One post I do agree with 100% is this attack on the recent Supreme Court ruling on eminent domain. As Barry puts it:
Sadly, unless you live in a state that has stronger protections against eminent domain seizures than the U.S. Constitution (which, given this ruling, is now essentially no protection at all), Barry is not exaggerating.As a practical matter, this means that you've got good title to your property, and the right of ownership, as long as there isn't a politically connected developer in your hometown who'd like to build a Wal-Mart where your family home sits now.
Besides my belief that property rights are fundamental rights in a democracy, meaning that the government should not be able , this issue also resonates with me because of what happened 24 years ago in my hometown of Detroit. In 1981, General Motors and the cities of Detroit and Hamtramck collaborated to displace 4,200 people from their homes in a neighborhood known as Poletown in order to build a new auto plant. In essence, Detroit and Hamtramck used eminent domain to seize private property to give to another private entity, setting a standard that served as the basis for other governments to justify making similar property transfers to private entities for stadiums and the like. Last year, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled the Poletown seizures unlawful and placed limits on the rights of state and local governments to use eminent domain to seize land, a significant victory against abuse of eminent domain.
Too bad the U.S. Supreme Court couldn't have seen its way to do the same. At least in the Poletown case, the actions of Detroit and Hamtramck, although an example of the abuse of eminent domain, are somewhat understandable. It was the middle of the deep recession of the 1980's, and unemployment rates were in the double digits. Anything that could create badly needed manufacturing jobs was highly tempting, even if the cost was the destruction of an old ethnic neighborhood. The Connecticut case that the Supreme Court ruled on was a land grab to transfer property to wealthy developers for "economic development" and increased tax receipts.
It would appear that the title to your house now means very little if the government decides it would generate more tax revenue as an office park or a hotel.