Phil Davies - Senior Writer
Arthur J. Rolnick - Senior Vice President and Director of Research, 1985-2010
Published June 1, 2006 | June 2006 issue
Contrary to last year's U.S. Supreme Court ruling Kelo v. City of New London, using eminent domain to foster economic development diminishes rather than enhances economic growth and the public good. Those who favor a broad interpretation of "public use"—a constitutional requirement for government condemnations—argue that commercial development serves the public interest by creating jobs and boosting tax revenue in distressed communities. But economic theory demonstrates that seizing land for private development, which interferes with free markets, fails the public use requirement by breaking the historic link to public goods and the general welfare.
The Cost of Kelo [complete article]