If you’re a libertarian who debates politics on-line, chances are you’ve been asked the question, “without government, who’d build the roads?” It’s such an insipid question that speaks more about the failings of statism than of libertarianism.
As Tom Woods once said, “the question belongs at the top of every libertarian drinking game. If we didn’t have forced labor, the argument runs, there would be no roads. There’d be a Sears store over there, and your house over here, and everyone involved would just be standing there scratching their heads.”
Statists can’t seem to figure out how roads can be built without the state (even though roads have been built long before the state ever existed), so they assume that libertarians must be equally as ignorant and unable to figure that out (even though we have). As such, statists assume that only the state is capable of building roads.
So it should be of no surprise to anyone that Republican frontrunner and loudmouth, Donald Trump, who claims to pay lip service to libertarianism, cites roads as a reason to support one of the most abused powers of the state, eminent domain:
Ted Cruz complains about my views on eminent domain, but without it we wouldn't have roads, highways, airports, schools or even pipelines.We also wouldn’t have any of your casinos, Trump.
Yes, it should come as a surprise to no one that the infamous casino mogul has made use of eminent domain in order to facilitate his private endeavors, even going so far as to almost kick an old lady out of her house in order to build a parking lot for one of his casinos:
The woman, Vera Coking, had owned property near the Trump Plaza Hotel for three decades, and didn’t want to move. Trump thought the land was better suited for use as a park, a parking lot, and a waiting area for limousines.Sadly, that article was written five years ago, so the writer was unable to foresee innumerable Republicans supporting this man in droves as a potential presidential candidate—because these people really are that stupid!
He tried to negotiate, at one point offering Coking $1 million for the land. But she wasn’t budging. So New Jersey’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority filed a lawsuit, instructing Coking to leave within 90 days and offering compensation of only $251,000.
Perhaps the only upside to this story is that in neither case did Trump succeed. The Bridgeport plan fizzled. Coking fought in court, and — in part because these were the days before Kelo was decided, no doubt — she was lucky enough to win. In 1998, a judge threw out the case.
In 2005, however, Trump was delighted to find that the Supreme Court had okayed the brand of government-abetted theft that he’d twice attempted. “I happen to agree with it 100 percent,” he told Fox News’s Neil Cavuto of the Kelo decision.
Can Republicans support someone with so little regard for the property of others? Let’s hope not.