The first comment states, in part:
I suppose you would think the City has no business building such infrastructure, but I'm willing to pay for it to keep the runoff from my property flowing safely and without impacting others.The second comment reflects a similar point of view:
I cannot take issue with your general thoughts on government, its promises, and the notion that often times others do try to Impose their vision. And you do have an opportunity to vote no...I agree that I have an opportunity to vote "no" on this proposal. But my views--and indeed those of any particular individual--on this subject will be rendered largely irrelevant if RENEW Houston succeeds in getting this initiative on the ballot. If the referendum is passed, the "will of the people" as expressed by voters will be imposed upon everyone.
I'm a small government conservative, but this problem is not going to fix itself, and their is no incentive for the private sector to provide a solution.
Many may choose to accept the current situation. And again that is their right. But I fear that many will oppose this initiative and then be the first to complain when their neighborhood does not drain.
To be clear, the issue is not drainage or flooding--it is property rights. The issue is the moral right of each individual to use and dispose of his property, including his money, as he chooses. In seeking to force Houstonians to pay for flood control, the proposed referendum is a direct attack on property rights.
The underlying premise is that the majority may do as it pleases because it is the majority. If enough people agree to some proposal, then it becomes proper and just. We have heard this argument in regard to zoning and other land-use regulations for decades. In fact, Americans have been hearing from the first days of the republic. But might does not make right, a fact that our Founders clearly understood. James Madison, for example, wrote:
There is no maxim, in my opinion, which is more liable to be misapplied, and which, therefore, more needs elucidation, than the current one, that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong.The proper purpose of government is to protect the rights of individuals, no matter the number who wish to violate those rights or the pretense under which they do so. The fact that some individuals want to pay for infrastructure and flood control does not give them a moral right to force others to also pay.
If one accepts the premise that the rights of individuals are subject to a vote, then there are no limits on what the majority may do. The majority may commit any atrocity, and history is replete with examples. Individual rights, including property rights, are inviolate, no matter how many people want to believe otherwise.