Vanderbilt Debates Property Rights with Activist John Anthony

What if private ownership could protect endangered species better than the government ever could?

IMG_1980That was one of the many concepts considered by Vanderbilt University collegians in Nashville, Tennessee when they hosted Tennessee limited government activist John Anthony.

“The students came to my talk ready to learn,” Anthony said. “They had incisive questions that showed these were critical thinkers who wanted to find out how the world really works.”

Anthony not only discussed the way private property is protected by the Constitution, but how it is beneficial for everyone. For example, in the early 1800’s the American Bison numbered in the tens of millions, only to be reduced to a few hundred by the 1880’s. What saved the bison was not government action, but private ownership. While 23 bison were publicly owned in 1902, 700 were privately owned. By 1990, 25,000 were publicly owned while 250,000 were privately owned!IMG_1977

“John’s talk was really eye-opening,” student Thomas Pruchinski remarked. “I always thought less government was better, but was unsure in the environmental areas. Now I’m armed with a lot more arguments and facts as to why the free market trumps the government even on ecological issues.”

Anthony also addressed stringent EPA regulations that are destroying freedom and increasing costs for every American. Obama’s proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP), for instance, would drastically increase the amount that low and middle income Americans have to pay for gas and electricity. It is imperative to weigh the costs on individual liberty that any government program would impose, and the CPP clearly fails this litmus test.

“When the program ended, much of the class remained to ask more questions and to find out how they could get this information in front of more people,” Anthony added. “This is an incredible group of people capable of being tomorrow’s true leaders.”