The Freeman's Burden:

To defend the principles of human liberty; to educate; to be vigilant against the ever expanding power of the state.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Human Face of Eminent Domain Abuse

I recently received a comment on a post about the Kelo case that I wanted to highlight because it resonates with the sense of uncertainty that the knowledge that your property can be stripped away from you at any time instills. I think there are some very important questions that we, as a country, need to ask ourselves about what we believe it means to "own" a thing when we are so restricted in our ability to use it and we face the threat of having it taken at any time for virtually any reason so long as some tortured logic makes it a use that serve the ill-defined "public good." A key condition of communism is the abolition of private property because Marxists understand the necessity of the ability to own and make productive use of property to capitalism. No private property, no foundation for the rise of a market economy. I am fearful that this ruling will undermine our market system by creating uncertainty about an individual's ability to profit by his own labor when the fruits of that labor can be stripped from him arbitrarily.

Anonymous writes:

Our family has been in California for well over one hundred years. Our auntie is 102 yrs old and has lived in Riverside all of her life, just like her 6 brothers and sisters (she is the oldest). Her hard working family came from Italy to make a life for themselves; farming orange groves, building highways, opening businesses, working at the courthouse, teaching...the list goes on. Now, through eminent domain, almost all of their property has been taken out from under them. Among other things, they were forced to sell their 40 acre farm for the construction of a septic facility. The facility was shut down three years later, and sold to a private developer. Now their beautiful farm which had been in their family for nearly a century, has condos all over it, and some fat cat is counting the dollar signs. The last of the property is on Van Buren Blvd. (a much used street in Riverside) and has been there ever since the street wasn't much more than orange groves. In fact, when our Grandmother opened her beauty salon on that very street, she was told by many that it would never thrive because "no one ever goes down Van Buren!" Now, the front of this beautiful property, with 4 homes and a beauty Parlor, all built by the hands of our grandfather, will be taken by the city, to expand Van Buren Blvd, and bring it right to our front steps. The giant trees, planted by our grandmother, will not be moved, but chopped down forever. What will there be left to take? The homes that house our grandparents, parents, aunties and ourselves, who all live on this property, which was envisioned to house our families for generations to come? And when we are forced to bow to their demands, (which the Supreme Copurt has decided to make much more likely) and move to new homes, what will keep us safe from the same thing happening again? Will it never again be possible to dream of a home for our family? A home where our children can come to when they are grown and have memories of when they were young? A home we can share with our grandchildren and great granchildren? How can I ever dream of such a thing? All of our family's hard work, and the hard work of our family before us will never be safe from the clutches of eminant domain, or the seizure of our property for private COMMERCIAL use! So, the government can take our property, our HOMES, Our LIVES, so they can build a Walmart? This is like a very, very, VERY bad dream. I never would have thought this country could stoop so low. I now realize why some refer to us as "Capitalist Pigs". The government, so full of greed and glutony, has lost the last bit of integrity I had ever given them credit for. I am truly disgusted and haven't a clue what to do about this mess.

Posted by Anonymous to The Freeman's Burden: at 6/27/2005 01:32:43 PM


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