the builder can appeal to the Historic Preservation Commission.
To continue reading: These People Lost Everything to Big Government … Are You Next?