Friday, July 26, 2002

Here's an excellent column by Jonathan Rauch on the abuses of eminent domain by local and state governments, which often seize private land in order to hand it over to other private parties who will supposedly use the land for "better" purposes. There having been some belated criticism of now-President Bush's successful land grab for a baseball stadium several years ago, Rauch responds with this memorable line: "It's a scandal, all right -- the scandal being not that Bush and friends broke the rules but that they played by them. The scandal, in other words, is the rules." Right on.

Rauch also mentions the yeoman efforts of my friends at the Institute for Justice, who have been among the most stalwart defenders of small property owners against such abuses. One of their cases involved Donald Trump's attempt to have a little old lady's home condemned so that one of his casinos would have extra space for limousine parking. That sort of stuff really goes on here in America.


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