09 March, 2005

The Tyranny of Eminent Domain by Larry Salzman and Alex Epstein -- Capitalism Magazine

Capitalism Magazine:
On February 22nd, the future of property rights in America will be at stake as the Supreme Court begins oral arguments in the case of Kelo v. New London. The central question at issue is: should the government be able to use its power of eminent domain to seize property from one private party and transfer it to another?

The Tyranny of Eminent Domain by Larry Salzman and Alex Epstein -- Capitalism Magazine
The seven property owners on the side of Kelo are the last remaining of more than 70 families whose homes and businesses were targeted for demolition several years ago by the city of New London, Connecticut, to make room for a 90-acre private development. The story of one of the owners, Susette Kelo, is representative. Kelo, a nurse, bought and painstakingly restored a home that initially was so run-down that she needed to cut her way to the front door with a hatchet. After she had achieved her dream home, she was informed in November 2000 by the local government that her home was condemned, and ordered to vacate within 90 days. She and the other owners remain in their homes only by the grace of a court order, which prevents eviction and demolition until their appeals are exhausted.

Without property rights; i.e. the right of control over your personal production; i.e. the right to what your mind can produce and the free exercise of it's disposition, what actual rights can you possibly possess?

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