Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Liberalism unmasked

By Aussiegirl

In an article titled "The Limits of Property Rights", the NYT lays out the liberal philosophy for all to see. They think it's a just a grand idea that the government can condemn and seize your private property for whatever economic or commercial or public use it sees fit, and not even owe you just compensation. (Oh, and by the way -- they just slip in the little bit about how the New York Times benefited from emininent domain in building their new office complex -- just a minor detail there.)

And just another minor detail -- there is no guarantee that this venture will even be profitable. According to local residents, the present Pfizer building is not fully rented after four years, so why is there a guarantee that this new and even bigger building will find tenants? We all know of grandiose commercial developments that have become white elephants, sitting empty and unused and attracting crime.

Of course they tell us little people not to worry -- the people who are much wiser than us -- the urban planners -- they will be sure to have a "comprehensive plan" -- and never, NEVER, seize property for any profit motive, or because of collusion between a corrupt official and a greedy developer. And don't worry your pretty little heads that this will mean that the rich and powerful will always be able to take the property of the average Joe -- how could you even think such a thing? The Supreme Court took all this into account, and has come up with medicine that will only be to your benefit, even if it's bitter medicine at the start. Just lay back, relax and enjoy it. Besides -- you'll be "justly compensated" -- so what's the big deal? You didn't want to move? It's your ancestral home? How petty and selfish of you, when there are office towers to be built, shopping centers to erect, parking lots to be installed, etc.

If you are a liberal, you must consider this as an unmasking of the true principles behind liberalism's philosophy. Essentially, liberalism has become a collectivist philosophy, which sees private property rights as something dangerous, radical, right-wing, and damaging to the public good.

Think about that long and hard. Are you willing to be thrown off your property, to lose your home, because some developer wants to put up a shopping center which will yield higher revenue to the local government? Can you not see the inevitable motivation for corruption and collusion between wealthy developers and corrupt local officials who will line their pockets at the expense of the little guy?

This is what collectivism is -- this is what socialism is -- what's mine -- isn't mine -- it belongs to the state -- and I can only hold it only as long as the state doesn't see that it can use it more profitably some other way. That's not private property -- that's being allowed to temporarily hold a lease from the government -- for as long as they say you can -- and then you are kicked out.

Note that the NYT refers to the "property rights movement" in quotes, the implication being that this is some new and dangerous right-wing plot to take over the government, instead of being the very foundation of our way of life and government. Beware -- no property is safe -- not even yours.

The Supreme Court's ruling yesterday that the economically troubled city of New London, Conn., can use its power of eminent domain to spur development was a welcome vindication of cities' ability to act in the public interest. It also is a setback to the "property rights" movement, which is trying to block government from imposing reasonable zoning and environmental regulations. Still, the dissenters provided a useful reminder that eminent domain must not be used for purely private gain.

The city of New London has fallen on hard times. In 1998 - when its population was at its lowest since 1920, and its unemployment rate was nearly twice the state average - an effort was begun to turn New London around. State and local officials put together a redevelopment plan, anchored by a $300 million Pfizer research facility, that would bring restaurants, stores and a new Coast Guard museum to one hard-hit neighborhood.

The city authorized a nonprofit development corporation to clear the necessary land by eminent domain, a forced sale in which the seller is given appropriate compensation. The development corporation got control of most of the land it needed, but a few people refused to sell.

Eminent domain allows governments to take property for a public use, such as building a road. The property owners in New London claimed that handing over private property to a private developer cannot be a public use, even if it is part of a comprehensive plan to turn around a depressed city.

The Supreme Court, by a 5-to-4 vote, sided with the city. The court noted that in past cases it had taken a broad view on this issue, and given governments wide discretion to determine when a taking of property meets this standard. New London, the court held, was within its rights to decide that its development plan was a valid public use. (The New York Times benefited from eminent domain in clearing the land for the new building it is constructing opposite the Port Authority Bus Terminal.)

In a blistering dissent, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor lamented that the decision meant that the government could transfer any private property from the owner to another person with more political influence "so long as it might be upgraded."

That is a serious concern, but her fears are exaggerated. The majority strongly suggested that eminent domain should be part of a comprehensive plan, and Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing separately, underscored that its goal cannot simply be to help a developer or other private party become richer.

That is not the situation in New London. Connecticut is a rich state with poor cities, which must do everything they can to attract business and industry. New London's development plan may hurt a few small property owners, who will, in any case, be fully compensated. But many more residents are likely to benefit if the city can shore up its tax base and attract badly needed jobs.


At 5:59 PM, Blogger Billy D said...

Gotta love that "shore up the tax base line". I am still so damned angry. I'm thinking I have to do some boxing tonight, heavy bag and the like. I have to get it out.

At 6:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excuse me, but the Rehnquist Court is made up of 7 selected GOP candidates, who passed some sort of litmus-twitmus test. True. Most of the time the democrats had more seated senators;

And, except taking exception to Clarence Thomas, the lawyers we keep getting up there on the supreme's bench, makes liberal use of laughter as they try to decern despotic meanings out of our Constitution.

That "liberalism" is at fault is nuts. The original Founding Fathers didn't fashion a Constitution without utmost regard for privacy rights. And, property ownership. (They even slipped up a bit on that slavery issue, due to property rights "extensions." But, going back to LINCOLN's WORDS. In the speech he gave at Cooper Union, in February 1860; the 39 ORIGINAL FOUNDING FATHERS ... for the most part remained silent on the "big" issue of what was property in those days; while 16 of them signed on AGAINST slavery possession. And, only FOUR were for.

So don't blame "liberalism" when you're dealing with the fashionable illusion that every idiot needed a break. And, suddenly the best you can tell about the current crop of mishuganas in those robes ... is that some of them have female genitalia. And, one other is black. Nobody, however, wants you to notice.

So you've all got wool over your eyes.

Anyway, if you think a university education, today, lacks substance; here ya go again ... the supremes just piled on new tunes ... for the ivory tower folk to digest. It's like feeding lemmings.

I say we all get together and support a grass roots effort to tear those black robes off of those hyenas. And, pass a law that they only vestments they can wear are either made of monkey fur. Or, else it's neon green sweat suits.

Why not give them a fair chance to run away? In robes they've got the disadvantage of not being able to run too far and too fast to please me. Without tripping on the hems of their garments.

In kindness, now, neon green sweatsuits would even allow them to be seen in traffic. Why just have those idiots up on the bench posing for pictures? Let them run wild.

There's not a single idea among them. And, you're being too kind to go back and use terms that once meant something.

Today, it's all a fad, folks. The Constitution has been stripped of meaning. While we've overproduced lawyers. We've got 3-million of them. And, lawyers, being lawyers, always make fodder so the masses can be eaten alive.

Definitely, it will not only look better; but it will all come into focus as soon as we provide those idiots with a uniform change. Hey, it might even scare a few of them off the bench! And, they'll retire.

Meanwhile, I won't respect this new, new version of local powers, until the DC Mayor declares Ruth Bader Ginsberg's house so it can be turned into a much more worthy homeless shelter.

Spread the word on this. PEOPLE WILL SHOW UP IN DROVES. Handouts are just around the corner. (Carol, here. Are you listening?)

At 3:55 AM, Anonymous One Eyed Cat said...

One only hopes it is not just the ethnic Ukrainians who see the magnitude of the danger. I can almost see the word "kulak" dripping out of Durbin's slobbering jaw.



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