Monday, August 7, 2017

The Red Tape Times (article 36)

Lafourche Parish Rips Off Dirt Farmer In Eminent Domain Taking

Source: Institute for Justice

This one hits close to home. It is no secret that Louisiana is the most corrupt state in the union run by criminals like William 'freezer money' Jefferson, Ray 'chocolate city' Nagin, and former Jefferson Parish president Aaron Broussard. This story came as no surprise to me. Chad Jarreau is a dirt farmer in Cutoff, just south of New Orleans. He uses his land to mix fine grain soils for construction projects. Six years ago, the South Lafourche Levee District took a large chunk of Jarreau's land through eminent domain. Now I have no problem with governments taking undeveloped land to build infrastructure as long as the oringinal owner is justly compensated. In practice, the owner should be compensated for not only the market value of his property, but also for any lost future profits if he used it to run his business. The state only compensated him for the former. The South Lafourche Levee District had originally compensated Jarreau $11,869 for the land they took and $165,000 for lost future profits, after a trial court ruled in Jarreau's favor, but the Louisana Supreme court overturned their decision and left Jarreau with only the market value of his land. Not ony did the South Lafourche Levee District not fully compensate Jarreau, they also didn't take his land to build a levee or any other infrastructure. Rather, they took his land to mix the soil themselves so they wouldn't have to pay him. Socializing dirt farming is not essentially different than socializing any other private industry. By the Levee Board's logic, the State might as well go full Chavez and take over the oil rigs and grocery stores too. Of course, I doubt they are Bolvarian socialists, but like most public officials they are guided by expediency, greed and a lust for power. This is how you end up with socialist policies even in a conservative state.

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