April 28, 2008
Eminent Domain's Impact on Minorities
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It might be interesting to see if one of Somin's colleagues at Cato could supply him with the statistics on the benefits of "urban renewal" to the very minorities supposedly injured by eminent domain.
Look, eminent domain should scare the hell out of every libertarian, free-thinker, disposed to think the founders had good reason to fear oppressive, inter-meddling government (ok, all powerful government). In my opinion, that portion of the Fifth Amendment is THE great conundrum of the Constitution.
But we've been down this road so many times: is it better to wallow in generationally institutionalized poverty or permit regrowth and spur at least nominal economic development, thereby providing the poor (yet propertied) a better chance to improve their position?
It seems that the article is further promoting the polar view that any and all eminent domain actions ALWAYS hurt minorities.
If minorities are disproportionately injured by eminent domain, they also have the potential to disproportionately gain from it. I suspect that if minority developers were the parties on the other side of the eminent domain issue, there'd be a lot less academic debate about the matter.
So, having said all that, I myself remain perpetually suspicious of ANY governmental aggressiveness, regardless of the stated motivation.
Posted by: Sam Gompers | Apr 29, 2008 7:27:33 AM