Commentary

Eminent domain unleashed

I have written in defense of Wal-Mart’s right to sell cheap groceries. But there’s another part to this storyââ?¬â??eminent domain. Earlier Adrian noted how Wal-Mart is happy to let a local government in Colorado condemn and drain a private lake, if it means it gets to set up shop. Local officials hungry for sales tax revenue simply shoved aside private conservationists. The proposed Wal-Mart could bring $2.5 in sales tax revenue, while the lake brings in a measly $17 dollars per year in property taxes. (Imagine all those other lakes out there just standing in the way of more government services.) Seems that it’s tough for political types to simply let everyone play fairââ?¬â??too often the temptation is to either ban businesses or give them special favors. For those of you interested in eminent domain abuse in your state, check out this report by the Castle Coalition.

Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.