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Ol’ Dirty Watch: No Money Edition

Today’s edition of the Emerald was an entertaining read. While our own Tyler Graf’s transition from editorialist to news reporter is a success (as evidenced by his latest piece,) the humor was to be found in two commentaries. The first is the actual editorial, which argues that the recent Kelo decision will be bad for homeowners. Now while this is obviously the correct position to take, the Ol’ Dirty‘s reasoning is laughably poor:

Although the government is required to compensate home and land owners, applying a value to real estate is never that easy. It takes time, energy and money to evacuate a residence, especially if that residence is home to a large or economically underprivileged family.

This is simply false. While the strain will disproportionately affect low-income familes (particularly since it will be their homes on the chopping block,) it is almost certain that moving an average wealthy family requires more time and money than moving an average low-income family, as greater material possessions generally means greater moving costs.

Furthermore, home-owners choose their residence based on a number of factors, making it so that government money can never completely compensate those citizens. Residents may have purchased a home for its proximity to schools and grocery stores or for its acre of exceedingly fertile land. There is no way to justly compensate the physical and emotional toil put into homes.

This is an odd argument, to say the least. Being able to choose a home on the basis of different variables does not make being compensated for said home impossible. Kelo simply opens the door for eminent domain to be applied to private projects, it does not perscribe how much compensation should be given. Additionally, this argument that Ailee Slater (who is presumably writing the ODE’s half-baked editorials over the summer) presents is one against eminent domain in general, not against this particularly ghastly version of it. I would imagine she supports the Interstate highway system, the building of which surely caused massive “physical and emotional toil.”

Also, tearing down residential neighborhoods and replacing them with urban sprawl in the form of businesses is harmful to citizens in a number of ways. Land and home owners who retain the rights to their property will have economic developments springing up in their own backyards, where neighbors houses used to be. A drop in the value of surrounding homes will likely result when businesses move into what was once private property.

Wow. Just… wow. The entire point of the ruling is that it enables private developers to develop private property where other private property once was. It will still be private property, Ailee. Also, the assertion that businesses entering an area drive down property values is one of the stupidest ideas I’ve seen printed in the Emerald in weeks. If that were the case, businesses leaving an area would drive up property values… imagine how much homes in inner-city Detroit must be worth! They’re all millionaires!

Even more laughably stupid is the guest commentary from “John Steinsvold,” which argues that money is evil and should be abolished. It isn’t worth shooting down this twit’s arguments, so I’ll just post my favorite line from it:

A way of life without money demands only that we, as individuals, do the work we love to do.

Personally, I love cleaning bathrooms.

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