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If legal scholar Richard Epstein is right, then the New Deal is wrong, if not unconstitutional. Epstein develops a coherent normative theory that permits us to distinguish between permissible takings for public use and impermissible ones. He then examines a wide range of government regulations and taxes under a single comprehensive theory.
When governments use eminent domain to transfer property between private owners, Americans are outraged - or so most media and academic accounts would have us believe. But these accounts obscure a much more complex reality in American conceptions of property. In this book, Debbie Becher presents the first comprehensive study of a city's eminent domain acquisitions, exploring how and why the City of Philadelphia took properties between 1992 and 2007 and which takings led to protests. She uses original data - collected from city offices and interviews with over a hundred residents, business owners, community leaders, government representatives, attorneys, and appraisers - to explore how eminent domain really works. Becher surprises readers by finding that the city took over 4,000 private properties, or one out of every hundred such properties in Philadelphia, during her study period. Furthermore, these takings only rarely provoked opposition - a fact that established viewson property are ill-equipped to explain. To investigate how Americans judge the legitimacy of eminent domain, Becher devotes several chapters to two highly controversial sets of takings for redevelopment projects. The American Street takings were intended to win popular support for redevelopment and initially succeeded in doing so, but it ended as a near total failure and embarrassment. The Jefferson Square takings initially faced vociferous opposition, but they eventually earned residents'approval and became a political showpiece. Becher uncovers evidence that Americans judge eminent domain through a social conception of property as an investment of value, committed over time, that government is responsible for protecting. This conception has never been described in sociological, legal, political, or economic scholarship, and it stands in stark contrast to the arguments of libertarian and left-leaning activists and academics. But recognizing property as investment, Becher argues, may offer a firm new foundation for more progressive urban policies.
The noted legal scholar Richard Epstein advocates a much smaller federal government, arguing that our over-regulated state gives too much discretion to regulators, which results in arbitrary, unfair decisions and other abuses. Epstein bases his classical liberalism on the twin pillars of the rule of law and of private contracts and property rights.
In an effort to understand the reasons for and consequences of the political backlash to the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Kelo v. New London, this book brings together a diverse group of scholars and practitioners who explore the uses and abuses of eminent domain and regulatory takings.
Can the right to private property be claimed as one of the `rights of mankind'? This is the central question of this comprehensive and critical examination of the subject of private property. Jeremy Waldron contrasts two types of arguments about rights: those based on historical entitlement, and those based on the importance of property to freedom. He provides a detailed discussion of the theories of property found in Locke's Second Treatise and Hegel's Philosophy of Right to illustrate this contrast. The book contains original analyses of the concept of ownership, the ideas of rights, and the relation between property and equality. The author's overriding determination throughout is to follow through the arguments and values used to justify private ownership. He finds that the traditional arguments about property yield some surprisingly radical conclusions.
A collection of essays that examines the use and abuse of eminent domain across the world.
I am deeply indebted to my research assistant, John Borgo, for an ongoing flow of criticism, as well as to my secretary, Diane McDougal, for typing a steady stream of second thoughts. Their work, as well as mine, was supported in part by the Law and Social Science Division of The National Science Foundation. The Foundation, however, should not be held responsible for the views expressed in this essay.I am also very grateful to my many friends at Yale and elsewhere who helped me with this book. But my debts here are so numerous and diverse as to defy a comprehensive and exact accountin
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