Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Eminent Domain as Class Warfare

Via PLANetizen and Archnewsnow, here's an excellent LA Times article on Riviera Beach, Florida, where city officials want to use eminent domain to demolish the homes of 6,000 of the town's 32,500 residents to free up lakefront property for a billion dollar yachting/residential development to lure the type of rich old white people (average age: 66.6 years) that now populate Palm Beach, just a few miles to south, where the median home price is over $2,000,000, compared to $290,000 in Riviera Beach.

The irony, of course, is that it was the more liberal members of the U.S. Supreme Court who carried the court's recent controversial ruling that the constitution's "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation" clause gives governments carte blanche to define "public use" pretty much any way they want, even if it means seizing property of the poor and middle class to turn it over to the rich, just to increase the tax base.

60-year-old housepainter Martha Babson sums up the situation succinctly, "What they mean is that the view I have is too good for me, and should go to some millionaire."

1 comment:

Susan said...


Az just refused a city taking private property for "urban development" I can send you the news clip.