Friday, February 25, 2005

More on the Kelo Case involving eminent domain

Read the linked article from Jacob Sullom (above). Again, the eminent domain laws are showing how frightening big-government can become when it is subject to no, or arbitrary, restrictions.

Additionally, this article again references the major problem I have with the way governments are currently using this power. The 5th Amendment limits establishes that the government may take your property for just compensation. However, no one actually gets compensated for the value of their property, where the government steals property from person A and gives it to person B. When this happens, the government is simply over-writing the market with an arbitrary value for the property.

By this, I mean, if the private developer who proposes to kick a homeowner off a property doesn't want to, or can't, meet the price set by the homeowner - he simply has the government set a price and do it for him. However, if the land was so damn valuable to the developer, then he or she should have paid for it.

Yes, there will be those few intractable people who don't want to sell their property, but isn't that their right? Moreover, there are market incentives for these people to sell (for example, will the property ever attain the same value that it currently has in light of this anticipated development?)

Finally, imagine this scenario. You worked for and now own a highly treasured Picasso. You would like to keep it in your home. However, the government decides that your property could make them more money in a state run museum. Therefore, they take your (priceless) property, and reimburse you with a sum set by an appraiser who works for the state. Isn't that the same thing that the government is doing in this case? Actually, I argue that the above example is less extreme than the issues involved in the Kelo case because, in my scenario, the Picasso is at least going to a public museum.

Kid Handsome


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