Saturday, July 02, 2005

Meanwhile, the Little Guy Gets Screwed by the "Ownership" Class

The recent decision regarding the unfortunate New London homeowners is now having immediate ramifications for folks all over - including those otherwise productive little folks (small business owners and the like).

The recent SCOTUS ruling is going to have a deep and hurtful affect on anyone who thought they might like to persue the "American Dream" and own a slice of the pie - not to mention start a small business and employ a few people rather than "develop" a property and charge market rate rents for it. Is this court (comprised of primarily of justices appointed by Republican Presidents) that made this decision to be considered Activists of one brand or another?

Slice from the Disssent:
Today the Court abandons this long-held, basic limitation on government power. Under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner, so long as it might be upgraded–i.e., given to an owner who will use it in a way that the legislature deems more beneficial to the public–in the process.
Slice from the news - QED:

...But to John Revelli, whose family has operated a tire shop near downtown Oakland for decades, the implications hit home on Friday. A team of contractors hired by the city of Oakland packed the contents of his small auto shop in a moving van and evicted Revelli from the property his family has owned since 1949.

"I have the perfect location; my customers who work downtown can drop off their cars and walk back here," said Revelli, 65, pointing at the nearby high- rises. "The city is taking it all away from me to give someone else. It's not fair."

The city of Oakland, using eminent domain, seized Revelli Tire and the adjacent property, owner-operated Autohouse, on 20th Street between Telegraph and San Pablo avenues on Friday and evicted the longtime property owners, who have refused to sell to clear the way for a large housing development.

The U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision last week paved the way for local governments to buy out unwilling property owners, demolish homes and businesses, and turn that land over to new owners for development.

Last week's ruling expanded on earlier decisions that allowed agencies to take property only if it is considered "blighted" or run-down. "The city thinks I cause 'economic blight' because I don't produce enough tax revenue...''

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