This infuriates me. First, they wave their bullshit eminent domain flag and tell you, the property owner, that you must leave your home. Second, they promise your community economic benefits and jobs. Third, they destroy a “vibrant, close-knit neighborhood.” Fourth, in typical, grossly inefficient governmental fashion, they leave the property to rot.
Five years later, the property is vacant.
Once a bustling community, now it exists as a “barren field, filled with demolition debris and home only to feral cats.”
The good news is that many states have since changed their laws to diminish eminent domain abuse. Additionally, wonderful folks like those at the Institute For Justice are helping to defeat property rights abuses throughout the country.
As I see it, property rights are essential to living a productive, valued life.
Rand says it best:
Bear in mind that the right to property is a right to action, like all the others: it is not the right to an object, but to the action and the consequences of producing or earning that object. It is not a guarantee that a man will earn any property, but only a guarantee that he will own it if he earns it. It is the right to gain, to keep, to use and to dispose of material values (The Virtue of Selfishness).
Update: Elsewhere, “New York’s highest court upholds Columbia University’s eminent domain abuse.” Abhorrent.