Thursday, July 25, 2013

Eminent Domain and the Decline of Detroit

Ilya Somin writes:

Detroit’s sixty year decline, culminating in its recent bankruptcy, has many causes. But one that should not be ignored is the city’s extensive use of eminent domain to transfer property to politically influential private interests. For many years, Detroit aggressively used eminent domain to promote “economic development” and “urban renewal.” The most notorious example was the 1981 Poletown case, in which some 4000 people lost their homes, and numerous businesses were forced to move in order to make way for a General Motors factory. As I explained inthis article, the Poletown takings – like many other similar condemnations – ended up destroying far more development than they ever created. In his prescient dissent in Poletown, Michigan Supreme Court Justice James Ryan warned that there was no real reason to expect that the project would produce.

(Via Tyler Cowen)

1 comment:

  1. the Poletown case was also an example of the ethnic cleansing of ethnic Catholics that happened throughout the Northeast and Midwest. They were very politically powerful ethnic enclaves that had to be eliminated and they were. So instead of Catholics with geographic and economic roots taking over a pro life Democratic party, you were left with the single biggest religious voting block orphaned between two essentially anti-Catholic political parties... convenient for an exploitative, global and rootless oligarchy...