Wednesday, June 23, 2010
And you thought your property was your own.
Check out Libertarian Chuck Donovan's latest essay over at DonovanForSenate.com and then see how many times you can hit the donate button!
Here's Chucks post:
Liberty, Property, and Peace
By ChuckDonovan - Posted on 22 June 2010
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin
“.. and will soon find themselves without both.” – Chuck Donovan
“Complex law is not equally enforced upon all. It is selectively enforced upon the politically unconnected.” – Chuck Donovan
With sadness, we remember that today, June 23, 2010, marks the fifth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Kelo v. New London decision. It forced Susette Kelo and her neighbors out of their homes so the neighborhood could be developed by a government backed company. New London was trying to bring in a large business and all of the revenue it would mean to their struggling local economy. A major pharmaceutical company would establish a large plant nearby what used to be Susette Kelo’s neighborhood in return for a special deal on unused land, plus a city government approved development plan for the neighborhood itself. The development would include housing and a mall meant to attract employees for the pharmaceutical company.
The Supreme Court took the words of the Constitution, specifically the 5th Amendment, and decided that Susette must leave the home she had personally worked to improve and maintain. The Constitution states, “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” The Supreme Court twisted the printed words “public use”, and interpreted a much more open meaning of “public good”. The estimated tax income from the improved property and new business, plus the influx of new wage earners, consumers, and taxpayers, would give the city government more income to spend on the “public good”. That was the theory.
In actuality three things happened. First, Susette and her neighbors lost their homes and were forced to move. Secondly, the houses were razed, but the business project failed to take shape, the phamaceutical company decided to not expand, and the area that was once a lively, working class neighborhood is now an empty field. Thirdly and most importantly, the power of the government was increased, and the power and freedom of individual, productive, law abiding Americans was taken away.
I challenge you to show me one Eminent Domain case that involves a rich person, a Federally subsidized business, or a politically connected business being forced to “sell” their property to the government. This ancient right of tyrannical kings is selectively enforced on low and middle-income property owners. It happens repeatedly through history, and yes that includes U.S. history.
Why is government “of the people” allowed to do things no person in the U.S. is allowed to do? Why can government take our property and dictate the terms?
Never forget, whatever the issue, whichever side you politically support, whenever government can take something from one citizen, it is only a matter of time before it will take something from you. An unrestrained government will seize all of your property and take all of your liberty.
Is the end to this story the empty field that once held Suzette’s beloved “Little Pink House” , a field that now lies fallow as a testament to overreaching big government that is unable to keep its promises? Will it be more stories of unlimited government seizing your property? It doesn’t have to be.
“The Libertarian Party has always showed strong support for private property rights. Our platform states that 'we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain."
"…The Castle Coalition, which works to protect property owners from eminent domain abuse, has given only five states an A or A- rating for eminent domain reform in the wake of the Kelo decision. Many states have passed reforms that sound strong at first, but contain major loopholes or other bad provisions. Republicans and Democrats like to posture as eminent domain reformers while they carve out exceptions for special interests." 
What is it that you will allow government to do?
The mission is freedom.
The vision is now.
Posted by Shane Bruce at 3:15 PM