posted on Jan, 1 2019 @ 07:40 PM
Where do I stand? On the side of common sense.
If Eminent Domain did not exist, there could be no roads. In order to get form one place to another, someone would have to cross another's land. That
someone else could easily lay down a layer of gravel and a put up a gate and charge a fee, pretty much whatever they wanted, for someone to cross.
Personally, I don't think that would be a good idea, having to stop several times every mile to pay someone to open another gate. As far as that goes,
someone could also decide they don't allow Cadillacs, or they only allow Fords to pass, or maybe only green cars. Or maybe they don't allow cars at
all... only horse and buggy.
Most land would be useless... because it would be too expensive to just get to it. So we have Eminent Domain so the government can put in roads that
everyone can travel. It benefits all.
Not far from me there are two extremely sharp curves in the road where it swings right for maybe a few hundred yards, then back left again. The two
curves are 90 degrees, and the safe speed is 15 mph... and I don't mean the posted safe speed, either. I have seen people wipe out at 25 mph... beyond
that, you pretty much have to drift the curves.
Why is the road like that? Well, it seems back in the days of yore, the county decided to put our road in. They bought up as much land as they could,
and tried to use Eminent Domain for the rest. Back then the government wasn't as powerful as it is today, and one of the landowners decided that they
would follow the property lines to not break up his land, and enforced it with a bunch of shotguns. So the government was stopped from making
the road straight and today we have this dangerous set of curves that I traverse several times a week.
Back in the day when TVA was toying with damming up the river and providing power, many of the farmers who lived along the river were holdouts. They
had lived on those farms for ages untold, and refused to sell out, despite them having to rebuild the places every few years when the river would
swell from heavy rains and wash everything away. In the end, TVA forced the sales through Eminent Domain. Today that river no longer swells to a
raging deluge every few years... instead it is a series of lakes connected by hydroelectric dams. The properties along the river are safe from
flooding (outside the flood plain; it is illegal to own property in the flood plain, although those who own adjacent land are permitted to use it with
the understanding it can flood at any time and they have no claim for damages if it does). The river is now a wildlife refuge which has some awesome
fishing (open to anyone with a permit). We have fairly inexpensive and totally green power from those hydro dams. In short, the whole county has
benefited from TVA damming the river.
That's my personal experience with Eminent Domain. In the first case, failure to allow Eminent Domain created a problem that has existed for over 100
years, and which likely will exist for at least another 100. In the second case, Eminent Domain gave the county cheap electricity, a more stable
environment, and some of the best wildlands anywhere around.
Now, that said, I consider land as precious. Before the government should be able to take any property, they should have to demonstrate a serious need
for it, and a need that cannot be reasonably accomplished any other way. Under no circumstances should land ever be taken for anything that is
private enterprise. Private enterprise should have to negotiate with the owner for it. Personally, I think the government should be required to
pay double the value if they have to acquire it through Eminent Domain, but that's not likely to happen.
I know what this thread is about, and it ain't Eminent Domain. If taking the property of a citizen is a bad thing in the minds of the pundits, then we
wouldn't have criminal forfeiture before conviction, and we would never hear of private land developers going through the government to enforce
Eminent Domain to acquire property for developments, both of which I consider a travesty of injustice. No, it's about someone who wants open borders
so badly they will use any excuse to try to justify why the borders cannot be enforced. But a southern border wall is a government project that has
serious national security implications if not built. That is the original intended purpose of Eminent Domain, and as such is proper.