Property Rights

National City

Drew Carey goes to National City, California where he encounters a uniquely perverse example of eminent domain abuse. Instead of using eminent domain to acquire property to build a school or a hospital, National City wants to replace a boxing club for at-risk kids with luxury condominiums.

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Reason.tv host Drew Carey visits National City, California, where the local government is taking eminent domain abuse to new lows.

Eminent domain is the constitutionally sanctioned practice of taking land for legitimate public uses. Traditionally, that's meant things like roads and schools. Over the past several decades, however, governments have gone hog wild with eminent domain, routinely condemning property and turning it over to well-connected private developers as a way of subsidizing economic development and increasing tax revenues (never mind that it doesn't always work out that way).

Officials in National City, a predominantly Hispanic community near San Diego, have pushed to bulldoze a popular athletic center for struggling kids to pave the way for private developers to build new luxury condos.

As tragic and absurd as this may sound, such outrageous affronts to property rights are an almost daily occurrence. Episode 3 of The Drew Carey Project chronicles the devastating impact of eminent domain abuse on the lives of people whose property the government can threaten to take, not for public use, but for the benefit of wealthy developers.

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