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Unjust Compensation?

The Supreme Court recently ruled that local governments can seize the homes of private citizens for private development as long as the home owners are given “just compensation.”

When should business and economic development interests win out over private citizens? The decision assumes that local governments are motivated by something other than pure altruism and love of their communities. What if there are alternative plans that would be better for the communities involved? Shouldn’t local officials be compelled to consider those?

I doubt that the same local governments would seize the new Home Depot in town because it’s driven the local hardware store out of business. The case involved a neighborhood in New London that was nowhere near slum conditions that would warrant covernment action. Eminent Domain abuse is real and the Supreme Court all but ignored that today.

Should local governments be allowed to do anything just for the sake of economic development? What happens if the deal falls through or the plant closes down leaving the town in worse shape than before?

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