Saturday, June 25, 2005

When They Come For Me…

I’ll be waiting! I realize I’m a few days behind on this, but this is one I wanted to let stew in the back of my mind for awhile before I released the wicked barbs of hurled invective. This decision is so bullshit it goes beyond bullshit, it passes around to the other side and comes out clean…I think. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. It makes me wonder if anything is going to be left sacred. And what can we do? Nothing, really. Well, except vote from the rooftops. I keep wondering if that’s what’s coming, if we’ve somehow stepped into a timewarp and ended up in the late 1800’s, and we’re going to have to redo the whole goddamned passion play because they’ve stripped so much from us. What am I ranting about? Oh, you know….

The Supreme Court’s Eminent Domain Ruling. Yes, Eminent Domain has always been bullshit, along with the whole concept of Manifest Destiny, which I could rant about ad nauseum. The thing is, though, at least in that respect, it was held to be for the common good, even if it really wasn’t. You know, private property becoming public. All that. But no, that’s not good enough anymore. Now, local government (always known for being squeaky-clean and non-corrupt, what-what) can, for whatever reason, seize my house against my will for private economic development. That’s right, if Pepsi wants to build a bottling facility on my property, local government can take it and give it to them, so long as they me “just compensation”.

Never mind that "just compensation" is the property’s market value, without consideration for circumstance. In the last major Takings Clause case, many people were kicked out of homes that had been in the family since the 1920s and had deep sentimental value. These families were paid a pittance because that part of town just wasn't very expensive. So, even if your grandfather built your house with his own hands, they aren't going to bend over backwards to make up for its personal value.

The worst part of this is that it’s being spun as “liberals” making the decision. The problem is that "liberal" judicial philosophy includes a belief in the coercive power of government- that's why most of the "liberals" voted for the marijuana restrictions in Raich v. Ashcroft. They vote continually for the permissibility of takings such as the one at issue here, including that interest earned on clients' trust accounts may be confiscated by the state simply because state law created the right of those funds to earn interest, and invariably vote against challenges to laws based on the Commerce Clause.

I’m angry and depressed. There is no reason why private developers should be given special ability to bypass the free market just because they generate property taxes. It seems like we're just plain fucked. Flag burning? "Fuck you First Amendment." Property ownership? "Fuck you, non-corporate property owner!"

Let’s review. John Q. Public wants to buy a home, but he can't afford one because prices are so high. So he takes out a loan, but it's adjustable so the interest rates go up. He can't afford his health care so he's late paying his phone bill. His FICO is affected so his home loan is in default. He takes out an equity loan to consolidate his bills and his house gets bought out by a corporation. His company liquidates his pension because they can't afford it anymore or they go bankrupt. Then he gets laid off. He's got no money, no home, no health care. What's that? What do you mean my social security benefits payout is nearly nothing since it was privatized?

I predict this decision just might be the sort of thing that leads to that voting from the rooftops, along with the subsequent incarceration of people (thanks from the prison industry!) who were just minding their own business until they were shat all over so Pepsi could build another bottling plant, at which point they snap.

At least the top 1% of the top 1% are even richer than before!

Posted by crimnos @ 12:42 PM