Eminent DominationPosted: June 23, 2011
Eminent domain in practice has become so twisted that people don’t understand what it is, or is not. By definition, eminent domain is the taking of private property, compensated at fair market value, for public use. In so many areas of public interaction, eminent domain has become the selective enforcement of municipal ordinances and regulation, to benefit private interests. This is the method employed in Third World countries to separate people from the land. It is important, here and now, because the same methods are in use on the Front Range of Colorado, right now.
Using countries in Africa as an example, the obvious fact that there was no local economic reason for people to be where they were, is common to the little towns on the plains. Everything here depends on access to debt. Agricultural products depend on a debt based distribution system. That is why activity declines suddenly, when the debt supply is restricted for anything. The usual question is, why should that matter? It matters because people have traded their independent support and are at the mercy of debt. Their income, jobs and ability to produce wealth are now under a centralized debt control system. In the Short term, people may get upset over economic conditions, but they have rendered themselves powerless to address the problem.
A good illustration of this happened to a tribe in Africa. The original deal was that they would receive comparable land, acre for acre, to make way for a new impoundment. The sounds like a good deal. They get land and everyone gets electrical power and irrigation water. The problem was that the deal changed, once the impoundment began to fill and flood the land. The displaced tribe was offered a cash settlement. This is proof that cash is debt. The truth was that the land offered in exchange, did not exist. In the end, the cash wasn’t the ability to grow food and the land to grow it on. In the end, the cash ran out and the people were left homeless and starving. The question for all of us now is, who gets robbed to keep this debt pyramid going? The deal went from real wealth to worthless paper, in a hurry. How does that concern us? It’s very simple. Every municipality is at the mercy of the debt system. There is no local production of wealth and independent production. It is all dependent on access to debt.
In my travels, I’ve seen the dried up little towns. The weathered storefronts with the windows boarded up with sun-bleached plywood are a palpable and visual silence. The faded signs are just a grave marker to what used to be. Even today, land is being cleared, populations displaced and prosperity leaving the small towns of rural Colorado. When Kellogg, Brown & Root was brought in to facilitate the Superslab project, the first question was, will they do as good a job as they did in Iraq? Will landowners who refuse to sell be labeled “insurgents”? This is just one obvious parallel with development policies in Africa. The U. S. Army still seeks to seize hundreds of thousands of acres, clearly against the agreements that established their training area, to begin with. The hand prints of multi-national interests are on all of these activities. Irrigation wells are shut down, effectively driving people off the land and depressing land values. The urban mentality sees taking agricultural land out of production as a good thing.
This brings us to the closing point. State governments are becoming more urban-centric as each crisis brings new municipal budget shortfalls. How long will it be before private economic activity is unable to compete for available funds? It already happened in a little town in Oklahoma. The only economic activity in that town is a “judge” and 7 police officers, harvesting the population, one traffic ticket, at a time. They went so far as to shoot one man, in court. This is the end result that eminent domain can lead to. Bureaucracy devours all wealth in it’s path. When they come to move you and take your property for the greater good, I hope you have a better answer than anyone else has had, to this point. I would suggest that defending our neighbors is the same thing as defending ourselves.