small brush shouldn't fuck with big timber

Death's Door, the view from the Spanish announcers table: eminent domain

Friday, June 24

eminent domain

you’ll move and you’ll like it!

I read in the news the other day that the Supreme Court passed a ruling that city governments can seize property to make room for private development projects to try to boost their local economy. In short they gave the cities the right of eminent domain. As far as I’m concerned it really means is that no homeowner or property owner can sleep secure with the knowledge that what’s his is his anymore. Think of this as a homeowner’s worst nightmare, in that the highest court in the country has given the rich and powerful leave to do as they please with your shit.

You and your family sweated and scrimped to buy your first house. The neighborhood might have started off a bit dicey, but you painted and cleaned and fixed up till your new place was a home. Then your neighbor’s took heed and followed suit until one year you looked up to find that you lived in a pretty cool neighborhood. You had your piece of the rock, the American dream, your forty acres and your Lawnboy was your mule. Then you get a letter from the city saying that they wanted to purchase your property to make room for a new high-rise hotel.

The price they were offering for your home was thousands under what it was worth. Plus it didn’t matter anyway; this was your house, where your kids were raised, the neighborhood where your now grown kids moved back too to raise their new families. Nobody could put a price on what you had and you weren’t selling. You put your time in and wasn’t going anywhere. But then after a while you and your neighbor’s get another letter telling you all that you will move because the city and developers have the right of eminent domain. And by the way, they ain’t giving you a single fuckin dime cause you blew that chance when you refused their first offer. And because of the Supreme Court’s ruling, you are fucked.

You know that back in the day eminent domain was or was supposed to be used only for blighted areas, like an old warehouse district or maybe a junkyard. Areas that weren’t being used anymore that the city thought could be put to good productive use. But with the new ruling governments can seize non-blighted land for economic development. Back in the day I was caught up in this shit, not as a homeowner but as a renter. We were given thirty days to get the fuck out. Where I lived for seven years now sits two very ugly office towers.

I cried and screamed and there was nothing I could do but get the fuck out. I know how I felt when I owned my first home and I couldn’t even begin to imagine what would go thru my head if that had happened to me there. And here’s the worse thing. I can fully understand the deal behind the right of eminent domain. What if instead of a score of storefronts and eighty-year old homes, the city could put in a new office complex or factory that would employ hundreds or thousands? But what again if the city wanted to uproot a bunch of people just to put in condos for the well heeled to live? Couldn’t the well heeled live most anywhere they wanted? That’s when the fighting starts.

"and the monkey flipped the switch"


Blogger satyavati said...

You just let Walmart come in here and try to take our house, and I'll bring down the Rapture, I swear.

12:21 AM  
Blogger Arathorn said...

This may be the biggest travisty ever committed on the American citizen. If I may..........just what is the American Dream? Now it is cool for the fat cats to dash your dreams,hopes,ambitions,all of the sweat equity you have put into your home and trash it along with the hopes for your family and the idea that you may ever leave someone a little piece of the pie?As your previous commenter said I will Not suffer losing my dream,I choose instead to go out in a blaze of glory and if that means them building on what used to be mine, then they will mix their morter with my blood. I will not suffer this.

5:58 AM  
Anonymous Byron said...

Republicans have been complaining that the judiciary has too much power but I didn't believe them until now. How could they make such an evil and stupid decision?

Oh, yeah. MONEY.

3:47 PM  

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