Taking their Homes
I usually try to stay away from politics, but this is really eating away at me this morning.
I've always been impressed with those that hold out--that little house that's been in the family for years, now surrounded by huge buildings and/or mansions. Ownership, having land and a home that you worked hard to get and/or keep, means a lot to me. My grandmother left her old-country ways to live the American Dream. She worked in factories so that she could earn enough money to buy some land. She, along with her husband and newborn son, lived in a chicken coop on that land until they could get the money together and build a real house. Have you ever seen a chicken coop!? I fear that someday in the future my parents could have their 80-acres seized, the same land my grandmother purchased so many years ago. They are sitting on prime-building land and natural gas wells and coal deposits for which they have the mineral rights. They've recently been approached with offers; I feel it blowing in the wind in a "Something Wicked This Way Comes" fashion.
Do we really need more shopping malls and hotels? On the news this morning, they interviewed a woman whose property had been seized so that luxury townhomes could be built on her land. To me, that is not what our founding fathers meant by "public use". Ownership is the American Dream, but apparently not an American right.
At least not everyone is blinded by the potential for abuse: "Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random," O'Connor wrote. "The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms."