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Friday, June 24, 2005

All For The Greater Good

The right to own private property is considered the single most important condition for a free and prosperous society. John Locke wrote “Government has no other end but the preservation of property.” There are no human rights without property rights. It is your right to own property, not just your ownership of property that makes you free.

Picking up on Locke’s theme, Thomas Jefferson wrote: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

It was the right to retain the fruits of one’s labor and to purchase, own, and control property Jefferson was referring to with the phrase - “pursuit of happiness”. This concept was enshrined in the Bill of Rights with these words: "No person [shall be] deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation."

Fast forward to the present and we find the constant erosion of property rights in the United States. People and their property are seen as little more than tax targets to be exploited for the “greater good”.

Look no further than income tax laws imposed; more for the purpose of wealth redistribution than to provide for the common protection of life and property of citizens. You don’t decide how to use the fruits of your labor; the “government” decides and demands to be paid first, to hell with your needs or wishes. All for the “greater good.”

The IRS has the power to investigate your personal activities and finances; without a search warrant the IRS has the right to search your property and financial records; and without a trial, the IRS has the right to seize your property. All for the “greater good.”

Now we have the latest Supreme Court ruling that fails to protect property rights and instead gives the green light for government to seize people's homes and businesses for the sole purpose of giving it to others with the ability to generate greater tax revenue. All for the “greater good.”

When conservatives call for the appointment of judges that support an originalist interpretation of the U.S. constitution, liberals launch a full scale war and scream such judges are out of the “mainstream”. In the liberal world perhaps, where their concept of the “greater good” trumps all rights.

The number of Americans that have come to see the liberal agenda clearly grows every day. It has become evident to many, liberals seek to gain power, though any means necessary, to tax and seize personal property in order to create a society of their choosing.

A recent article in the Courier-Post provides us with an excellent example of just one of a multitude of outrages: “Sen. Wayne Bryant's ( D-Lawnside) has a $270,000 contract to represent Camden City in eminent domain matters against residents. Under the agreement, Camden taxpayers are footing the bill for one of their representatives in Trenton to aid their city in removing them from their homes.” Do you need to hear any more to realize what's happening?

The Bad Hair Blog has a terrific roundup of blogger reaction to the latest Supreme Court ruling. New Jersey bloggers are well represented, of course. These folks can’t be fooled with the mantra - All for the “greater good.”


At 2:27 PM, Blogger Fausta said...

This decision is a license to corruption, as if NJ needed one.
The SCOTUS has done wrong.

At 2:32 PM, Blogger DBK said...

You were doing okay until you started with that liberal crap. I haven't read the decision yet, so I don't know the details, but I do know that I and every liberal I know is pissed off about that eminent domain decision too. Eminent domain was supposed to be about acquiring lands for the public good. Seizing them to serve some corporation is not a legitimate application of eminent domain to me. Don't start dumping on some caricatures of liberals now, not when you actually made some sense.

By the way, an originalist interpretation of the Constitution is just plain idiotic. Sorry, but it is. Don't want to get into that one now, though.

Oh, and don't bug the liberal blogs if we haven't been blogging the eminent domain story heavily. We have too many other outrages to deal with. Rove is attempting to deflect attention from the Downing Street Memo by calling us traitors. Well, he's a fat Nazi but you don't see me complaining about it.

Oh, yes, actually, I do.

But what I mean to say is, we only have just so many outrages we can deal with at a time. You lay off the attacks on us and deal with that eminent domain issue as an issue and you'll find liberals supporting you.

At 5:03 PM, Blogger Mr. Snitch said...

I find this a tough call. I can see where the Court's decision can lead. At the same time, it's nearly impossible, these days, to acquire land for parks and public amenities in urban areas. We had a poorly-publicized but important problem with this in Hoboken a couple of years ago, when city officials were earnestly trying to get support for a land deal that would have created more open space than the development which finally won out. (This is an interesting story I'll tell more fully at a future date. As with most Jersey stories, the press just fell apart on this one.)

If I have to choose, I always choose an individual's right to property. If I were on the Supreme Court, I'd not have ruled with the majority (although as I understand it, the decision is not all that clear cut, it's more an erosion of rights than a definitive new water line). But I would have done so with some reluctance, understanding that weakening 'public domain' is an unscalable hurdle for persons of good will, yet a necessary barrier protecting us from the robber barons and mob rule we must always guard against.

From there, you go right into intellectual copyright and public domain laws, which ARE out of control and I would roll back. But that's another subject.

At 7:36 PM, Blogger Sluggo said...

I haven't seen anybody argue that there isn't or shouldn't be such a thing as eminent domain. Only that the constitution is pretty clear that it's application is restricted to public use. Interpreting that as increasing the ratables is really a stretch and the pitfalls in a state like New Jersey are painfully obvious.

The one thing Frogsdong gets right is that the outrage in the blogosphere spreads pretty evenly from left to right, as it should. The fact is, however, that the SCOTUS also split evenly left and right. Without arguing against originalism, though, he hasn't much to add.

At 11:53 PM, Blogger DBK said...

Now you're just baiting me pointlessly.

At 7:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, well...this is what happens when you have "progressive" judges that view the Constitution as a "living, breathing, organic document."

At 8:43 PM, Blogger DBK said...

Actually, the Constitution is a living, breathing, organic document.

Or do you think blacks are only three-fifths of a person? And all those amendments after the 10th, they're just so much wallpaper to you, I suppose. Does the state have the right to tell you that you and your wife may not use contraceptives? But I thought you wanted government off your backs.

It's funny how this place is about trashing progressive thought and repeating meaningless talking points about judges even when progressives are agreeing with you. Bitter little fellow, this anonymous. Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

At 9:49 PM, Blogger Enlighten said...

FD, We had no idea the Constitution had been amended to allow the government to take private property and give it to another as long as the government earned more tax revenue as a result of the taking.

Perhaps you could tell us which amendment to the Constitution this ruling was based upon and provide the text. It clearly is not based upon the 5th amendment.

"No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

Note the term - "public use" in the 5th amendment. Now how do you get from "public use" which seems pretty clear, to private use as long as the government gets more tax revenue?

FD, you represent the party of the people? It would appear to us you favor the party of the government that turns its back on the little guy.

The people are supposed to write the laws and amend the Constitution, not judges. Do you disagree?

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