The audio of a remarkable debate, Eminent Domain: To Preserve or To Abolish, between Jeffrey A. Finkle and Yaron Brook, is now available on our Events page. The audio is free and accessible to all. Click here to listen now.
Eminent Domain: To Preserve or To Abolish
Jeffrey A. Finkle vs. Yaron Brook
The Issues: In the wake of the controversial Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. City of New London, some legislators are moving to place limits on the government’s power to seize citizens’ property for use by private enterprises. Is it appropriate under certain circumstances for the government to use eminent domain for the purpose of transferring a citizen’s property to a private business—or is this practice wrong in principle? Moreover, while the government is constitutionally authorized to take citizens’ property for “public use,” the question remains: Is this policy moral—and is it practical?
Does the government have a moral right to take citizens’ property under certain conditions—or do citizens have an absolute right to their personal property? Does robust economic development require the occasional use of eminent domain—or would economic progress be greater if property rights were upheld as truly inalienable? What are the moral issues involved in eminent domain? What are the practical issues? Are the moral and the practical necessarily at odds—or can they be reconciled? Mr. Finkle and Dr. Brook will present the facts in support of their respective positions.
The Debaters: Mr. Finkle became the president and CEO of the International Economic Development Council in August 2001, following IEDC’s birth through the merger of the Council for Urban Economic Development (CUED) with the American Economic Development Council (AEDC). Prior to the merger, Finkle served for 15 years as president and CEO of CUED. During that time, he oversaw the vast expansion of that organization’s membership and influence, as well as strengthening its financial footing. Dr. Brook is the president and executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute. As a recognized expert on Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand, Dr. Brook has been interviewed extensively by the print, radio and television media for the Objectivist position on current events. Among his recent interviews have been appearances on Talk Back Live (CNN), Your World with Neil Cavuto (Fox News Channel), The O’Reilly Factor (Fox News Channel) and Closing Bell and On the Money (CNBC).