The Unnecessary Abuse of Eminent Domain

Dick Carpenter, director of Strategic Research at the Institute for Justice, takes on New York officialdom and its insistence that eminent domain is needed for development in the metropolis in Tuesday’s New York Sun :

Thanks to vocal beneficiaries of eminent domain abuse, like Mayor Bloomberg and his developer friends, New York is one of the few states that has not passed any meaningful eminent domain reform, this despite leading the nation in takings for private gain.

Eminent domain enthusiasts defend their position by predicting economic doomsday if their power of eminent domain is in any way restrained. Despite countless examples to the contrary, Mayor Bloomberg insists, “You would never build any big thing any place in any big city in this country if you didn’t have the power of eminent domain.” It’s that kind of hyperbole that has led New York City officials to use eminent domain for the private gain of politically connected developers over hard-working, tax-paying New Yorkers.

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