Sunday, July 03, 2005

Allison Hayward on FEC, Kelo and Negative Liberty

What is the connection between the Kelo property rights decision and the potential regulation of bloggers by the Federal Election Commission? Well Allison Hayward of the Skeptic's Eye tells us in the article linked to below.

I so rarely rave about other writers and bloggers, I usually let the fact that I link to their work speak for themselves, but this is a truly brilliant piece, bringing together a vital strand of thought, that as well allow government to intrude more and more into our lives through regulation and enforcement, we sacrifice the kinds of liberties we have always taken for granted, specifically, the liberty to be secure in our own homes and in our own minds.

Among my favorite passages:

The negative liberty secured by the takings clause and the Constitution's respect for private property kept the government out of private land deals. Eroding that protection increases the pressure to seek influence from decision-makers, and for those who cross the line, corruption. The inevitable scandal then provides an impetus for yet more regulations. The process is a one-way ratchet. (emphasis added).

The fact is that once a regulation is put in place, it is very, very difficult to change. Similarly, once the Supreme Court has made a decision, it is very hard for the Court to change its mind. The Court does change its collective mind, albeit very, very slowly.

So a great big thank you to Allison for pointing this one out. I hope you go and check out her blog--it is a good one.

Allison Hayward on FEC on National Review Online

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