Today, the Supreme Court ruled that governments can seize private property for private development. What the supreme court has effectively done is given the power to wealthy corporations and businesses to stomp all over individual families and competition. Let’s play a little exercise, shall we…
Let’s say you own a farm. It’s farmland that’s been in your family since the 1800s. Your great-great-grandfather worked this land, and everyone in your family has worked it since. At one time, it was way, way out from the city but in the years urban growth has sprawled out closer and closer to your land. Along with sprawl has come subdivisions and shopping centers. Now, Wal-Mart has seen fit to build a super-center in town, and has chosen your land.
Under this new ruling, Wal-Mart can tap-tap-tap on the shoulder of the city council and say, “Hey, we want that land over there, look at all the tax money we’re going to bring in” and the city council can kick you off your land using eminent domain provisions that were once reserved for building roads and schools, and give you whatever arbitrary amount they decide is “market value” for your property. Instead of forcing Wal-Mart to compete and pay true value for the land, they can now leverage the city government against you and get the land for fractions of what it is worth.
This is one of the worst rulings I’ve ever seen come out of the Supreme Court and a complete kick in the balls to individual liberty in this country.