You’re Not Imagining It: America Is Less Free–This Time Property Rights

The cornerstone of liberty is the right to private property. It’s yours. The government doesn’t own it. It can’t take it. It’s yours. Since Kelo, though, private property has become passé least in some states. From the Eminent Domain Law Blog:

According to the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom published by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, 16 countries rank higher than the United States in protecting private property rights. From the report: “The United States’ economic freedom score is 78.0, making its economy the 8th freest in the 2010 Index. Its score is 2.7 points lower than last year, reflecting notable decreases in financial freedom, monetary freedom, and property rights.”

A ranking of 17, behind such countries as Hong Kong, Singapore, Norway and Germany, in the protection of property rights is hardly satisfactory. The constitutional right of private property ownership is a fundamental principle of American society and liberty. As a bedrock principle that is constitutionally guaranteed, protection of property rights should be a priority for American citizens and our government. Yet, given the government’s power to exercise eminent domain, protection of private property rights often succumbs to the power of the government.

The key, then, is to live in states that have passed laws ensuring private rights. A bunch of them passed laws protecting property rights post-Kelo because of the horrendous outcome of Kelo–like Roe v. Wade but for property rights.

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