Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tulsa World: eminent domain

This morning, the Tulsa World published an editorial in favor of eminent domain. I believe author David Averill evades the central fact of eminent domain: the taking of a private owner's property by government force:
The eminent domain process, in fact, was established to protect citizens from losing their property to the crown — the government — without being justly compensated.
Averill's evasion is his contention that all opponents of eminent domain really care about is compensation. No, Mr. Averill, that's not all we care about. What we care about is our right to invest our effort in something we can decide for ourselves how we want to use. A person's home is almost always the result of years of effort and is something most people expect to spend the rest of their lives in. If people have no right to that, do they actually have a right to anything?

The Constitution of the United States is a magnificent achievement on the part of the Founding Fathers: it established for the first time in history a government based on individual rights. But it is not perfect and contains a few significant flaws which have built up over the past 200-some years into a situation which could see the downfall of everything the Founders fought for. Government control of commerce is one of these flaws. Eminent domain is another.

Eminent domain must be abolished.

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