Blight. One of my favorite bloggers, Blue Collar Muse, refers to the continual abuse of eminent domain by government as “blight.” He”s playing off the slippery concept of blight that local governments use to condemn whole areas in order to steal homes and small businesses.
This Muse also alerted me to yet another instance of government blight: The story of Joy Ford”s light to keep her business, Country International Records, away from the bulldozers of Nashville’s Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency.
You see the MDHA is hooked up with a Houston, Texas, company trying to force property owners off their land to make way for a $100 million development scheme. So far, Mrs. Ford faces the wrecking ball.
It’s too bad Tennessee’s legislature didn’t pass legislation to further restrict eminent domain power after the Kelo decision. But wait . . . it did.
In one part, the Tennessee law forbids governments from taking property from one owner to give to another private party. But in another part, the law explicitly allows “housing authorities” and “community development agencies” to do just that. Outrageous!
Many states and localities enacted similar laws that are at best band-aids, and at worst, blatant scams perpetrated against the public. In fact, back in 2006, when Tennessee’s law was passed, Drew Johnson of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research said it was a “joke.”
Funny, for all the jokes in government, why are we not amused?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.