Eminent Domain

The Spectre of Eminent Domain is Haunting America

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Here's one for the "you can't make this stuff up" file. A friend toiling in the academy forwarded me a pdf copy of Peter Ranis' article "Eminent Domain: Unused Tool for American Labor?", which was published in the June 2007 issue of WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor and Society. As Ranis claims (spoiler alert!):

The time is ripe for a broad-based coalition of legislatures, community interests, labor unions, and social movements to promote the use of eminent domain to expropriate with compensation enterprises in danger of being abandoned and moved offshore by their owners.

Expropriate! To answer your question, yes, this is a real article. Ranis, an emeritus professor of political science at the City of New York Graduate Center, apparently hasn't bothered to read the friend of the court brief (pdf) filed by the NAACP in Kelo v. City of New London, which correctly points out that "the burden of eminent domain has and will continue to fall disproportionately upon racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, and the economically disadvantaged." I'm guessing Ranis also hasn't heard about the smell or the birds that have taken over New London's eminent domain debacle.

For some of the many reasons why eminent domain abuse is bad for all Americans, even lefties like Prof. Ranis, read Reason's eminent domain coverage.

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  1. Yo, die in a fire, Peter Ranis.

  2. This shitbag needs the same solution Bruce Willis had for Bin Laden in Planet Terror.

  3. The Journal of Labor and Society.

    This is why I have so little respect for academia.

    Also, Ranis? More like Penis.

  4. And to counter this, the owners should fire all of the employees, sell off any assets that can in time, burn the rest, and plow the land with industrial salts.

  5. Ranis? More like Penis.

    That is an insult to dicks everywhere. I expected classier from you, Warty.

  6. “And to counter this, the owners should fire all of the employees, sell off any assets that can in time, burn the rest, and plow the land with industrial salts.”

    I would pay good money to see this happen.

  7. That is an insult to dicks everywhere. I expected classier from you, Warty.

    Poor dicks….always getting shit on.

  8. Didn’t Baltimore try to take the Colts under ED before they left for Indy, with that little bit of info left off the story of poor, slighted Baltimore?

  9. Is this guy’s name really pronounced “Peter Anus”? I mean, Peter Ranis – say it out loud.

  10. “the burden of eminent domain has and will continue to fall disproportionately upon racial and ethnic minorities”

    Irrelevant – it’s unjust to do it to Whitey McMoneybags, and it’s unjust to do it to poor, black folks.

  11. promote the use of eminent domain

    I guess I shouldn’t be, but I’m stunned that this phrase exists. Does not compute.

  12. What’s funny is that this guy seems to think that stopping firms from going overseas is a matter of seizing the factory equipment.

    Don’t most companies that move overseas build new facilities at those locations, or scrap or sell their domestic equipment anyway? Since the overseas move is usually accompanied by a step-up in procedures and automation?

    Basically what this guy is proposing is that the legislatures subsidize companies that are moving operations overseas by paying tax dollars for used industrial equipment that was about to be scrapped anyway.

  13. “I’m guessing Ranis also hasn’t heard about the smell or the birds that have taken over New London’s eminent domain debacle.”

    My guess is that, like 99.99% of government office holders, Ranis hasn’t read or simply doesn’t care to think about the meaning of the Constitution’s “Takings” clause. I suspect that even Alexander Hamilton and other “centrist” founders would be shocked at the abuse of E. D.

  14. Is this guy’s name really pronounced “Peter Anus”?

    Fuck. I missed the lowest of low-hanging fruit. Fuck!

  15. Warty, you’re losing your edge. You’ll never beat Epi as most anally-fixated that way.

  16. What’s funny is that this guy seems to think that stopping firms from going overseas is a matter of seizing the factory equipment.

    The equipment or the entire company?

  17. You’ll never beat Epi as most anally-fixated that way.

    Don’t encourage him; he has no chance and will just be disappointed.

  18. Quiet, Dagny, before SugarFree writes another story about us.

  19. Epi, need I remind you of the Judge Roy Moore story? You’re not even close to being king.

  20. Basically what this guy is proposing is that the legislatures subsidize companies that are moving operations overseas by paying tax dollars for used industrial equipment that was about to be scrapped anyway.

    He’s probably thinking more about the absurd but inevitable Government-Motors scenario of subsidies and nationalization required to preserve the jobs which have been created/saved. The worker’s coop, or whatever institution gets endowed with the fruits of eminent domain acquisition, presumably have to run the place as a business after the former owners are evicted.

    The Means of Production can’t very well seize themselves–they can’t operate themselves, either.

  21. What’s funny is that this guy seems to think that stopping firms from going overseas is a matter of seizing the factory equipment.

    That is because he believes that the only reason the company is only failing to be profitable where it is and doing what it is, is that the greedy Wall Street fat cats in their top hats are taking too much profit.

    Once the workers own the means of production all that will be fixed.

    Really.

    When I meet a really dedicated union advocate, I always ask them why the union doesn’t just buy a lot of stock in the parent company. Given enough time, they could end up with first a swing vote, and eventually a controlling share.

    Then everything would be just peachy keen, right?

    I mean, if I take their rhetoric seriously, that seems to be a sensible strategy.

  22. Basically what this guy is proposing is that the legislatures subsidize companies that are moving operations overseas by paying tax dollars for used industrial equipment that was about to be scrapped anyway.

    No shit, Fluffy. Any company planning a move overseas would purely love to be able to unload the plant they are closing on some poor sucker.

    So, Big Corp loves this idea, Big Union loves this idea – I’d say its a done deal. A win-win for the People Who Matter. The only loser? Why, everybody’s favorite patsy, the taxpayer.

  23. I hate to raise this spectre, but how long until *domain names* are subject to takeover under “eminent domain”? 8-(

  24. promote the use of eminent domain to expropriate

    Jesus H Knobgobbler on a unicorn.

  25. I hate to raise this spectre, but how long until *domain names* are subject to takeover under “eminent domain”? 8-(

    Only the owners of eminent domain names need to worry.

  26. Yes, let’s mock and insult this commie douche but not forget for a minute that guys like him are really starting to get the upper hand in America.

  27. Fluffy,

    As a point of fact when my company moved its automotive parts manufacturing we shipped just about all of the machining for those parts to Mexico. Why buy new machines when you can just crate the tools to the new facilities in the other country. It works both ways. Last year we imported machines that were being used in Ireland. I guess the Euro was getting too expensive.

    Not to say this legislation will stop companies from moving operations overseas or cause other problems but I’m willing to guess that it’s not that unusual for companies to move their manufacturing that they’ve already paid for overseas.

  28. Maybe so, H Man, but if you can get fair market value for your old tooling in situ, then why pay to ship it?

    The equipment or the entire company?

    Good question, Johnny. Given that we are apparently dealing with a commie prick here, when he says “enterprise” he probably means the entire company.

  29. That was some of the most retarded stupid from a smart person I have read in a long time.

    While this avalanche of legislative initiatives purport a newfound interest in the rights of small property owners, it really argues for the reassertion of the inalienable defense of private property whatever the origins of the need to assert the rights of public interest and public collective ends.

    The state or municipality would expropriate the factory or enterprise with compensation to the former owners and cede it to the workers as a grant or, if it was found more prudent, require the workers to repay the state, after an interim grace period, in low interest installments over a twenty-year period.

    The eminent domain process provides the warning shot to corporations that the state will not abide by a corporation milking an operation on behalf of an overseas or out-of-state branch or abide by a purposeful disinvestment or decapitalization preceding a planned withdrawal from the community.

    Jesus I can’t link anymore. The fact this turd teaches is scary.

  30. But what about all the poor Widget Makers Grade 3–what will they do??

  31. The image of Nero’s plan to redevelop Rome comes to mind.

  32. Surely the person reviewing the article should have said

    “according to the US constitution, when private property is taken there has to be suitable financial compensation

    so the state nationalizes a factory,
    gives the owners money for it,
    the owners setup a new factory and make a cheaper product than the nationalized factory.

    nationalized factory sells no products

    paper rejected ”

    Reviewing arts papers would be so much more fun than reviewing science papers

  33. When I meet a really dedicated union advocate, I always ask them why the union doesn’t just buy a lot of stock in the parent company. Given enough time, they could end up with first a swing vote, and eventually a controlling share.

    Because that would require putting up their own money. It’s much easier to use the power of government to steal from their employer.

    You might ask the same question about people who whine about “stop X from being built near Y!”. Just buy the property and then keep it empty if you don’t want anything to be built on it. That would cost the whiner something, of course. It’s cheaper to steal the benefit of empty land for yourself and make the current owner pay for it.

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