Friday, June 24, 2005

More Thoughts on Kelo: Takings and Privitization

Eugene Volokh addresses some inherent contradictions in the libertarian view of the Kelo decision, i.e. the libertarian support of private property rights versus the libertarian desire to provide for private solutions to public policy issues.

The lonely libertarian thinks that this is much ado about nothing. One of the problems of the majority view is that it encourages the perception that government is the best source of solutions to economic problems. What ever happened to the private marketplace? It seems sort of odd for libertarians to be debating what would be the best way for government to go about solving problems.

The truth is, as a general matter, most of the American public is not overly concerned with government economic development plans of the sort in Kelo, which is why we would have been much better off with a ruling based on the O’Conner dissent. If there had been one vote the other way, and the O’Conner point of view had prevailed, we would be left with a legal framework in which privately owned developments would not be an option. However, as accepting as the public may be of government exercise of power, the lonely libertarian thinks that government owned shopping malls and other “non-essential” businesses would draw public outcry.


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