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    Posted by  $  jbrenner 1 week, 3 days ago
    Nothing. There is no moral requirement that the one person must sell his/her property (to give the sanction of the victim) for the "greater good".
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  • Posted by Lucky 1 week, 2 days ago
    JB says-
    Nothing. Correct.

    Some thoughts come to mind -
    I have seen pics from China(?) with a small property completely overshadowed by an overpass. I suspect the owner was offered nothing.
    A dam 'needs'?
    The power company needs?
    The needs of the greater good?
    Anyway, this is a very common situation in commercial development where an existing property owner does not think in money, or more likely wants to get all the future profit of the proposal for himself. These situations do not require outside intervention.
    Compulsory aquisition, in theory a tool for the public good, is more often a tool for enrichment of those with good connections.
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    • Posted by  $  1 week, 1 day ago
      How would the vast number of dams ever get built? Would they ever get built if even one private property owner never wanted to sell?
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      • Posted by Lucky 1 week ago
        -- how to get dams built if --

        A question I did not expect on this site, but worth considering.
        There are all kinds of possibilities but the (non-Objectivist) position of state intervention does not look good to me.
        I allow that there may be circumstances to justify forcing sales, but I know that this power if available will be over-used and mis-used.
        Try this thought experiment-
        An investor, (individual, group or corporate), expects a growing demand for the services of a dam -eg. irrigation water or hydro power.

        They estimate revenue and timing, capital and operating costs and do an evaluation leading to a 'go-ahead' decision with $x available for purchases eg land. The project starts, a land-owner refuses to sell. The project stops. If the price is high the investor will consider cutting other costs, or selling more product or charging more, this could also stop the project. Then, this or other investors look for alternatives to supply that service. Such alternatives would likely lead to higher prices. Industry can grow but not as fast as for the cheaper first and canceled choice. Or, there is no alternative. Then competing areas, other districts, states or nations, get the growth. That land-owner has lost out and has effectively been fined by the market as his land value has dropped.
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        • Posted by  $  1 week ago
          I could see a point where thirsty individuals in the area could become so frustrated with this person that they ostracize the whole household. This could mean refusing services and resources, such as food and water.
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  • Posted by  $  jlc 5 days, 12 hours ago
    This is an excellent question. I agree with CptKirk, "The whole point of a civil society is to spell out these kinds of things".

    When we consider the environment of the society we are dealing with, we could hypothesize that it is entirely Objectivist or thatthe society is a mixture of the political philosophies we see 'in the wild' today. Let us assume that the person will not voluntarily move for any reason (eg this home location is his religious shrine). How can we approach this?

    If we assume that the society of the dam is entirely Objectivist, it is easy to see - just from our experience here in this virtual Gulch - that this already includes a wide spread of opinions between philosophical purity and empirical functionality. Some of us think that the person can be involuntarily moved if the reason is great; some do not.

    If we assume a 'wild group' of political philosophies, such as exists in the real world, then the range of opinions gets even larger. We have to live with all these groups and take into account their different philosophies - we cannot assume that they will agree with us.

    I think that CptKirk is right in that, in order to live in the real world, the rules must be clear and consistent. As an individualist, I would prefer that these rules hugely favor the rights ot the individual, but if the outcome of WWII depended on moving 'that person from that bit of land'...then move the sucker!

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    • Posted by ChestyPuller 4 days, 10 hours ago
      Here is a perfect example of a law thought out by the Founders and then misused by those in power today.
      The Los Angeles Veterans Affairs (VA) facility just evicted several groups dedicated to veterans, including a nonprofit that for decades has comforted dying vets and another that helps those who are disabled. A top official has pleaded guilty to multiple felonies last year (2018) for taking bribes from a parking lot operator that defrauded the agency out of millions This month at least five established nonprofits dedicated to providing veterans with therapeutic activities, counseling and other valuable survival skills have been evicted WHILE ‘PRIVATE’ BUSINESS THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH JUST VETERASN AFFAIRS remain with more moving in now that the other offices have been emptied by eviction.

      The Jewish War Veterans is among the organizations that just got kicked out along with Twilight Brigade, the Disabled American Veterans, Vet-to-Vet and the Association for Parrot C.A.R.E., which provides therapeutic activities for vets at its parrot sanctuary.
      The 338-acre property in West Los Angeles, which includes the National Veterans Park and Veterans Home, was deeded to the federal government in 1888 for the specific purpose of caring for disabled veterans. Thousands of disabled veterans once lived on the grounds, which also had churches, theaters, a library and post office. In the 1960s and 1970s the VA quietly closed the facilities, according to the American Legion, and ousted mentally disabled veterans.
      In recent years, the property has been used for many causes unrelated to veterans. Among them is a stadium for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) baseball team, an athletic complex for a nearby private high school, laundry facilities for a local hotel, storage and maintenance of production sets for 20th Century Fox Television, the Brentwood Theatre, soccer practice and match fields for a private girls’ soccer club, a dog park, and a farmer’s market. All of these placed into the grounds meant for veterans by State “imminent domain”

      Now remember, the Founders designed an idea that all power comes from the individual and the Framers but that exact idea into the U.S. Constitution... yet through decades of de-education the citizenry has no idea who has the power and who doesn't.

      Remember the U.S. Constitution is nothing more then a piece of parchment with ink on it... It is "We the People..." that are meant to keep it alive
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  • Posted by  $  Temlakos 5 days, 15 hours ago
    Then offer him double the "reasonable price." Any man has his price.

    In fact, the question is incomplete. If everyone has sold, everyone else will be moving out. Then your one man has no neighbors, no places to trade...

    But in all honesty, the man's just trying to see how badly someone else wants to build the dam.

    I haven't even addressed "greater good." In this forum, that wouldn't apply. The scenario is more like: Anthony B. Kirby (Edward Arnold) wants to build a dam. But Martin Vanderhof (Lionel Barrymore) sees no highfalutin' need to move. He's content where he is--and in fact he's got a bunch of neighbors, who live in rented housing, hoping that Martin Vanderhof will not move. In the middle of this is the romance between Anthony B. Kirby, Junior (James Stewart) and Alice Sycamore (Jean Arthur), daughter of Paul Sycamore and Penelope Vanderhof Sycamore (Spring Byington).

    A paraphrase of the plot of You Can't Take It With You, with Lionel Barrymore, James Stewart, Edward Arnold, et al., based on the stage play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart.
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  • Posted by  $  Stormi 5 days, 11 hours ago
    I shudder when I hear "greater good", because it is usually not necessarily so. Vegas once condemned an apt. bldg. so Trump could build a casino. It was about money, but left many without housing. Now it is bike paths that are subjects of eminent domain seizure. Or 1,100 miles of Calif. coastline based on faux global warming. They think the glaciers never change, and so if one melts, they do not look at where another if forming, they don't even look for a ololcano under it, as CBS reported exactly such melting, but not the volcano part. Our community wanted to take air righst over part of our sub, until I pointed out the idiot sunning the project had not even read the rules correctly, the grant had to be resubmiitted, and the runway went in, did not affect our sub or the airspace. We need these land grabs better scrutinized, as they are often not well thought out, and the projects either are pointless or poorly designed. Florida once plowed up a newer sub, because a few residents refused to sell, when they wanted to get them off the coast. So, they made their homes worthless, with no access, something was rotten there. The UN was in some way involved as well.
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  • Posted by jdg 5 days, 12 hours ago
    However tempting it may be to force that guy to sell, once the camel's nose is in the tent there's no getting him back out.

    I would offer him a buyout for a higher price -- maybe a much nicer home near the new lake. Or I'd wait until he dies or becomes unable to manage his affairs, and then make an offer to his heir or trustee.

    If neither works -- even the Coase Theorem can't fix stupid.

    For what it's worth, I do see limited acceptable uses for eminent domain. If a builder wants to run a cable, pipeline, or road tunnel far enough underneath someone's property that it won't affect him, then I'd vote for it. But I can't see a dam meeting those conditions.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 4 days, 10 hours ago
    Who decides "the greater good"?
    What I say is, that a bunch of people would have no right to box someone in so that he could not get to work, the doctor, etc. That would be false imprison-
    ment. So far, I approve of rights-of-way. But no further.
    A man has a right to his own property. And if he refuses to move for any price (regardless of what anyone would call "reasonable") then he has a right not to. Regardless of what other people would call "the greater good", of of the size or number of their votes.
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  • Posted by chad 5 days, 13 hours ago
    How do you get the water needed if one person refuses to sell? Build around him. Build a retainer wall as high as the lake will be deep and tell him it is his problem to come an go. In China they call them nail houses and sometimes they just build around them, the property value plunges and the owner may wish he had sold, if he doesn't and he still wants to live there let him. The assumption that something couldn't be achieved without ultimate use of violence to get compliance is to accept that it can then be done on all basis for any need the government deems imperative.
    The Burlington Northern Railway was built entirely with private funds and no government interference with property rights. He had no way to force people off their land, he either worked with them or around them. And a transcontinental railway was built for less money and operated more efficiently and charged lower prices that the subsidized railroads.
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  • Posted by OzzieWest 5 days, 13 hours ago
    Greetings !
    When I hear the term, "Greater Good" or other varients, my Ozzie Senses start to tingle. "Greater Good" is historically determined by politicians. These are folks who are typically, but not always, sociopathic monsters. The remainder are mostly do-gooders, the most dangerous creatures. And "reasonable price" ??!!??. That is determined in the market between a willing buyer and a willing seller.
    Thanks !
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    • Posted by term2 5 days, 13 hours ago
      Who gets to decide whose greater good gets precedence? I would say that this guys "greater good" is no more or less valuable than the greater good of the people who want to build the dam
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      • Posted by OzzieWest 5 days, 13 hours ago
        If they want to build the dam, they need to buy his property at a fair price, which is the price that the buyer and seller agree upon in the free market. Gubmint coercion doesn't make the price The Gubmint says, "fair." To build the dam and flood his property without his consent or without buying the property is an unconscionable act of aggression.
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  • Posted by CTYankee 5 days, 15 hours ago
    The begged question is "What is a reasonable price?"

    During WWII the Tennessee Valley Authority was born out of the needs of the Manhattan Project. Here in my home state Kelo v New London remains an colossal embarrassment on the wisdom of the Supreme Court.

    IMHO, all potential Eminent Domain cases lie somewhere in-between those extremes.
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  • Posted by  $  CaptainKirk 5 days, 16 hours ago
    Well, what is the persons recourse if they stay, and the dam is built and dammed up? [The value of their land/possessions?]

    I think the land would be worth a lot less at that point.

    And personally, while I don't care for the scenario, his right to OWN his land, should NOT have a bearing on what others do with their land.
    Hence, they can dam it up, who is he to stop them from exercising their rights?

    The whole point of a civil society is to spell out these kinds of things. And frankly, with enough advanced warning... This person should LIVE, and be made whole. What would happen if it was destroyed ACCIDENTALLY while trying to dam around it?

    the challenge for me is in the definition of "reasonable" on the price. Honestly, what's reasonable to a buyer MAY NOT be reasonable to a seller. If you bought with a 30 year investment horizon, then the price at 10yrs is NOT reasonable. It may be the current market value.

    This gets into the intersection between two sets of rights... (I am assuming it is immoral to kill them in their sleep, and torch the evidence, then using Clinton Body Bags: Come with "Suicide" Death Certificates already signed)...
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    • Posted by ChestyPuller 4 days, 17 hours ago
      Who is actually building the Damn? hmmm
      By your statement if I built a sewage treatment plant around your property and it spilled onto your property... too bad so sad, correct?

      Start studying the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, the latter is the actual 1st law in the U.S. Code of Law
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      • Posted by  $  CaptainKirk 4 days, 16 hours ago
        Chesty... I don't understand your last sentence, please clarify...

        Are you saying "the Decl. of Ind. is the actual 1st law in the US Code of Law"? That makes no sense.

        But, lets continue on... I know people who ended up owning land next to a waste processing facility. NOTHING they could do about it.
        Lets just say their little BAKERY didn't last long. Now, the waste processing facility was built long after they owned the land.

        And the answer was: Tough Luck. They had the misfortune of being down wind from the facility, and the "rules" for controlling the foul smells were average measurements AROUND the facility.
        This is where ZONING becomes really important.

        We understand the LAWS. And I agree that this creates an issue. One that DOES exist today. Imminent Domain is often used, and I think it is fair.
        My point was, WHAT RIGHT does ONE land owner have, to control the land of those around him in a civil society? Controlling his land is clear.
        But if the community votes to rezone your land to be "dammable", and you refuse to sell for a "reasonable" price... Then the answer becomes: You will be dammed! (Pun intended).

        BTW, if you SPILL into my property, I can sue. Again, a point I think I made. What is the maximum payout of such a lawsuit? Damages. Probably the value of the land, at the least, so I am made whole.

        You are WHIFFING on the question at hand. At which point is this "pre-negotiated" by zoning/codes... And how can we change things moving forward?
        What do you do when ONE person wants to exert their property rights against those around them? (This is not a 1:1 owner issue, but a MANY:1 relationship here, when does the many count?)
        It aint always going to be fair, but the result should at least be equitable!
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        • Posted by ChestyPuller 4 days, 15 hours ago
          1) I'll let this add to my point: Professor John Eidsmoe writes: "The role of the Declaration of Independence in American law is often misconstrued. Some believe the Declaration is simply a statement of ideas that has no legal force whatsoever today. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Declaration has been repeatedly cited by the U.S. Supreme Court as part of the fundamental law of the United States of America. "The United States Code Annotated includes the Declaration of Independence under the heading 'The Organic Laws of the United States of America' along with the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, and the Northwest Ordinance. Enabling acts frequently require states to adhere to the principles of the Declaration."

          2) Imminent Domain has been used for everything from Highways to taking property to build private owned Shopping Malls and Private Owned Stadiums... using a law incorrectly is not using the law, it is tricking the people and stealing land, power...etc

          3) who does the 'Person' refusing to sell his 'OWN PERSONAL PROPERTY" "SUE" when the Damn spills onto his property in your scenario?

          4) the 'Many' over the individual??? PSST that is why the "Founders" created a Republic form of government and not a Democracy... The personal rights of the 1 are equal to the rights of the many...

          Maybe you should stop "WHIFFING" when it comes to knowing and understanding the laws of this republic and the rights of the people.

          Question CaptainKirk, who holds the power in this republic the people down to the individual person or the government? Your answer will should the truth of whom is WHIFFING
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        • Posted by LarryHeart 4 days, 14 hours ago
          ChestyPuller is here just to draw people into arguing without resolution. He presents logical fallacies and straw man arguments.that can not be answered with facts or logic as the type of arguments he presents make no logical sense.

          He comes with an opinion that he wants agreement with and will not give credence to any facts or logical proof. Any disagreement is met with more of the same fallacies. You will just be going around in circles as I have a couple of times. See his prior comments.
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          • Posted by  $  CaptainKirk 4 days, 14 hours ago
            Thank you Larry, you saved me precious time.
            Apparently in his reply, I see what you mean (when he asks, who gets sued with a GROUP dam the property around me and ruin my property... Duh, those responsible. And he starts with a legal argument)
            One that makes judges seem infallible, btw... which we know better.

            Where 2 rights collide is where society kicks in! Either to prevent, enforce, or repair (make whole).
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            • Posted by ChestyPuller 4 days, 10 hours ago
              Larry, is trying to use clintonisc defections to keep from answering and being proven idiotic in his argument... that is fine, rather not waste my time on his hiding.

              As to the Suing I mentioned, you said the people [individuals] around him have the right to do with their land what they want correct? Well so doesn't Person X. Now if Larry in my scenario has the right to sue me for damage, who would person X sue in your scenario for damage?

              You see the point is that when you formulate an answer you need to work it out to its fullest to ensure the answer is the best one for the issue.

              If anyone recalls the Founders and Framers of this republic design a system where the majority does not have power of the individuals rights and therein lies the problem with this issue; the individual has the right to stay and be protected by the gov't in his right to stay.
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  • Posted by strugatsky 1 week, 1 day ago
    Let's add a twist to this topic. What if that private land is needed for the national defense?
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    • Posted by  $  CBJ 1 day, 1 hour ago
      Re: “What if that private land is needed for the national defense?” Under the current U.S. Constitution, taking the land is permissible. Fifth Amendment: “ . . . nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” National defense is a public use. Anyone buying or selling land after adoption of this amendment was aware (or should have been aware) of this constitutional exception to absolute ownership, and should have factored that knowledge into the price he was willing to offer. A government based on Objectivist principles might frame the issue differently and put different procedures in place for securing the national defense.
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      • Posted by ewv 15 hours, 18 minutes ago
        In a war civilization has broken down; armies running over your land makes the rest secondary. It's still immoral to take property.

        The principle of property rights remains a true moral principle regardless of government violating it. You should be "aware" to stay out of dark alleys in the slums, too, but it doesn't excuse the crimes.

        Even under current law you are entitled to be paid the market value of property seized by government; that "market value" is required to be assessed without regard to change in value caused by the government seizure.
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        • Posted by  $  CBJ 14 hours, 29 minutes ago
          Short of an all-out nuclear conflict, war does not entail the breakdown of civilization except in a nation that is on the brink of total defeat. And modern warfare is more likely to involve drone strikes and cyberattacks than armies running over your land.

          An Objectivist government, as part of its mission to defend against foreign invaders, would have to plan out its response to a possible attack before any actual attack occurred. There are many ways to implement such a plan, and under certain circumstances it might involve temporarily suspending a property owner’s ability to use and dispose of a portion of his property. This would be an exercise of the government’s delegated right of self-defense:

          “The individual does possess the right of self-defense and that is the right which he delegates to the government, for the purpose of an orderly, legally defined enforcement.” --Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal”

          Any such plan would have to include a means of compensating the affected property owner (or owners) once the national emergency is over.
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          • Posted by ewv 13 hours, 38 minutes ago
            Delegating self defense is not surrender of property rights.

            War is a breakdown in civilization: It necessarily includes immoral violation of rights on a large scale. All wars have been that. Confronted by such an attack there is no choice but to fight back and destroy the enemy, employing means not otherwise proper for civilization.
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    • Posted by ChestyPuller 4 days, 10 hours ago
      If it is for the National Defense the State would have to work with the person being the Land would be inside the Border of a State.

      Now using your scenario in modern terms:
      The person, we will call John Wayne, owns property along the Southern Border of Arizona about 25 miles worth and the need would be for building the Wall.

      In this regard the State would pay, by way of a reimbursement from the Federal Government, John Wayne for only a small portion of his property paying him 'more' then fair market value; as was paid to John McCain, Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy and several others for their land.

      If John Wayne still did not want to sell, then the Wall would border both sides of his property and the Border Patrol Agents would set up their security outpost at his property line to protect the United States until said time as John Wayne changed his mind, died or fell behind on his property taxes for two years. Then the State could legally take over the property, Treaty the border land over to the Federal gov't the Wall could be built and the State would then Auction off or develop the land for Public usage.
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  • Posted by  $  CBJ 1 day, 2 hours ago
    The OP's question appears to be framed from a utilitarian perspective, as in "the greatest good for the greatest number," rather than an Objectivist perspective. As such, there is no proper answer other than to say that the "greater good" is not a valid standard for deciding questions of this nature. Furthermore, there is no means of determining a "reasonable price" other than the price that a willing buyer and a willing seller agree upon. The number of people who would be "better off" if the holdout were forced to surrender his property is irrelevant.
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    • Posted by ewv 15 hours, 34 minutes ago
      There is no such thing as a fair price for something that isn't for sale, yet that is the government standard.

      Not only is it collectivist, the wording of the question in terms of "a dam needs to be built" -- as if the dam itself wants something as an intrinsic value, rather than the desires of some group of people who "need" something at someone else's expense -- hides the essence.

      The answer to "what do you when...?" is "Nothing" -- except reject the premise and oppose those who do claim they should take the property.
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  • Posted by ColHogan 4 days, 3 hours ago
    No dam ever "needs to be built." Sometimes they're a good thing, but they are never necessary. People can do what's needful but they may not trample the rights of others for their convenience.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 4 days, 16 hours ago
    You can always do what the Oregon Fish and Wildlife did to the residents of Harney County and simply flood them out and then take over the land...

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  • Posted by ChestyPuller 4 days, 17 hours ago
    Does the 'person' live in one of the States of the United States of America? Do they own the land? Do they rent the land? Do they have a mortgage? Owe back property taxes for more then 2 years?

    If yes to the first two questions and no to the remaining questions then, they own the land and the greater good will have to move to another location if they do not like it.
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  • Posted by LarryHeart 5 days, 13 hours ago
    This is a non issue. It is a matter of power. Govt got it don't. Govt uses force. The people granted govt the power of eminent domain. If the Govt proves a value for the many then Tough friggin pattooies they take your land. same with Income tax. They take it. No different. The same with the Native Americans. They were moved and compensated by the same use of force that the people authorized for the government. Don't like it? protest. It's your right. If the majority of the town, boro, parish or state say no then there is no case for the public good and the Govt backs off. Or at least should. . .

    Private deals are different. No one can force you to give up title to your land. However they can build high rise apartments and block your river views, hide the sun or whatever. .
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    • Posted by LibertyBelle 4 days, 10 hours ago
      Oh "Might makes right", Huh?
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      • -1
        Posted by LarryHeart 4 days, 8 hours ago
        Touche with a Cliche that substitutes for thought. The only part of that response that might correlate to what I wrote is "Huh".
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        • Posted by ewv 1 day, 3 hours ago
          Rejecting your collectivist support of government seizing land by eminent domain as "might makes right" is not a "cliche" and not a "substitute for thought". "Might makes right" is what you wrote in:

          "This is a non issue. It is a matter of power. Govt got it don't. Govt uses force. The people granted govt the power of eminent domain. If the Govt proves a value for the many then Tough friggin pattooies they take your land."

          "Tough friggin pattooies they take your land" is too bizarre to qualify as a cliche, but it is a "substitute for thought".
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    • Posted by ChestyPuller 4 days, 16 hours ago
      Hmmm... Larry, could you answer this question; What power does the Federal Government have inside State borders when it comes to land?

      Hint; read the U.S. Constitution as well as

      43: "a congressional act beyond its enumerated powers is "merely [an] act of usurpation" which "deserves to be treated as such."
      45: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State Governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace negotiation, and foreign commerce;...The powers reserved to the several states will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the state."

      Supreme Court Cases
      ie: Chief Justice John Marshall wrote in Marbury v. Madison (1803), "the powers of the [national] legislature are defined, and limited; and that those limits may not be mistaken or forgotten, the constitution is written."
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      • Posted by LarryHeart 4 days, 15 hours ago
        If only the Federalist Papers made it into the Constitution. But they didn't.
        If only Marbury vs Madison made it into the Constitution . But it Didn't.

        As I recall you are not here to discuss but rather to "Win" arguments with Straw Man and other logical fallacy Arguments like these. If you want attention, affirmation and agreement just post something yourself and see what happens.
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        • Posted by ChestyPuller 4 days, 14 hours ago
          PSST, the Federalist Papers are used in the Supreme Court to help understand the 'true' meaning of the U.S. Constitution; as well they are used in Law education when needed and in the Congress or scholarly works on the U.S. Constitution...

          ...and the SCOTUS is interpreter of the U.S. Constitution above all others outside 2/3 of Congress and the Senate or the 2/3 of the States of the Republic.

          On I am only here to "WIN", I only care about winning by using the Laws of this republic... Strawman arguments are more your forte to use shadow and fog to get your point as being correct.

          Nice try using Clintonisc misdirection in your non-answer.

          By the way Larry, your non-answer spoke volumes to all that read it...
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  • -1
    Posted by craigerb 5 days, 9 hours ago
    Land is a scarce resource. It is sole conditionally until it is needed by society.
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    • Posted by ewv 14 hours, 9 minutes ago
      "Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned." -- Ayn Rand, "What Is Capitalism" in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.

      There is no need for property rights in commodities that are not "scarce". Ownership corrupted as "conditional" on "needed by society" is a thoroughly collectivist premise. Without property rights no other rights are possible.

      See "The Property Status of Airwaves", also in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.
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