June 24, 2005
I’ve said most of what I can say about this. I’m still enraged, but it’s simply ratcheted up my simmering rage against the government. But I am hopeful, that if we can get someone as mild-mannered as Lucy angry about this, that maybe liberty isn’t dead, it just needs to be woken up.
So let’s look at some other responses. First is Stephen at Fearless Philosophy for Free Minds. He suggests that we amend the constitution to limit eminent domain power. I fully support that, but specifically I suggest that even if we can’t get that, we enact, by act of Congress, one clause of his amendment:
Section 2: â€˜Just compensationâ€™ shall be defined as no less than double the fair market value of the property being taken for local, State, and Federal governments to carry out their legally prescribed functions.
Frankly, I’d triple it, but that’s just me. At the very least, this will give a little bit of pause to those who want to steal your land “on the cheap”. If you can get millions from the tabacco for smoking yourself into the cancer ward, you should at least be able to get compensation for the “emotional distress” of being tossed from your home.
Next, we have both Catallarchy and Quincy suggesting what will happen in California. California has what is called Proposition 13, which limits the assessment of property taxes to the value of the land at purchase. The local and state politicians there have hated this since it was enacted, because with the meteoric rise on property values there, they can’t get their hands on the taxes unless the property changes hands. Well, they’ve now got the power to force that property to change hands.
Third, Coyote Blog takes this to the next level, bringing up a scenario where the government will support stealing newspaper advertising space used for people arguing against tax increases, since tax increases are in the “public interest” and thus trump free speech. I’d call it a reductio ad absurdum, if I wasn’t scared that it might actually happen someday.
Last, this has absolutely swept the blogosphere like nothing I’ve ever seen. If you look at many of those blogs on my blogroll (specifically Eric, TF Stern, Rossputin, No Government Cheese), you’ll find a lot of people talking about this.
Oh, and as of this writing, there has been no response from Dada on this. I don’t know if we’re going to get agreement or disagreement from him on this decision, but I am very interested to hear what someone who doesn’t believe in private property rights thinks of this ruling, and what he’ll think of it when the poor are getting tossed out of their homes to make room for developments targeted at the rich.
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