"Give a man secure possession of a bleak rock and he will turn it into a garden;
give him nine years lease of a garden and he will turn it into a desert."
by:
Arthur Young
(1741-1820) English writer on agriculture, economics, social statistics, and activist for agricultural workers' rights
Source:
Travels of 1787
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Reader comments about this quote:
The mind set of an owner is far different than all others. There is a certain diminishing return - the greater concept of ownership, the greater the productivity. When the government owns the land and leases it (via property tax, constant knowledge of title challenge for any number of reasons, told what to grow, etc.) production and productivity diminishes.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    I am secretary of a 60 unit condo home owners association. Most of the problems are caused by off premises owners renting their units. Owners on the property keep up their condos far better than renters who cause most of the problems.
     -- jim k, austin tx     
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    I have seen nice homes turn into disasters by those who rent them. They could really care less about the yard and surroundings.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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    I like it! Another reason communism fails. Ownership of property and the responsibility of stewardship that comes with it is the foundation of Liberty. The property owners have always had to organize themselves to defend against the masses which would vote it all away if they could -- and then defile it in the process. The power of taking responsibility for one's own challenges in life is an amazing thing -- that shift from being at the effect of the world to taking responsibility for the condition and quality of one's life is what it mean to be a sovereign citizen.

    In travelling the world, often through very poor countries, I can attest to the quote in that even with just a little dirt that one can can call his own, a family can live nobly. The sense of pride is self-evident and quite inspiring.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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