Atlantic Yards an Example of How “the political class typically uses its power to help the strongest private interests against the weakest.”

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10/13/2009 2:06 PM |

Near as we can tell, public use means think how many LeBron James Brooklyn Nets jerseys local merchants will be able to sell, which seems a little roundabout to expel people from their homes.
  • Near as we can tell, “public use” means “think how many LeBron James Brooklyn Nets jerseys local merchants will be able to sell”, which seems a little roundabout to expel people from their homes.

This is true, but there’s a weird moment of frisson in that it comes from the editors of right-wing big-business wank sheet the Wall Street Journal.

Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn’s Daniel Goldstein and others are set to argue, before the New York Court of Appeals, that New York isn’t justified in claiming eminent domain for Atlantic Yards under the nebulously defined “public use” rubric.

We tend to think, because of the corporate tax breaks and flagrant disregard for the urban environment, that opposition to Atlantic Yards is a progressive cause, but then again you have the Journal going all keep-your-gub’ment-hands-off-private-property, and commenters chiming in: Atlantic Yards is “American socialism at it’s very worst”.

In 2005, in Kelo v. City of New London (don’t look for the wikipedia entry on the case, it’s astonishingly biased), the liberal Stevens-Ginsberg-Breyer-Souter-and-sometimes-Kennedy wing of the Supreme Court held that a Connecticut town could seize private property as part of a rezoning and redevelopment plan. This is generally considered, by the Right, to be the black helicopters coming in and taking your homes away on behalf of the One World Government—though arguably the problem is the Reaganite government’s-the-enemy meme and hard-on for privatization, which effectively means that progressives who want to develop or redevelop their town can only get away with subcontracting the common good to the previously rich and well-connected.

Anyway. This is your “politics makes strange bedfellows” moment of the day, unless of course you woke up next to Joe Lieberman this morning.