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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • And Then There's The Truth: Even a child knows it’s stealing

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  • Children are taught at an early age that what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours.
    They are taught not to steal, but that sharing with others in need is good. It’s a basic human right to be able to keep what is ours and to not have to worry about it being forcibly taken from us.
    It’s so important that God included thou shalt not steal as one of the Ten Commandments. Unwavering property rights are one of the things that make us uniquely American.
    For the most part, the only exception, that most Americans are willing to accept, is the idea of limited eminent domain.
    Eminent domain laws do have their place even though they run contrary to the notion of private property ownership. Governments of all levels have used eminent domain for years to obtain private property for public use.
    In most cases this is used to make way for a highway, school, police station, or other type of essential community necessity. Some people in government, however, try to take that to the next level.
    In many communities, if a government declares a property “blighted” then they can swoop in, take the property at what they determine it’s worth, and use it for whatever they decide. This is usually for some kind of redevelopment that will bring in more tax money.
    This is greed in its purest form and two of the worst examples of this are in Reddington Township, NJ and Seattle, WA.
    Readington Township is a small community located southwest of Newark, NJ. In 1939, the Solberg family opened a private airport on their own land, which they still own and operate today. The city council, however, decided that they want a municipal airport so they filed a condemnation lawsuit against the Solbergs in order to force them to sell the airport to the city. The city lost the lawsuit so they recently passed an ordinance, declaring the property blighted.
    They are trying to seize ownership of the airport from the Solberg family by use of eminent domain since the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that eminent domain for development can only be done in cases of blighted areas.
    The Solberg’s private airport is not blighted, it appears the city just wants it for the tax revenue. So far each side has spent almost $2 million in legal fees.
    In Seattle, eminent domain is being used to seize a parking lot owned by 103 year old Myrtle Woldson.
    The city says it needs the privately owned parking lot so that they can turn it into a city owned parking lot.
    They acknowledge that the area is not blighted and they simply want to alleviate parking on the waterfront. Mrs. Woldson refused to sell her property, and since it will be worth far more once surrounding development is completed, the city of Seattle decided to simply take it now.
    Page 2 of 2 - For those of us that believe in limited government and individual freedom, we recognize that private property rights are an essential ingredient of a free society.
    When the government seizes people’s property merely because they want it, then people have lost some of their freedom. Under the illusion of “greater good” and with the power of law, too many government entities have used eminent domain to take away people’s property.
    Not to build schools, roads, and fire stations, but for greed.  
    If it were up to some, private property ownership would be a thing of the past. This natural right is a threat to the socialist utopian society that some want to build.
    In a capitalistic system people own and use their own private property as they wish.
    The opposite of that is Communism, which advocates the state ownership of all property.
    If you look at our nation’s founding documents, it’s plain to see that those who created our great nation believed in the peoples’ right to own, control, and use their own property to their own ends.

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