December 18, 2010

"[Y]our property belongs to you..."

"... until somebody with more clout wants it for something else, be it a 'vision,' or a moneymaking scheme."


New "Hussein" Ham said...

It's high time we removed tax exemption from these institution's fat billion-dollar endowments.

Why should these endowments (Harvard has $20 billion sitting around) not be taxed?

Why should the Tea Party allow largely Democrat controlled institutions to escape taxation?

If we want to destroy these corrupt institutions of Democrat Party control, then we have to start taxing the holy fuck out of them until they're gone.

Just like they do to us.

Quayle said...

Apparently the "vision" of Columbia University includes getting what it wants regardless of who gets hurt in the process or how.

Which, I note, is very similar to the "vision" of the incestuous Columbia professor.

DADvocate said...

Pretty much correct, which is why the 40th in the world when it comes to property rights. We live in the modern age of the government backed robber baron.

ironrailsironweights said...

If Columbia is paying fair market value, the property owners aren't really suffering. It's not as if Columbia is seizing the house where a person has lived for 50 years and raised a family, which is a situation in which paying market value might not compensate for the lost memories. These are commercial properties, owned solely for money-making purposes, nothing else.


Quayle said...

"If Columbia is paying fair market value..."

If the Constitution can be trumped by fair market value, then can a group of whites move all the blacks out of the neighborhood on the basis that the blacks got fair market value for their homes?

What's the injury, right? You got fair market value!

Penny said...

Ha ha... Ham was tip toying ;)

Pogo said...

All your house are belong to us.

Lincolntf said...

What's the fair market value of living free from a Government that can appropriate your property (and next, your very life) whenever it suits their whim?

Big Mike said...

Overturning Kelo has to become one of the highest priorities of the Tea Party.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

ironrailsironweights said...

...seizing the house where a person has lived for 50 years and raised a family,...

Which is precisely what happened in Kelo.

rdkraus said...


Little guys do not get FMV in condemnation proceedings.


Freedom means they can tell Columbia ... no thank you.

Michael said...

iron: "If Columbia is paying fair market value, the property owners aren't really suffering"

Depends on what you mean by "fair value." If fair value is determined today, in the current market, it might not be as fair as you think. An investor who acquired a property three or four years ago might not want to sell today because the fair value would be at a loss. He might instead wish to own his property and dispose of it at a time when the market was more favorable.

Crimso said...


You refute your own argument by your own inclusion of a single word.

dbp said...

Fair market value is what the owner is willing to accept. If the buyer had to use "the law" to force the sale, I would say that by definition, the owner did not receive fair market value.

clint said...

Homes aren't like identical factory-produced widgets.

If a homeowner isn't willing to sell his home for $X, then doesn't that mean that the fair market value of his home is greater than $X?

If you have to get men with guns to take something from someone... the free market has nothing to do with it.

DADvocate said...

"If Columbia is paying fair market value, the property owners aren't really suffering"

Why should someone be forced to move at any price at the whim of a university, other private entity or government body? Are some of us more equal than others? Why should memories make a difference? Are we going to base our property rights on potential memories?

We live in a country where any corporate bully, which is what Columbia University is in this case, government bully or combination there of can take your property and pay you "fair" market value any time they want.

What is fair market value? In the TVA Tellico Dam project they paid farmers whose families have lived there since the original pioneers $200 an acre, sold it to developers for $2,000 per acre who sold it as resort plots for $20,000 per acre plus. Think about that when you visit a resort on a TVA lake in Tennessee or many other resorts across the nation.

edutcher said...

"A government powerful enough to give you anything you need is powerful enough to take everything you have".

Can't remember who said that. Somebody smart, I'll betcha.

And never forget, William Ayers is a distinguished graduate of Columbia. They're for the little people - and anything they have, doncha know.

Crimso said...

"These are commercial properties, owned solely for money-making purposes, nothing else."

And need I point out that the same can now be said of Columbia's ownership of those properties? How much money does Columbia have? The business owners? Wouldn't it be fair (in the Obama sense) for Columbia to give the business owners that money in exchange for nothing? I thought we needed to spread the wealth around.

Simon Kenton said...

Iron Peter said:

"These are commercial properties, owned solely for money-making purposes, nothing else."

This is a shallow opinion. Lots of small commercial properties are at the center of their family's life, economic as well as emotional. The family business is your first initiation into work ethic, value of a dollar, budgeting, putting up with colleagues, providing a service that others prove they want: reality. And I take particular issue with "owned solely for money-making purposes, nothing else." Making money, ie, asserting a value for your time and product, and receiving money that represents the condensed time and product of another, is the act of a civilized human, not a thug, not a looter, not a corporate crony. "Nothing else?" On this side of making money is value; on the far side of making money is whether you shoot as quickly and as straight as I do. Nothing else.

EDH said...

You cannot be serious!

Belkys said...

The same Bollinger who used affirmative action against a woman in Michigan?

Trooper York said...

This is part and parcel of Nanny Bloomberg and the real estate interests and the elitist scumbags of NYC who will streamroll the little guy.

The douchenozzles at Columbia should concerntrate on having sex with their daughters.

rhhardin said...

If they wanted fair market value, they would have sold out already.

In normal transactions, the price is more than the seller wants and less than the buyer wants. That's why the transaction happens.

Voluntary transactions are based on disagreement over price.

Only compulsory ones have a single price.

Methadras said...

Kelo says what?

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"What's the fair market value of living free from a Government that can appropriate your property ... "

But it's worse, because you see the government isn't appropriating anything.

The Democrat Party is actively assisting a private corporation to steal this land from its rightful owners.

Democrats are evil. It's pretty simple really. And we must work to destroy every institution of Democrat Party control ... starting with non-profit colleges and universities which could not exist without federal handouts and tax-exempt status.

Why should the Tea Party fund the Democrats with tax dollars? That's just stupid.

We have to go after their money.

traditionalguy said...

Imminent Domain law harks back to the Feudal overlord called a King being the real owner of all land within his realm. Since 1300 or so property rights beginning in the big cities have slowly been loosed from the feudal duties owed by vassals. ( E.g.,The Estate tax is a basic feudal charge that must be paid to the King to allow a vassal to pass on the fief on to an heir upon his death).The Presbyterian revolt in 1776-1781 ended this Liege Lord's rulership in George Washington's colonial lands. Yet we still use pieces of the feudal laws today, like draft of citizens for armed service and nationalized State Militias. The payments are token payments, unless personalty is also taken. But the taking of needed real property now recieves due process under the 14th Amendment and a jury trial to set the compensation. The "owners " usually like the compensation unless the market is rising fast. Today the real estate market not government funded is dead. Also the Capital Gain is deferred 24 months although no 1031 Trust holds the owners money , all to allow purchase of a replacement real estate property.Go see your friendly lawyer today!

PatCA said...

Bolinger is a liberal, right? Therefore, it's okay to seize private property because it's all for the greater good.

michael farris said...

"Fair market value" only has meaning if the owner wants to sell.

Otherwise it's like a mobster offering to pay your doctor bills cause he broke your kneecaps by mistake.

MadisonMan said...

It seems to me that this expansion is not in Columbia's best interest, and I wonder what the U President is thinking. My opinion is that most campuses have over-expanded in the past decade, and when people realize the scam of upper education, a big old collapse will occur.

Ralph L said...

Can't remember who said that. Somebody smart, I'll betcha
That was Jerry Ford's conservative bond fide tag line, usually uttered before the Dems rolled over him, again.

John said...

I don't know if this is the case here but:

Is this property owner occupied? Whether or no all the arguments against this legalized theft hold true and I think it is disgusting.

But there may be another level here. If the gas station is rented to someone who is running the business, what happens to them?

The owner, at least theoretically,gets made whole. The tenant gets told to shut down their business. Often at considerable loss.

Who speaks for the tenant?

More importantly who protects the tenant?

Does anyone here know about NY real estate law? What happens to the lease in this case? Does Columbia have to continue to honor it? In that case, at least the tenant gets to keep going til it expires or Columbia has to buy them out.

My understanding,from reading some case studies of downtown Pittsburgh and about Radio Row when the Trade Center went up, is that the lease is abrogated and the tenant gets some rather short period (like 30-60 days) to vacate.

Anyone know?

John Henry

wv: hates-I agree. I really, really hates it when this happens.

Maguro said...

Great article by Insty calling out some really disgraceful behavior by Columbia and its backers.


John said...

I was going to say peripherly related but on second thought, I think it is integral to the discussion.

Daniel Okrent wrote a great book on Rockefeller Center called "Great Fortune: The Rise of Rockefeller Center" Columbia originally owned much of the land Rock center is located on and they had to be moved.

It was not done by emminent domain.

Good book and well worth reading.

Okrent's book on prohibition "Last Call" is even better.

John Henry

John said...

What happens to the tenant of the gas station? (If there is one)

The owner at least gets some money. The tenant gets told to move out.

As far as I know they don't get any compensation.

That is how it worked in Pittsburgh during the downtown renewal and how it worked in NYC when they built the WTC.

Anyone know how it works now in NYC?

John Henry

TosaGuy said...

Maybe Columbia will use some of this new land for an ROTC building....probably not.

traditionalguy said...

John...The tenant also has rights to compensation for the value of the lease term, and a moving expense award. If you really favor individuals who are victims over institutions that expect everybody's Government to hold down the compensation that they owe to the victims...then vote for the Dems, because it is the GOP that sides these days with the destruction of victim rights when they gleefully pass limitations on damage awards in courts until no one's right to sue is worth anything. This is Lords demanding feudal serfs to not exist as free men anymore. It is blatant corruption, and totally unnecessary corruption that is akin to treating everybody as an illegal immigrant at the mercy of the Lords of business and professions.

peter hoh said...

Don't forget the people who lost their property so that the Texas Rangers could redevelop it.

If I recall correctly, Kelo doesn't have to be overturned. Federal legislation could fix this issue.

But both parties like the principle behind Kelo. It helps the powerful, and the powerful help them, in turn.

cubanbob said...

Kelo along with Wickard needs to be repealed. If the republicans want to be truly the champions of small limited government this is what they need to do.

Beth said...

Louisiana State University medical school and the Veterans Administration are doing the same thing in New Orleans, stealing 19th c. homes and businesses throughout Central City, for an over-sized hospital and teaching complex. Both are needed, but the landgrab is far out of proportion. The design includes acres of ground-level parking lots, and landscaping, for example. The "fair market value" amounts are not sufficient for any home or business owner to relocate without great personal cost. And some of the losses are historic: Dixie Brewery, the German Cultural Center.

These projects have had the support of both Democratic and Republican elected officials at the state and national level. These kinds of actions are not liberal or conservative. If I had to use a word, I'd reach for corporatist. The interests of average citizens mean little to our leaders once they get elected. They want to continue getting elected, and eventually end up lobbying or serving or corporate boards.

dick said...

How is this any different from Kelo? and that was one of the worst decisions from the SCOTUS in a long time. Ask New London how that worked out for them and for the people of the former thriving community that got destroyed to the point of being a vacant lot with trash all over it that nobody wants to use now and how well that new construction for the company that was going to build that big plant there. Psst - the plant moved out of town within a couple of years leaving yet more vacant office space.

Rocco said...

ironrailsironweights wrote:
"It's not as if Columbia is seizing the house where a person has lived for 50 years and raised a family, which is a situation in which paying market value might not compensate for the lost memories. These are commercial properties, owned solely for money-making purposes, nothing else."

We own the house my wife's grandmother lived in for decades. In fact, my wife's grandfather built the house with his own 2 hands. (Originally it was a general store/speakeasy bar out in the country during Prohibition, but that's a different story.) If we ever decided to sell it, family members would expect us to offer it to them first before it would hit the open market.

But we don't live in the house. We rent it out to our niece and her family.

Where do we fit into your arbitrary classification of property owners?