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6/26/2005

Kelo part 3

Nathan Newman (via Daou) on the Kelo decision:

...people keep talking about its injustice as if the land was being stolen, rather than the owners being given the market value of the property, so that they have the ability to buy equivalent property.

...the underlying outrage is no doubt the fear that market value doesn't reflect the value of living in a community for years that may be lost to being evicted from a home by eminent domain.

Which is accurate, but then where is the outrage at the pervasive evictions of renters from their homes by private landlords who develop property? That is far more common than eminent domain and disrupts far more communities.

This outrage on behalf of an incredibly tiny number of homeowners, while renters suffer day-to-day threat of such evictions with almost no legal resource and no democratic vote by the community, just seems out of balance, especially by progressives.

... if the reaction against Kelo is based on a fear of losing existing communities that should not be priced merely at the market value of property, we should be far more politically outraged at the way private real estate markets destroy poor renters' lives and their communities.

So I continue to be perplexed by the liberals attacking Kelo. Here you have a small group of property owners getting full economic compensation for their property. Yes, they suffer intangible losses, but compared to the intangible AND economic losses suffered every day by renters due to gentrification, it just seems like a pretty minor problem.

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