Sunday, March 30, 2014

Eminent domain often leaves broken communities behind

Tim Carney

Weeds and rubble cover 90 acres along Long Island Sound. A room with cinder-block walls sits locked in an empty in Brooklyn basement. And a gleaming industrial palace has failed to bring jobs to the banks of Ohio's Mahoning River.

These are monuments to failed central planning. Eminent domain, state and local subsides, and federal-corporate partnerships have yielded these lifeless fruits, failing to deliver the rebirth, community benefits and jobs they promise — but succeeding in delivering profits to the companies that lobby for them.

The economic philosophy at work here isn't capitalism or socialism. It's corporatism: the belief that government and business should work together. You could describe corporatism as the view that profits provided by the market aren't sufficient motivation for business, so government must put some icing on top. From another perspective, corporatism is government's attempt to harness the profit motive for the goals of policymakers: let industry row the ship while politicians steer.

Often, the corporatist ship founders on the rocks of false promises.....To Read More...

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