03 April 2006

About the Blog

This is like the bazillionth time I've tried this, so I don't have very high hopes. My goal is one substantive (though not necessarily all that substantial) post per day. That is, I will add one idea to the fiendish, perverted discourse known as "blogosphere" in every 24-hour period. In so doing, I hope to bring the wrath of God more quickly on this modern-day Babel.

Topic of the day: Eminent domain.

I used to be very conservative -- I'm sure you're familiar with the type. Naive, morally simplistic, and not real intellectually sophisticated, with a crystal-clear version of Right and Wrong. Also, tending toward Constitutional Libertarianism. Back then, eminent domain would have seemed like a no-brainer: It was Wrong. The individual's property is the individual's property, and it is unjust to annex it by force. No amount of public good can justify the abridgement of the Constitutional Right to Property.

Fast-forward ten years. I now have a degree in history and a fair amount of real-world experience, among other fun and useless new attributes. Now, I have serious reservations about picking either side of the debate. On one hand, the constitution remains the same. On the other hand, government exists to do the most good for the most people, right? Isn't that the purpose of civic community? So what if annexing private property is extremely valuable for the community at large? What gives a single landowner the right to screw everyone else's lives up? Especially if he receives fair market value for his property?

I tend to come down on the government's side here. I used to think powerful government was a bad thing, but I have come to appreciate the good it can do for communities. But then, maybe I'm just swinging that way because I'm a landless peon; who knows? :-)

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