My newest piece at National Review Online: "Trump and Eminent Domain"
‘Eminent domain is an absolute necessity,” said Donald Trump during Saturday’s Republican presidential debate. “Without it,” he claimed, “you wouldn’t have roads, you wouldn’t have hospitals, you wouldn’t have anything. You wouldn’t have schools, you wouldn’t have bridges. You need eminent domain.” In fact, though, we would still have roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals.
It’s a relatively new phenomenon for the government to seize property on behalf of private development projects. And yet, so very many of these projects somehow used to get done. Only one thing is certain when it comes to eminent domain: Those who have their property seized don’t get paid enough for it.
Admittedly, trying to clear out all the homes from a certain area can be a seemingly insurmountable challenge. But there are free-market solutions.
Suppose that Trump wants to build a skyscraper and has to tear down the houses on an entire block. The obvious approach is to buy everyone‘s house, but this doesn’t always work. Because of sentimental attachment, some homeowners will refuse even offers that far exceed the fair market value. . . .The rest of the piece is available here.