Upon the Anniversary of Kelo vs The City of New London

It has been five years since the US Supreme Court decided that people’s property rights were not as important as a city’s tax revenues. Ilya Somin has an thoughtful update on what it means and where we are now.

What did I learn from Kelo? That the rights of the individual may be removed quickly and to no good end if the courts decide that rights do not belong to individuals but are rather lent to them until such time as the court decides that the individual simply does not need them.

3 thoughts on “Upon the Anniversary of Kelo vs The City of New London

  1. I agree on this issue. Kelo was a travesty.

    But permit me to offer this for discussion: a complete understanding of the danger in Kelo requires us to remember that the courts subordinated individual property rights to the desire for private economic development. The courts declared that a wealthy developer or corporation promising to build swanky digs or a big industrial facility has more right to land than a mere private citizen who just wants a modest home. To reject Kelo requires us to reject at some level dependence on property tax (New London justified eminent domain by arguing Pfizer’s development would have contributed more tax dollars than the homeowners) and perhaps even the arch-capitalist notion that value lies only in dollars.

    1. CAH,

      I thank you for your agreement. I believe that the city exists for the individual, not the other way around. I further believe that taxing any property which is already owned (such as real estate) is a horrible way to fund government.

      However, I was previously unaware of the “the arch-capitalist notion that value lies only in dollars.” I, as a capitalist, have never subscribed to such a notion or even considered it within the realm of reason.

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