Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Kelo postscript: from tragedy to farce

It is almost too rich. New London CT, wanted to please Pfizer, which it had induced to build a facility in town, in part through corporate welfare (not sure whether it was tax forgiveness or what), so they condemned a modest-income neighborhood after getting a fancy-schmancy proposal from a developer. Susette Kelo fought this obvious abuse of eminent domain but the Supremes said it was just fine to push people out of their homes for the promise of a public "benefit" (the Constitution says "public use") in the form of more tax revenue for the city misrulers. Well, the development plan fell through some years ago so the land is lying there unused, most of the houses torn down. And now Pfizer has announced it's closing the plant.

Why can't cities just have low taxes and reasonable regulations (not that I wouldn't prefer zero of each) and let businesses develop in response to consumer/business demand? Why the urge these petty tyrants have to micromanage and direct everything, with taxpayers money? Oh, maybe that's why. Other peoples' money, no downside risk to them. We should at least ridicule them regularly, however.

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