Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Bush feathered nest with eminent domain takings

Not that it hasn't been reported, not that people haven't tried to make hay out of the story. It's just that...oh, I don't know...people are too ill-informed or stupid to care?

Given the recent Kelo v. New London Supreme Court decision allowing a taking from one private owner to another private owner, this seems like a timely opportunity to remind people how Dumbyass made his millions on expropriated land. It sounds like a classic old Texas story of bullying to fence in your neighbor's land.

ESPN reported:

Bush got the taxpayers of Arlington to spend $135 million toward building his team's stadium, yet the Republican party espouses keeping government out of the way of private enterprise. The Ballpark stands as a monument to what critics call corporate welfare, yet his party advocates reducing welfare rolls. The entire complex stands on land that includes 13 acres taken by eminent domain, yet when campaigning in rural Texas Bush told voters he would keep the government from seizing their private land for public use. ...

The Rangers...encouraged the state legislature to allow creation of the quasi-governmental Arlington Sports Facilities Development Authority as owner and developer of the ballpark with the power of eminent domain. Never before had a Texas municipal authority had the right to seize private property for the benefit of a sports facility, and it used its power to condemn 13 acres for half of the appraised value.

The stadium deal cost a total $191 million, of which the Rangers owners chipped in...NOT...ONE...THIN...DIME!!!

That's right! Gratis! They just promised to pay out of a surcharge on ticket prices.

Dumbyass' take? $14.7 million and a ten percent share in the Rangers franchise.

Elsewhere, I have advocated for Congress to revisit the exemption clause in anti-trust laws that allows team owners, like parasites, to scavenge taxpayers for capital and income, and to finally thrust real competition into the sports franchise monopolies:
Tom Benson is a jackass

There's also a nice backgrounder on the sports stadium extortion racket at AP Papers.

Finally, my post to the Louisiana Democrat Yahoo group:
Notwithstanding my acceptance of the merits of eminent domain for "public use," the Supreme Court was totally wrong to circumvent the free functioning of an unfettered marketplace for property. The Court should have considered whether a government entity had a right to endow a private developer with the power of eminent domain in order to short circuit a free market process.

If greater profits will obtain from an upscale development, then let the developer COMPETE for the land it desires by NEGOTIATING a price acceptable to the existing owners. The developer should be willing to pay current owners a sum up to the potential profit from the development. Eminent domain was intended to give the GOVERNMENT (not private owners) the benefit of paying "fair" compensation to owners for damages.

It is critical that we understand and emphasize this subtle difference before the strident private property rights advocates take hold of the Court's decision as a justification to vilify ANY government environmental or zoning regulation that circumscribe's an owners allowable activities.


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