Eminent Domain Essay

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The Economics of Eminent Domain Eminent domain is defined as the right of the government to take private property for public use, with the payment of compensation to land owners. Laws surrounding this subject have become more controversial of late, as many feel as though they’re not being paid their fair share for their land and that these government projects have not been beneficial to the U.S. economy. However, projects made possible through eminent domain have had a variety of effects on not only the national economy, but also personal finances. Eminent Domain can definitely be beneficial to the economy. Eminent domain is most often used to develop roads/ transportation routes, build public buildings, establish national parks, etc. …show more content…

There have been multiple cases where the development of some projects, predicted to be profitable, led to economic damage. For example, in the 1981 case Poletown Neighborhood Council vs. City of Detroit, The Michigan Supreme court allowed the use of eminent domain to evict 4200 people, demolish 140 homes, 6 churches, a hospital, and multiple non-profit organizations from their neighborhood in Detroit. Built in its place, was a General Motors automobile plant, meant to provide 6000 new jobs to the area. However, only around 2500 people ended up being employed a net loss of jobs in the area. (Cooksey 15). Therefore, due to lack of revenue being collected, the failure of an eminent domain project can result in the government/ a government agency becoming further in debt and wasting tax payer money on demolition and construction. Furthermore, thousands of predicted jobs are no longer realistic, resulting in an increase in that areas unemployment …show more content…

The fifth amendment of the US constitution states that the government can purchase land from private owners, however the owners must be paid justly (Philadelphia Convention V). However, while the government may have granted the property owners a fair price for their land, the expenses of relocating and actually finding another home are not considered. Also, there is a fairly common trend the government uses when it takes land with eminent domain. A project is announced, then years later, when property prices are low, the government goes and buys all the land for said project; not giving property owners their fair share of money (just compensation). Though not affecting the economy as a whole, this unfair lack of compensation is affecting peoples’ personal

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