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Friday, July 01, 2005

"hail seizers" indeed!

Jacob Sullum's column today starts off with a great title, "Hail Seizers!" and slams the New York Times:
For the Times, acting in the public interest includes reassigning property rights based on the government's determination of which owners will generate the most tax revenue and jobs. In New London, the public interest happens to coincide with the interests of Pfizer, which inspired the city's redevelopment plan when it decided to open a new research facility adjacent to Fort Trumbull. In New York City, the public interest happens to coincide with the interests of The New York Times, which used eminent domain to forcibly obtain the land on which it is building its new headquarters.
and goes on to make a great point about human rights:
The nonchalance of the Times regarding eminent domain abuse is of a piece with its derogation of property rights, which it sees as inferior to so-called human rights. (Try to imagine the Times running a celebratory editorial on "The Limits of Human Rights.") Yet property rights are human rights: Your ownership of your house stems from your ownership of your body and the fruits of your labor.

In this light, all rights are property rights, without which it would be impossible to exercise, say, freedom of religion or freedom of the press. How free would The New York Times be if people could occupy its offices at will?
Indeed. Leftists/statists like those running the NYT believe the personal is political so how can people who don't believe in property rights expect to have their own property rights respected?

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