Friday, August 20

Democrats/leftists suddenly in favor of property rights

I'm amused by the very recent rush by American Leftists to defend the rights of property owners.

In fact, it would probably be more accurate to say that Leftists seem suddenly to have come to the realization that property owners actually have rights.

This conversion was prompted by the discovery that two-thirds of Americans--obviously all of whom were religious bigots who were frightened by non-Christian religions--opposed the building of a mosque at ground-zero.

Such opposition was just too un-American for Leftists to tolerate, so they suddenly decided that a) private property owners have rights; b) that among those rights is the right to build whatever the owner likes, no matter if a huge majority of Americans find it offensive; and c) that anyone who raises any objection to the exercise of such rights by property owners is obviously a bigot who doesn't believe in the Constitution.

Wow, that was...quite a conversion.

Remember the case Kelo v. City of New London ? You don't if you're a Leftist. Because in Kelo a city condemned occupied private homes, then essentially gave the land they stood on to a private developer, because the latter proposed to build a shiny new project that would produce a lot more property taxes for the city than it was collecting for the existing older residential homes.

Whoa! I didn't think the Constitution would allow a city to use the power of "eminent domain" to take a private home from owner "A" and give it to private developer "B" like that!

Except 5 judges on the U.S. Supreme Court disagreed. By a 5-to-4 vote, the court ruled this was legal.

Now to the new case:

NYC is probably the highest-cost city in the U.S. and is always looking for ways to raise new tax revenue, right? And IIRC, churches of all flavors are exempt from property taxes, right? So if the Ground-Zero Mosque is built, the city will get very little tax revenue.

Suppose a "developer" proposed a plan that would supposedly produce lots of jobs and lots of high-dollar office space on that site. City signs up, condemns the existing buildings, turns 'em over to the developer, and the problem of the "9/11 victory mosque" is solved.

Oooh, wait. To do this we'd need to find a developer willing to put big bucks into such a project.

Don't worry: There's no need to actually follow through on the proposal.

After all, the developer in Kelo ended up not being able to find financing. So after Suzette Kelo's house was moved, the land slated for the project has remained vacant.

I suspect that the Left's new, alleged love for the rights of private property owners has a very short half-life. Just long enough to get a building permit, I'd guess. Then it's back to business as usual.

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