Thursday, June 23, 2005

"Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder"

The Brit historian Arnold Toynbee said this after analyzing all of the civilizations up to WW2. He would have put this in the suicide category.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- -- The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses -- even against their will -- for private economic development.

It was a decision fraught with huge implications for a country with many areas, particularly the rapidly growing urban and suburban areas, facing countervailing pressures of development and property ownership rights.

The 5-4 ruling represented a defeat for some Connecticut residents whose homes are slated for destruction to make room for an office complex. They argued that cities have no right to take their land except for projects with a clear public use, such as roads or schools, or to revitalize blighted areas.

As a result, cities have wide power to bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping malls and hotel complexes to generate tax revenue.

English common law, which is incorporated in the US constitution, secured the liberty of the person and their property.

According to Adam Smith, the expectation of profit from "improving one's stock of capital" rests on private property rights, and the belief that property rights encourage the property holders to develop the property, generate wealth, and efficiently allocate resources based on the operation of the market is central to capitalism. From this evolved the modern conception of property as a right which is enforced by positive law, in the expectation that this would produce more wealth and better standards of living.

The Supreme Court has jettisoned this in favor of:

Socialism's fundamental principles are centered on a critique of this concept, stating, among other things, that the cost of defending property is higher than the returns from private property ownership, and that even when property rights encourage the property-holder to develop his property, generate wealth, etc., he will only do so for his own benefit, which may not coincide with the benefit of other people or society at large (and which often goes directly against the interests of non-property-holders).

This is a corrupt real-estate broker's charter, enacted by men and women who are corrupted by power. I don't know where we go from here.