23 June 2005

They pave paradise, and put up a parking lot


Eminent domain always been one of those necessary evils — say, traffic has increased on a road, and the road needs to be expanded to handle it, so the government seizes property for the expansion. This is often very bad news for those who lose their homes, but it's done for a clear public good, and so as a society we've accepted this.

But this goes well beyond that, allowing government to take your property for the benefit of private property developers, with the only public benefit being a possible increase in tax revenues. It does make clear that the government's goal is economic development, benefiting those who need it least, rather than what's best for the people as a whole. They're usually not quite so obvious about it.