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ETHICS: Private Property and Eminent Domain

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posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 10:54 PM
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Collectivism vs. Individualism - where to draw the line?

Libertarians are generally going to default on the side of the individual in matters of property. If someone owns property, the philosophy goes that it is thiers to do with as they choose. While many differnt threads could arise out of this concept, I'd like to focus on the abuse of 'eminent domain.'

 

Eminent Domain is a principle used by the government, local or federal, to seize private property from someone because it is necessary for the 'collective good.' In the past, it has been used for land acquisition for the purpose of roads and highways.

There is a growing trend in this country, however, that the principle can be applied to seize property and resell it to a developer for the purpose of 'revitalizing' an area. Libertarians generally oppose eminent domain, as it infringes upon an individual's private property rights. Roads are one thing, but the trend of government stealing property from one individual and selling it to a developer is a scary one. Politicians wanting to increase their community's tax base are too easily seduced.

Neil Boortz has been complaining about this trend for a while now, and recently brought national attention to a situation in Florida where the Republican Party was trying to pass a law that would allow the government to seize property and sell it to developers.
boortz.com...

I discovered there's actually an online community of 'eminent domain professionals'. That's right - an actual discussion forum dedicated to taking your property away.
www.eminentdomainonline.com...

I've seen this evil at work in my own back yard. Recently, two small middle-class African American communities in my area were deemed 'blighted' and replaced with strip malls under eminent domain. Both included a Wal-Mart. Gotta love collectivism - it certainly increased the tax base.


The Libertarians are the only party that I've heard stand up for individual property rights (happy to be wrong here, btw. Any dems/reps wish to weigh in?). I agree with Boortz that if the Libertarians pushed this as their primary issue, rather than the tired old war-on-drugs stuff, they could gain more national appeal.


[edit on 8/9/2004 by HoonieSkoba]




posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 05:16 PM
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I dunno about this. It seems with this power the government is once again allowed to play Big Brother. Ok I can see how this can be used for good, if for instance a road which could save hours of time in traveling, and thus reducing fuel emitions was wanted to be built and the government called upon this power to make it work I cant see a problem, since usually the government pays the owners well.

However on the fact that when the seize land for profertering (sp) gain, then how can you justify it. Its basically like the government saying that we want this for our purposes, and you dont really matter to us, sort your life out :S

Overall Verdict: Clever idea if actually going to be used for good, and not abused by the government for profit.



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 07:38 PM
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Webster's dictionary defines, "to steal," as:
To take the property of another with right or permission

Assuming we can all agree that stealing is 'wrong,' then what I'd like to discuss is whether the practice of Eminent Domain is considered 'stealing.'

Now, by the Webster's definition, Eminent Domain might be stealing if it was done without the property owner's permission. But we must also consider the "right" part of the definition? Is it a government's "right" to seize property without the owner's permission, and thus it's not stealing?

I don't know what my fellow Libertarians feel, but I personally feel it's not the governement's right to do this, and therefore it's stealing.

Interested in other party's points of view...



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 07:52 PM
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To me stealing is stealing whither the government does it or a man with a ski mask. I can understand the reasoning behind it but I have also seen it abused around here (Arkansas)



posted on Aug, 11 2004 @ 04:30 PM
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This is how a golf course got built in my area. Me and my family had 28.5 acres of land, all the way out to lake Erie. But the government decides that there is to much wildlife and trees in the area and use this act to take the land and build a golf course. It is wrong to do this. If it was for a road and we were paid for the land, then ok. But for a #ing golf course and no money? Bull!



posted on Oct, 9 2004 @ 03:10 PM
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To me, there is no such thing as "the collective good". This is an age old excuse for a mob of idiots to terrorize and bully individuals.

I dont believe private property should be seized without the owner's consent at any time for any reason. if they want to build a road, they can go AROUND the person's property.

Individual rights, in my opinion outweigh anything the mob may want. If I have learned anything, it is that a mob is a creature with thousands of arms and legs, and no brains. Masses are easy to sway, feed them something doctored up enough, and they will believe it for their own good.

It is a big issue up here in Washington state, where devlopers and the state keep seizing farmland and private homes for their own use, and its becoming a bigger issue. This place is ripe for Libertarian takeover if they work it right.



posted on Oct, 10 2004 @ 09:41 PM
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www.cnn.com...

Well folks, the issue is going to go before the Supreme Court. This decision will cut right to the core of property rights. Does the state have the right to take away property from one individual and award it to the another? We aren't talking about roads or community centers, we're talking about seizure of private property so that another can make some profit.

Libertarians will support laws that strengthen private property protections against this kind of attack. Don't look to the Democrats and Republicans to help you here. They're more interesting in campaign contributions and increases to the tax-base. I really hope the SC sides with the home owners here. Otherwise look for a tidal wave of seizures across the country.



posted on Oct, 14 2004 @ 10:16 PM
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c span had an author of a book about emminent domain and how local and state government will side with big business and push people out of their homes because these businesses can generate more money for the gov....

how rude! Government works for the people is there to protect the people, and against stuff like this! however, when your checks and balances are checked and balanced by people who don't exactly know what they are talking about, aren't aware of the ocnsitutition and don't care about the people who elected them, there is a problem...

I recently just bought a beer cooler that says:
"politican's are like diapers, they need to be changed often and for the same reason"

This is so true.



posted on Oct, 15 2004 @ 04:49 PM
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Originally posted by James the Lesser
This is how a golf course got built in my area. Me and my family had 28.5 acres of land, all the way out to lake Erie. But the government decides that there is to much wildlife and trees in the area and use this act to take the land and build a golf course. It is wrong to do this. If it was for a road and we were paid for the land, then ok. But for a #ing golf course and no money? Bull!


This is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about before. How can you justify this act ? You cant, it wasnt as if it was to benifit the country or anything lke that, it was mearly large companies, PAYING the government to preform these actions (most probs)



posted on Oct, 23 2004 @ 12:44 PM
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Originally posted by TrueLies
c span had an author of a book about emminent domain and how local and state government will side with big business and push people out of their homes because these businesses can generate more money for the gov....


I saw that, but didn't write down the author and book name. Any chance you remember? I'd like to get my hands on it...

Libertarian talk show host Neil Boortz has a good position on this issue. He thinks Libertarians could make some national headway if they made this issue as their 'banner' issue instead of the War on Drugs. The WOD is just too easily to politicize (don't vote for Libertarian HoonieSkoba because he wants your kids to have access to crack cocain!!!
)

I think the Libertarians have the market cornered on this issue. I agree with Boortz that this should be one of our big flags.



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