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Free Liberal: Coordinating towards higher values

Free Liberal

Coordinating towards higher values

The Obvious Truths of Private Property

by Paul Jacob

Even the obvious needs defenders.

It is obvious that private property rights are vitally important. It is obvious that markets in property encourage development where development is desired. It is just as obvious that a lot of the progress that has happened in America over its two hundred year-plus history can be accounted to the very fact that we’ve had private property rights.

But, it is also obvious that one can become wealthy by theft, especially if the government is on your side. In localities all across the land, governments take land from some and give it to others. To “develop.”

And it’s not a socialistic scheme concocted by crackpot utopians. It flows right out of the eminent domain clause of the Constitution — as an abuse.

And it has its defenders. They say that, without using eminent domain to engage in big development projects, cities would die.

Nonsense. Right? Yes. And, if real-world logic can’t convince you of the obvious, consult real-world data. A study done by the Institute for Justice — a report called “Doomsday? No Way: Economic Trends and Post-Kelo Eminent Domain Reform” — shows clear evidence that development occurs rather naturally when private property rights are consistently defended. The study compared states with and without such eminent domain abuses.

And it defended the obvious. Freedom is better than theft.

Paul Jacob's "Common Sense" is published by the Sam Adams Alliance. Their website can be visited at

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It is unfortunate that the obvious so often needs defending these days. Fortunate though is the fact that opposition to eminent domain abuse is something that unites people from all across the political spectrum; this not only strengthens the movement against such abuse but also brings a focus onto the value of property rights in general.

# posted at by the Radical

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