Property Rights Foundation of America®

Presented at the
Tenth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights
Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc.
Albany, N.Y. - October 14, 2006

Welcome — A Look Over the Wall

Carol W. LaGrasse, President, Property Rights Foundation of America

Welcome to our Tenth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights. A special welcome to you who have traveled to hear our speakers and reunite with friends in the cause of freedom, you who have traveled from Canada, Washington, D.C., Virginia, New England, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and from all over New York State. During the day, I'd like urge all of you to be sure to meet the individuals in the audience, as well as the speakers, because many local leaders and nationally recognized figures are sitting quietly in the audience. It is inspiring to be in the presence of all of you.

We have reached a milestone—ten annual national conferences on private property rights, and I wish to humbly thank you all. Your devotion to the defense of private property rights—your creativity, your brilliance, your clear moral stance, your vision, your steady tenacity, your generosity, your kindness, and your sacrifice—have made this day possible.

Our day would not have been possible without our steadfast supporters. I'd like to publicly thank our generous official conference co-sponsors: Building and Realty Institute of Westchester & the Mid-Hudson Region, Civil Property Rights Associates, Communities for a Great Northwest, Homeowners Against Rent Kontrols (HARK), The National Center for Public Policy Research, New York Farm Bureau, SUA, and The JM Foundation.

Our theme today, "Private Property Rights—The Record and the Vision" will be explored by prominent experts and leaders in the arenas of property rights policy, western battles to protect ranching, defense against abuse of eminent domain, drawing the line against federal property rights infringements, exposing surreptitious federal land use control and related financial corruption, and confronting international efforts to reduce property rights. You will see within every speech, whether it is Fred Grau looking at the threat posed by invasive species regulation or Prof. Gideon Kanner looking at eminent domain, that we'll have unique opportunities to look at where we are, we've been, where we should be going, to quote the title of Prof. Kanner's speech.

I'd like to take "A Look Over the Wall" as I welcome you today.

Last Wednesday, The Wall Journal had some intriguing articles about predicting the future. Warren Buffet got even wealthier by investing big in reinsurance before the hurricane season. As you know, insurance rates went up as a result of the risk demonstrated by the devastating hurricane seasons our country has experienced during recent years. Most people do not know that the large insurance companies that carry their homeowners' insurance shift a large proportion of their risk to international companies that reinsure the risks of the ordinary insurance companies. So Warren Buffet took a look into the future, and invested heavily in reinsurance, and at the end of the hurricane season the payouts for hurricane devastation were nil.

We are operating under a different principle than Mr. Buffet, in that we are actually trying to influence the future, rather than statistically analyzing our chances of winning. So here we are, observing and experiencing to our detriment the infringements on property rights:

To look over the wall, I asked where we should be when and if our vision of the restoration of private property right were to be fulfilled. The vision is simple, because much of the future that I hope for existed in my own memory.

This vision will become reality when and if people rise from their sheltered individual worlds and take government in hand, when great masses of people rationally, morally, and consistently participate in the process of government. This day will come when times change. Now, for every thirty to forty people who e-mail or telephone the Property Rights Foundation of America, perhaps a single one will telephone or write the appropriate member of the legislature. Few of these will continue on the trail of the legislator until a satisfactory denouement is reached to the infringement being suffered.

Our conference today brings to the forefront the directions that must be taken. In this room are many people who have been instrumental in great victories for private property rights. Some of these changes took place through litigation. Some of us have brought about changes on the local, state and federal government level by educating, lobbying and organizing, also with both small and major results. We in this room are experts in reaching the public, organizing, lobbying, and litigating. But this speech is not about how to get from here to there. After looking over the wall, my conclusion is that, the way things are now, only if the people of the United States join us will our movement see the bets that we are placing reap dividends in our lifetimes. If the people do join us, then property rights will flourish. We will have a peaceful revolution. Then our vision will be glorious.

Back to:
PRFA Property Rights Conferences PRFA Home Page

© 2006 Property Rights Foundation of America ®
All rights reserved. This material may not be broadcast, published, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.