by The Windjammer
There’s No Place Like Home,
Home, Sweet Home,
Little Sod Home in the West,
My Old Kentucky Home,
Just a Shanty in Old Shantytown,
And All That Jazz
So you thought you owned your own little piece of planet earth, complete with leaky faucets, rusty downspouts, crabgrass and mole holes.
If you haven’t heard the bad news already, I will break it to you. There is no way to do it gently.
The United States Supreme Court made a landgrab decision last week which could affect anyone anywhere in this country. They sneaked it by me while I was on vacation in low-country South Carolina. They sneaked it by the rest of us while we were out to lunch.
It doesn’t matter now that the moneygrubbers need the land for roads, back roads, scenic roads or railroads. Any small pirate band of politicians who have been duly elected and sworn to do the public good can eyeball your homestead as a revenue-producing piece of real estate which would offer a better return if it were used as a business which would automatically be forced to pay higher taxes than the mere pittance you shell out annually.
The benefactors will very likely be the private developers who can now force sale of almost any residence, hovel or mansion, or any farm, small business, large business or go-cart track if they can shell out enough green stuff to convince the hacks that the new enterprise will generate the "much-needed" additional revenue.
The power to grab your land will not be limited to cities as in the case just decided. Any county, state or federal entity can offer you a "fair price" for your domicile and you will have very little choice but to accept it. Being in the early stages of my ninth decade here on earth, I can attest that what is fair to the buyer ain’t necessarily what one would call fair to the seller who thought all the time that he could just say, "No." Haggling may very well become a dead science when it comes to dumping your home, albeit unwillingly.
I just read the incomplete results of a straw poll which indicates at this point that about 92% of the American citizens do not agree with the finding. I agree with the overwhelming majority.
I have read and re-read the fifth amendment. The only reference there to plain ordinary everyday people who have never done anything worse than go a little too fast in a school zone which I have been able to find in that amendment says "... nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation."
I am still trying to understand Constitutional rights and how the court arrived at its decision.
Maybe you had better start wondering, too.
I would have written more, but the tears have made my keyboard so soggy that my fingers keep slipping off the keys.