I’m hearing altogether too much nonsense all around regarding the Kelo decision by the Supreme Court the other day. I posted about it, here.
Yesterday, I saw Billy Beck point to this, an Institute for Justice scorecard on the number of new eminent domain actions to transfer property from one private entity to another since the Supreme Court decision.
My question is: where have you been? If the end result is that I’m forced to sell my home that my grandfather built and I was raised in, for $X.00, against my will, then what in the hell do I care that they’re running a freeway through the place, erecting a baseball stadium so some future president can make a few mil, or putting in a new shopping mall? And why do you care about such meaningless distinctions?
Both Billy Beck and Greg Swann had perfectly right-on posts on this. Here’s Greg:
The implication in the blowfly swarm seems to be that the families in
New London would be better off had they been expropriated for a fire
station or a feminist history monument. The problem is not ‘just
compensation.’ The problem is not ‘cui bono?’ The problem is the
doctrine of eminent domain in se. It’s fun to laugh at the
conservatives, who are all for state’s rights when it comes to buggery
laws. But the root problem is government as such. Abuse is necessarily
and obviously baked in the cake. If you don’t want government abuses,
what you don’t want is government itself. Acceptance of this simple
fact is the first step to recovery from a life of error and
You can look around and see the light starting to dawn
on some them. It’s as if they never before knew that the United States
government could take what it want from them, when it wanted to.
John Paul Stevens — the guy with the opinion — wrote that "Promoting
economic development is a traditional and long accepted governmental
function, and there is no principled way of distinguishing it from the
other public purposes the Court has recognized," and he is absolutely right. Two writers at The Houston Chronicle drew the explicit connection to things like "roads, parks or libraries", and they’re
absolutely right. Nobody should be offended suddenly at the idea of
stealing peoples’ property, and it really is grimly hilarious observing
the general hue & cry now that the targeting is so much more…
"progressive", don’t you think?