Friday, June 23, 2006

Begrudging credit where it currently appears to be due.

Anyone who reads this space knows I am no fan of the current President of the United States and could never, under any circumstances, be considered a republican. However as an American I have an understanding of the organizing priciples of this country, one of which is land ownership. To that end, the latest trend of abuse of "eminent domain" has been especially apalling to me. The condemnation of land for uses other than the public good (public transportation, power generation, parks etc) is a sick abuse of power by corporate demagogues who have no interest in helping the public and significant interest in exploiting the public.

Today, President Bush issued an executive order that would effectively prohibiting the use of eminent domain for uses other than those described above. It is strongly worded and unabiguous as I understand it. As I describe myself as an open minded individual I must give credit to this administration for taking steps to protect the public.

Well done.

(I reserve the right to shift position on this if I find out it was total crap and there are secret loopholes that continue to let the American people get screwed)

***UPDATE*** Once again it is important to have readers who are smarter than you are. What No Best Man of Consequence pointed out in his comment is that this executive order does nothing to stop the proliferation of state and local governments stealing land from the general population. I hereby exercise my reserved right to shift my position and say this executive order, as well as this post, were nothing but a complete waste of time and energy. Apologies.

No 1 of Consequence

1 comment:

Butch said...

It basically does nothing.

The federal government rarely uses eminent domain; it's almost always states or municipalities.

In fact, even conservatives who were pushing for restrictions on eminent domain say it doesn't go far enough because it still would allow a state or municipality to use eminent domain -- and then get federal funding for the project!

"I'm not aware of any federal government agency that takes property for economic development," said Doug Kendall, executive director of the Community Rights Counsel. "It's an effort to appease the property rights base, while ignoring the difficult question of when eminent domain should be used to help downtrodden communities."

However, it apparently doesn't actively screw anyone. It's just one of those things designed to look like Bush is doing something, when he's really doing nothing.