Eminent Domain, Land Sales, and Tax Abatement: A Soft-Core Georgist Perspective on Local Economic Development Policies

by Brendan O’Flaherty

Local economic development has been stuck for several decades in controversies that make little progress because they are driven more by attitudes and greed than by either data or theory. Last year’s Kelo decision on eminent domain has so far added more heat to the discussion, but not much light. Even though the debate is popularly seen as a battle between efficiency (attracting the big guys) and equity (watching out for the little guys), most of the policies that have evolved do little to promote either efficiency or equity.

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