Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Eminent domain my butt

So, finally I'm pissed at our government. I mean, REALLY pissed.

Our government has made it legal to take whatever they want, no questions asked. YES I understand that they are paying (fair-market value? whatever.) , but if I wanted to sell my land, I would have freaking done it already!

Here's how it goes as I understand it. The city or county can seize any private land, as long as they can prove that it is better for the people. PRIVATE land. "Hey. We think we can use YOUR property better than you can. Give it to us. No? Oh yeah? We'll just see about that!"

I was talking to my friend about it, and he made a good point, and I agree. If they actually ARE using it for a reason where EVERYBODY benefits and nobody is really profitting (profiting? profitting? getting paid.), then that's ok. For example, if they need the land for a highway, or a dam to block water from flooding a neighborhood (in my friend's case), then that's ok. A highway benefits people, and nobody's making money off of it. But if they want to put up an office building or a Target, then some people will benefit in the way of jobs and convenience, but to most people it won't matter and a few men are making MILLIONS.

The problem with the city taking it is that they give you what THEY think the land is worth. They aren't even really giving you "free market value." You have no choice. Now if a big company wants to give you 20 times what it's worth, to me, that's ok. Yeah this land has been in my family for 120 years, but for $10 Million, I'll go deal with my grief in Barbados. And the big companies can do that, because they are pretty much allowed to spend whatever they need to get location, location, location. But the problem is, the big company can just say, "hey, instead of us paying $10 Million, let's get the city to get it for us!" So they go to the city council, tell them they can't get the land from John F. Publicguy, and the big bad city council says, "Well, hell, we can get that for you!" City council gets a donation from big company and envision huge property taxes for them to spend, and John P. barely gets rent money. This is actually happening! I linked an article below. Read it.

Honestly, I don't own land, but I was planning on buying some sooner or later. Now, what's the point? If the government can just come and take my land away from me without so much as a "how's your father?," then what good is it for me to buy land, expensively, might I add, and then LOSE money five years later when Hometown, USA wants to build a GloboGym. Way to go, Supreme Court! Now if I may be so bold....

"[The Proletariat's] mission is to destroy all previous securities for, and insurances of, individual property...

The distinguishing feature of communism is not the abolition of property generally, but the abolition of bourgeois property. But modern bourgeois private property is the final and most complete expression of the system of producing and appropriating products that is based on class antagonisms, on the exploitation of the many by the few.

In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property."

-- Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The Communist Manifesto

To quote Austin Powers, "yay capitalism." Lastly, a good read is this column by Neal Boortz at

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