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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Government's Right To Take and Spend Your Money

Combining 2 obsessions, one writer I obsessively read and one topic I cannot stop caring about, Mark Steyn defines "eminent domain" as:

"[T]he fancy term for what happens when the government seizes the property of the private citizen. It pays you, of course, but that's not much comfort if you've built your dream home on your favorite spot of land.

Most laymen understand the "public interest" dimension as, oh, they're putting in the new Interstate and they don't want to make a huge detour because one cranky old coot refuses to sell his ramshackle dairy farm. But the Supreme Court's decision took a far more expansive view: that local governments could compel you to sell your property if a developer had a proposal that would generate greater tax revenue. In other words, the "public interest" boils down to whether or not the government gets more money to spend.

I can't say that's my definition. Indeed, the constitutional conflation of "public interest" with increased tax monies is deeply distressing to those of us who happen to think that letting governments access too much dough too easily leads them to create even more useless government programs that enfeeble the citizenry in deeply destructive ways.

The final point must be made again. The government has no natural right to your property (or as represented by money). You expend effort and earn it. The government just takes it and gives it to others. It was never more blatantly shown than in the Kelo case.

I do not think I will ever get over this ghastly decision.

2 Comments:

At 8:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The same justices that want to bring a WalMart right into your living room (or what used to be your living room), seek guidance/support from international law when they can't find guidance/support for their personal preferences in the Constitution. Somehow they think the Constitution is their own personal legal sandbox to create new laws and rules in. Of course the Constitutional foundation they us is built on sand.

 
At 12:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice site! » » »

 

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