Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Eminent Domain and Other Corporate Welfare

Driving south on I-65 through Alabaster, Alabama, last week, I noticed a sprawling new shopping center on my left. Wal-Mart stood out prominently, but I also saw Belk and Old Navy stores. Ross and Pier One were there too. J.C. Penney and Target will open next year. This was of interest to me because people's homes once stood where those stores now stand. Most of the homeowners had no choice but to leave because the Alabaster city council used its power of eminent domain to seize their properties and transfer them to a shopping-center developer. (Two homeowners managed to beat the city.) In America, as elsewhere, government is the ultimate de facto owner of the land. The apparent owners use it at the government's pleasure, and sometimes -- alarmingly often these days -- the government decides it would rather have someone else use a particular parcel. The direction of transfers is predominantly from the working class to Big Business. Is it any wonder that people can't always see the connection between capitalism and freedom?
Read the rest of this week's TGIF column at the Foundation for Economic Education website.

Cross-posted at Liberty & Power.

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