By George Phillies
February 7, 2015
Advancing Liberty by taking stands on real issues. As some of you may have heard there is a Boston bid for a future Olympics. We’re starting with Keystone, which is almost as bad for similar reasons:
Eminent domain for private gain is public pain
Libertarians across America should condemn the Keystone pipeline bill as a scheme to use eminent domain to seize massive amounts of private property for the private gain of a select few oil interests. There should be no wonder that some so-called libertarian think tanks are cheering for the pipeline, because they are in fact owned or funded by some of those oil interests.
Eminent domain for private gain is un-American. It’s using the government to loot private property for the benefit of a few individuals, the individuals who invested in America by buying a congressman or three.
To add insult to injury, the pipeline bill comes with liability limits. Not only may you have a hole torn out of the center of your property to install a pipeline, but when the pipeline leaks as they inevitably do the people who own the pipeline have a very modest legal liability for repairing the damage they have done. That’s the exact opposite of the libertarian belief in individual and corporate responsibility.
Eminent domain for private gain is the mark of the beast that our federal government has been turned into a proprietary tool of the corporate plutocratic interests who see the purpose of government as to rewrite the rules in their personal favor. Thus, during the financial crisis of the Great Recession, individuals in deep debt because of home mortgages were left to their fates. Banks with deep debt because of irresponsible and incompetent management were given vast bailouts so that they would stay in active business.
That’s the exact opposite of the way a proper government is run. Our modern federal government is operated like the English government from the time of King John and Robin Hood. The English government stole from the many, looted the producers, oppressed all and sundry, all to produce income for the wealthy and powerful. Robin Hood was thus the first libertarian hero. He stole from thieves like the Sheriff of Nottingham and returned the money to the people who had actually earned it.
Now we see, a future editorial, the public pain of eminent domain being brought to Massachusetts, not for private gain but for circus entertainment for the world’s billionaires. Almost every Olympic event over the decades has devastated local property, and left taxpayers with a bill in the billions.
Hopefully the good thrifty Yankee people of Massachusetts will realize that Olympic looting for private entertainment is unacceptable. The Olympic Games should be shipped permanently back to where it came from, beautiful Mediterranean Greece. Reusing the same facilities will be vastly cheaper. Besides, the people of Greece, having been looted by German bankers, could really use the money.
Only Libertarians have the working solution to massive government corruption and theft of private property. Eminent domain for private gain is totally lame and should go back from whence it came: the addled imaginations of corrupt politicians with no understanding of the legitimate role of government in society. The Libertarian Party would ban takings under eminent domain for the benefit of private persons.
George Phillies is a physics professor in Massachusetts, is the author of several books, and is currently the Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts.