More government abuse of property rights

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kiryan
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More government abuse of property rights

Postby kiryan » Thu May 07, 2009 2:45 pm

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090507/ap_ ... 3_memorial

So the government wants to build a memorial to the 9/11 flight 93 (the one the passengers forced to crash).

They want 500 acres owned by 7 property owners and since the property owners would not agree to sell it to them for what they believe is a fair price, they are threatening to condemn it and basically take it by force ( through the court ).

Now seriously. I understand taking land because you need a freeway built or to run a railroad. I have a harder time with blighted neigborhoods but ok... but for a GD memorial? You are going to take private property away from people so you can build a memorial? That is not right no matter how much land they have and how rich they are.

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Re: More government abuse of property rights

Postby Corth » Thu May 07, 2009 3:00 pm

Actually, this type of eminent domain I can agree with. Its for a true 'public' purpose. My issue with overzealous government takings is where they take private property and then sell it to a larger retailer (home depot etc.). The public purpose is that they derive more tax revenue from the new use of land. I don't think that more tax revenue should outweigh the original owner's property rights. Its basically giving one preferred private part an advantage over another. However, making a memorial - that isn't benefiting any one private party over another.
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Re: More government abuse of property rights

Postby avak » Thu May 07, 2009 5:05 pm

Eminent domain is also a leverage tool for the government. Put yourself in the shoes of a private land owner. The gov't comes in and wants the land for this memorial...okay, the gov't has -a lot- of money, so you play hardball. Say you ask for triple what the market rate is. In the business world, they would just tell you to go eff yourself. The threat of eminent domain levels the playing field, so to speak. Also, there are very clear rules in most states on how eminent domain can occur.

That said, I am not a huge fan of the gov't having this power. And like Corth said, it gets even more dicey when it is extended to private parties.
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Re: More government abuse of property rights

Postby kiryan » Thu May 07, 2009 10:58 pm

In principle I can see your reasoning, the government is stepping in to take property from one private citizen to essentially give it to another, but the practice is basically to bring some sort of services to an area like a new hotel (and the jobs) or a walmart (and the competition on prices) or a freeway... I guess I have a problem with the intangible "public benefit" of putting up a memorial on the exact spot where the plane crashed. Well and although I understand the uses of public domain, I dislike it under all circumstances.

Farm land goes for anywhere from 1,000 to at most 10,000 an acre. I'm sure the government wants to give them a "market rate" based on the value of farmland. If I owned 500 acres, I would not sell you 1 acre for $10,000 even if you could buy 10 acres from my neighbor for $5,000. And its not just farm land anymore, its the site of a major historical event and it has new intrinsic value that the government wants to literally just take.
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Re: More government abuse of property rights

Postby avak » Fri May 08, 2009 5:22 pm

The craziest part of the deal is that they say they need 2,200 acres!!! Uh, nearly four square miles?!?

The whole matter still has to be heard in court though.
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Re: More government abuse of property rights

Postby Ashiwi » Fri May 08, 2009 6:11 pm

I'm in agreement with Kiryan on this one. I understand the legal implications, but I have to seriously question the ethical and logistical foundation of the decision.

I had similar-but-not-similar issues when we went through the Murrah Building bombing in Oklahoma City. I worked with the Salvation Army at the time, which was highly involved in the construction of the memorial. Several family members of the victims lodged high level complaints against the use of their loved ones' names in the memorial, as it went against their beliefs to be used in such a way. They had no say whatsoever. Memorials are considered an effort of "greater good" for the public domain, and the government runs roughshod over anybody who disagrees.

If you were standing in front of a euthanasia clinic carrying a protest sign and died when it was bombed, the government could use your name in a memorial serving to remember the victims of anti-euthanasists in any way it pleased, including painting you as a supporter of euthanasia and confiscating the property where the clinic was situated for the construction of a memorial, no matter whom it belonged to.
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Re: More government abuse of property rights

Postby Botef » Fri May 08, 2009 8:04 pm

Its a conspiracy to hide the evidence buried in those fields, which provide conclusive proof aliens have taken control of Walt Disney's cryogenically frozen corpse and are using it to expand the 'Small World' ride to include greys, lizardmen and descendants of Leonard Nimoy.
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Re: More government abuse of property rights

Postby Corth » Fri May 08, 2009 10:26 pm

Daggaz is that you?!
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: More government abuse of property rights

Postby teflor the ranger » Fri May 08, 2009 11:19 pm

Corth wrote:Actually, this type of eminent domain I can agree with. Its for a true 'public' purpose.


500 acres? As this is farmland(?), I'm sure you can appreciate that these people make a living off of the land the government is taking away.
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Re: More government abuse of property rights

Postby Corth » Sat May 09, 2009 1:18 am

The land in question here is unique - but not for its agricultural prowess. I have no doubt that the landowners will be very nicely compensated when all is said and done - certainly enough to buy just as much if not more nearby farmland.

I am not usually a big fan of eminent domain - certainly not some of the more abusive examples of it in recent history. However if you are going to allow it - and it is indeed specifically authorized in the US Constitution -then exercising the privilege to create a public memorial or park would seem to be well within the spirit of what the framers intended.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: More government abuse of property rights

Postby Sarvis » Sat May 09, 2009 1:58 am

Corth wrote:The land in question here is unique - but not for its agricultural prowess. I have no doubt that the landowners will be very nicely compensated when all is said and done - certainly enough to buy just as much if not more nearby farmland.

I am not usually a big fan of eminent domain - certainly not some of the more abusive examples of it in recent history. However if you are going to allow it - and it is indeed specifically authorized in the US Constitution -then exercising the privilege to create a public memorial or park would seem to be well within the spirit of what the framers intended.


I think I have to agree with Corth here. While some of the extensions to eminent domain created under Bush are retarded, this seems like a pretty valid use.
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Re: More government abuse of property rights

Postby teflor the ranger » Mon May 25, 2009 4:53 am

Corth wrote:The land in question here is unique - but not for its agricultural prowess. I have no doubt that the landowners will be very nicely compensated when all is said and done - certainly enough to buy just as much if not more nearby farmland.


Any chance you have a teleporter device that will make their combines and tractors appear magically in a disjointed piece of land possibly miles away?

Have you considered that the government is trying to pay the wrong 'fair value,' and is being unreasonable about the compensation because it is illogically and unethically trying with all desperation to avoid the appearance of improper behavior?

These people own land, recorded by the courts, and supposedly defended upon the United States of America. These people have paid their taxes. The United States is willing to throw hundreds of lives and hundreds of thousands of dollars of resources to retake an Alaskan island from the Japanese that was previousy uninhabited,

Yet, it'll turn right around and betray the trust of the people because it's trying to appear to be without corruption.

Pay these people the damned money they need to reestablish their livelihoods. You shouldn't take more from people than you give them. We do environmental studies to build a road desperately needed to alleviate pollution causing traffic. Do an economic study to find out how much it will take to properly compensate these citizens.

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Re: More government abuse of property rights

Postby avak » Mon May 25, 2009 3:12 pm

teflor the ranger wrote:Any chance you have a teleporter device that will make their combines and tractors appear magically in a disjointed piece of land possibly miles away?

Image
Farms with completely contiguous land are more rare than people that know everything about everything.

teflor the ranger wrote:Have you considered that the government is trying to pay the wrong 'fair value,' and is being unreasonable about the compensation because it is illogically and unethically trying with all desperation to avoid the appearance of improper behavior?
That is why the case is heard by a judge.
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Re: More government abuse of property rights

Postby teflor the ranger » Mon May 25, 2009 6:19 pm

avak wrote:
teflor the ranger wrote:Any chance you have a teleporter device that will make their combines and tractors appear magically in a disjointed piece of land possibly miles away?

Image
Farms with completely contiguous land are more rare than people that know everything about everything.


I'm sorry, Avak, but a truck or holding people up in traffic while driving a tractor down the road does not magically reduce the impact of increased costs and extended workflow. If you were a farmer, I can already see your BBS post if the Federal Government moved a third of your farm three miles over. When your profit margin is pennies on the pound, this major disruption of hundreds of acres of land is enough to put families and their farms under, even if it is just three more miles of road.

In case you were confused, that semi hauling the combine there is not cheap, nor is it magical. It certainly cannot run a different route on the same dollar or slice of time.

avak wrote:
teflor the ranger wrote:Have you considered that the government is trying to pay the wrong 'fair value,' and is being unreasonable about the compensation because it is illogically and unethically trying with all desperation to avoid the appearance of improper behavior?
That is why the case is heard by a judge.


Have you ever considered that it didn't ever have to go there? People in this country should not need a lawyer to protect themselves from the government when they have done nothing wrong. That's called bad governance.
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Re: More government abuse of property rights

Postby avak » Mon May 25, 2009 6:42 pm

Well Teflor, I -am- a farmer. Small scale and part-time, but I am immersed in farm issues. My dad is a full-time farmer, conventional and niche, and has two farms separated by about 60 miles. I know -exactly- how much it costs to transport equipment. Things are probably a little different in PA than where I live, but most modern farm equipment is road worthy for a reason.

Anyway, the point of the judicial oversight is to deal with issues like you mention. I'm not a fan of eminent domain. In fact, if you knew my real name you could google a statement I made as representative of a plaintiff group in a large lawsuit focused on an eminent domain case. I really wonder if the government needs to take control of 2200 acres or whatever it is for this memorial. That said, takings are in the Constitution! They are an important mechanism for advancing the public good.

And yes, your are correct that I would be very upset if my farm were taken from me. I have invested seven years of sweat equity in it that I doubt I would ever see if I were paid 'market value.'
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Re: More government abuse of property rights

Postby teflor the ranger » Mon May 25, 2009 6:46 pm

Sorry, Avak, I was not trying to criticize your point of view. I suspected you were a farmer immersed in farm issues when you said you were headed to washington to speak about the farm bill :P

In terms of economic efficiency, my point was that this kind of disruption to a farm business has far reaching consequences for a farm, greater than the "fair value" of the land. My hope is that the government would have recognized this and created an appropriate settlement without the need for things to go to court.

Unfortunately, now it is up to two lawyers and a judge.

I'm aware that most farms are disjointed, particularly with the need for individual farms banding together into larger organizations in order to create purchasing and selling power, but still. I imagine most of the good land nearby is already taken and not for sale for these PA farmers
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Re: More government abuse of property rights

Postby Tasan » Mon May 25, 2009 6:59 pm

It's bad governance to waste the populace's money.

Why a memorial for this and not for the thousands of other "bad things" that have happened?

Why can't these people have a memorial tied in with the rest of the 9/11 stuff?

The fact of the matter remains, our government has no clue how best to spend our money.
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Re: More government abuse of property rights

Postby teflor the ranger » Mon May 25, 2009 8:50 pm

I'm for a 9/11 memorial. I think most people are. It's the kind of stuff people are generally willing to pay for. The function of the government and eminant domain in this case is to get the land at a reasonable price.

Of course, for those staunch conservatives and libertarians, the government should never have become involved yada yada yada bore.

We have a Federal Government with specific powers and it won't be going away soon. Let's just badger it into doing things the right way.
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Re: More government abuse of property rights

Postby kiryan » Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:55 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/15/us/15taking.html?hpw

Wow... to sum it up, private developer says take my 800k or I'll have your property condemned, he declines, the next day the property is condemned and the developer builds his walgreens. Sotomayer ruled for the city (developer).

Apparently the condemning of private property for business development (vs public good) came up in Alito and Robert's confirmation hearings... they indicated that they aren't sure that the court came to the right decision that government has this right...
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Re: More government abuse of property rights

Postby Kifle » Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:19 am

kiryan wrote:http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/15/us/15taking.html?hpw

Wow... to sum it up, private developer says take my 800k or I'll have your property condemned, he declines, the next day the property is condemned and the developer builds his walgreens. Sotomayer ruled for the city (developer).

Apparently the condemning of private property for business development (vs public good) came up in Alito and Robert's confirmation hearings... they indicated that they aren't sure that the court came to the right decision that government has this right...


They do and they don't. A very liberal reading of the takings clause will back this judgement; however, any sane person would easily conclude the decision is a horrible misuse of power. The takings clause was intended for things like trade routes, city halls, and things of this nature -- not walgreens...
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