The following poem was inspired, in a good way, by Dr. Seuss, and in a bad way, by all kinds of politicians and judges who don’t understand what the U.S. Constitution says and means. It originally ran as an SBE Council Cybercolumn on December 21, 2006. It is posted here, once again, as a reminder that small business owners and homeowners still live under the threat of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Kelo v. City of New London.
Trouble in Who-Ville (with apologies to Dr. Seuss)
The Whos down in Who-ville once had big trouble.
But what they face now is way more than double.
That fellow who missed the point and tried to steal Christmas - his name was the Grinch.
But dealing with him now seems like a cinch.
Politicians want to take Who-ville!
Against many Whos' will.
They want the stores, the land, the small businesses and houses.
The Whos who voted for these folks now see them as louses.
"Economic development" has taken center stage.
And taking Whos' property has become quite the rage.
The greedy officials seek even more taxes.
So, they'll have at the buildings with bulldozers and axes.
And when all has been laid waste,
the politicians will give the property to their buddies in great haste.
These pols think they know best.
But few could pass an economics test.
They think handing property to special interests makes sense.
Apparently when it comes to history, they can be quite dense.
Rather than cutting taxes and regulation,
they choose bigger government and much bureaucratization.
And rather than protecting property, as is their job,
they choose to steal it and hand it over to some big greedy slob.
How could this happen in the land of the free and the home of the brave?
The answer is found in Kelo, they rave.
The Supreme Court by the narrowest vote,
decided that politicians could take one's castle and moat.
Many bureaucrats, politicians and planners took great delight.
But many won't give up without a hard fight.
Whos with homes and businesses pledge to battle night and day.
Even some state legislators and governors have joined the fray.
But in Congress, the results have been quite sad.
Senators did nothing, and Whos are quite mad.
So, who will control Who-ville in the end?
Will it be politicians who use any means to an end?
Or will justice, freedom and sound economics reign,
by stopping the abuses of eminent domain?
It's really up to the Whos.
Their votes will secure either cheers or boo-hoos.
The Grinch did try to steal Christmas one night.
But his heart grew three sizes, so he finally saw the light.
Will the same go for these government thieves tucked in their beds one night?
Will they realize just how precious is a private property right?
- The End -
Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.