Freeport is building a new private marina. One of my problems with the Kelo case that I haven't seen mentioned in the vast coverage of the case is that it supports this strange notion that a city must
grow and expand. Is the role of a government really to genereate revenue for itself?
Believe it or not, there is a market for quiet little towns that aren't trying to get the latest and newest department stores to come to town. If towns were people, I'd tell them that it's okay to be small. The Kelo case just makes me feel as though too many town councils are trying to build a legacy that their residents don't want. I understand that this may well be an issue for the electorate, but I stopped trusting and believing in the electorate a long time ago. It seems that voters have less and less power these days. Part of that is because governments, even local governments, have gotten uncontrollably large, and there seems to be something inherent in governments that make them grow larger - in order to do that, and to justify their growth, these governments must manage and micro-manage larger and larger areas that impact the lives of individuals. Thus, the electorate must be more and more informed about which group, council or other government controls their lives.
I know from dealing with my local government on a zoning issue two things: 1) My councilman does not tell me the truth - I'm not saying he lies, but he plays both sides in such a way that it is difficult for me to truly know what's going on; 2) All they do is pass the buck - "it isn't the City, it's the State; it's the Council; it's the ____ Board; no, actually it is the City." Round and round we go.
Anyway, back to my main point - sometimes it's fine to have a city or a neighborhood that does nothing more than quietly and satisfactorily house its citizens or residents. What Kelo represents (in addition to the issue of collectivism and goverment's ultimate ownership of private property) is the notion that people must be producing something tangible at all times or become valueless to society - apparently, this is even true of home purchasing decisions.
As I've joked for years, someday we'll all live in Wal-Partments. That way, the cities can bleed as much tax revenue out of us as possible.
Really, really saddening decisions by the Supreme Court lately.
also has a good round-up of this issue today.