The Hoover Institution Journal carries an article by Professor Richard Epstein, giving us his impressions of the Brigham-Kanner property rights conference held last week in Beijing, and his reflections on the Chinese and American property systems, with emphasis on eminent domain as practiced in both countries. He notes the irony implicit in the fact that communist China is moving toward strengthening the institution of private property, while the United States is eroding it. Our favorite quote:
“When it comes to identifying the many sources of American decline, one item that deserves a high place on that list is the gratuitous destruction of private property rights, a process that has been aided and abetted by the Supreme Court for too long. It is indeed ironic that as China tries to codify a system of private property rights, the United States seems all too willing to move in the wrong direction.”
Still, this is only a trend, not reality. At least not yet. Epstein aptly describes eminent domain in China as “Kelo on steroids.” That it is.
The article is Richard Epstein, Going Red on Property Rights, Hoover Institution Journal, October 25, 2011 – click here. Don’t miss it.
Folow up. For another take on Epstein in Beijing, take a look at today’s post on Robert Thomas’ blog ww.inversecondemnation.com. Satisfaction guaranteed.