Duck! and Gather: Podcast, Predictions, & Analysis

... for the money has gone too far.

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You know you're WAY left of Left when ...

... you find yourself in vehement agreement with the reactionary Right wing of the Supreme Court. But that's where I find myself after the Court's 5-4 ruling yesterday in Kelo v. City of New London, No. 04-108. As the New York Times article on the case explains, the "5" comprised liberal/moderate Justices Stevens, Bader Ginsberg, Breyer, Kennedy, and Souter. The four dissenters included Justice O'Connor plus the three reactionary stooges, Justices Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas. Here I am calling them the "three stooges", yet I couldn't agree more with their strident criticism of the majority opinion. The case involved the Constitution's "takings clause". This clause governs those situations when the government comes to you and says: "We're buying your house; you have to move out; we're putting a freeway through your back yard." This case involved the last part of that dynamic. Instead of taking a neighborhood for a true public purpose like a highway, the Connecticut town in Kelo took a neighborhood for the purpose of building an office park next to the research center of pharmaceutical multinational Pfizer. If you've been reading this blog, my revulsion at this case should come as no surprise. To me, this case is about immense Corporations reducing the transaction costs of shaping their environment to their liking. After Kelo, all these anaerobic organisms that feed on money need to do in order to scoop up a neighborhood is to persuade the local government officials to do their bidding. There's no longer any need for them to negotiate directly with every stubborn grandmother who refuses to sell her home. To sum it up, the far Left revulsion about the Kelo decision concerns the barn door that the case leaves wide open for Corporations to take away our homes. As far as I can tell, the far Right revulsion about Kelo concerns Government coercion of individual property rights. But whatever the case, the relevance of Kelo to this blog is that this case serves as a bridge between the far Left and far Right. And as I've predicted, I see these two unlikely bedfellows finding common cause in the coming years.

[posted: 06/24/05]

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