Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Taking from the Middle Class to Give to the Rich


Kay Brooks writes, powerfully, about how the city of Nashville is trying to take an elderly woman's property in order to benefit a wealthy out-of-town developer. Says Brooks:

"The city needs to quit being the gun at the head of Miss Joy. Citizens need to realize that if we don't stand with Miss Joy 'our property rights' won't be worth the paper the deed is printed on."
Amen to that. Frankly, the area the city claims is "blighted" - the legal justification it needs to force Miss Joy to sell property that she doesn't want to sell - isn't blighted at all. Her property is neat, tidy and home to a functioning business.

If the city of Nashville can use "eminent domain" laws and a specious claim of "blight" to steal this one old woman's property in order to enrich an out-of-state developer, property rights have ceased to exist in the city of Nashville in any meaningful sense of the phrase.

Kelo Day - June 23, 2008Of course, the U.S. Supreme Court hastened the death of private property rights in America three years ago with their dreadful ruling in the Kelo case, in which the court ruled that municipalities could use eminent domain to take property for virtually any reason the municipality deemed to be in the "public interest."

That ruling was handed down three years ago today.

Update: While writing the above post I got to wondering where Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama stands on eminent domain abuse and the Kelo ruling. While I couldn't find any official statements, I did run across an interesting story about how Obama campaigned at a rally last year in Fairfield, Iowa, a rally that drew appreciative crowds from nearby Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa. That's a real, incorporated, town, folks. It's run by followers of the Hindu-related cult led by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi*. Now, how did a Google search for "obama kelo" lead me to that story? It seems the peace-loving vegetarians of Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa, have threatened to use eminent domain to force some pig farmers off their land. It seems the town of Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa, doesn't like pig farms. (They also don't like English - the city's official language is Hindu Sanskrit.)

*The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is unrelated to the great Yogi Berra or even Yogi Bear.

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