Baronger's Scribblings

Friday, June 24, 2005

Althouse on Kelo

Althouse seems to think that this case strikes a balance. I disagree, in that it might look good on paper, in practice it stinks.

Here is my comment:


I think the main point against the ruling is one of practice. Yes it might seem fair and strike a reasonable balance on paper. However as Justice Thomas pointed out, in practice this is bound to lead to corruption. I would set a high bar to when a taking can occur. To do anything else will stifle both home spending and business. Who will invest in improving their houses or businesses if they can lose them if someone else can put the property to better use. Remember all home improvements, don't really raise the property value.

I've put in several thousand dollars of work on my home, and it didn't raise my property value one iota. Not to mention the sweet and love I put into it, which wouldn't be compensated. A sense of home and security also likewise won't be compensated in a buyout. This is why the bar needs to be so high. Property is more then monetary value, it is also hope, dreams and security.

Also how much will the company that gets the property invest in it. The government could turn around and take it away from whoever they gave it to, at any time. Remember the city council is just speculating that the new owners will raise more money and make more jobs. Will the city retake the property if the new owners don't perform?


There is also speculation along these lines with regards to sports teams and takings. If economic interest is to be the overriding concern, why don't we go to a planned economy? After all planned economies seem to work so well. But like the speculation on this law, that's all the city of New London is doing. They are speculating. They have no proof, that their economic scheme is going to work. The development may flop. Pfizer may decide to pull out, or they might be brought out, or decide to cut back on their investment.

The city has no clue as to what will happen. But of course they have an economic plan, those always work. If a hotel is economically feasible for the area, then one will be built. We do not need the help of the council. Though of course I'm sure their paid accountants and economists might say different. But then such consultants are always helpful, and are above reproach, bribery, kickbacks and outright silly theories.

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