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Podcast Mixtape: Radiolab Presents More Perfect

Monday, July 10, 2017

(Radiolab's More Perfect)

Would you give up your home if it could possibly benefit the greater good? What if the government needed to take your land to build a hospital; would you give in? 

Should the government enjoy broad powers to take private property?

Radiolab and More Perfect host Jad Abumrad moderated a lively debate between Elie Mystal, legal editor at More Perfect, and Dana Berliner, litigation director at the Institute for Justice, which argued on behalf of homeowners in the U.S. Supreme Court case Kelo v. New London.  


Jad Abumrad and Elie Mystal


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Comments [12]

Earl West

Elie's argument is silly. He is suggesting that we can read the hearts and minds of the people we elect. Dana's reasoning is correct. We need judges and the legal system to put a check on officials who are in on payola.

For example maybe I run for office, and at first I am an honest person, but then I run into situation like the one they are talking about Phizer. I want a court system that would keep me, and anyone else honest.

Sep. 07 2017 04:29 PM
Alicia Lane from Sutton Place, NYC

@Alvin Ingram Depressing but predictable. NPR cancelling the excellence that was Michel Martin/Tell me More was a red flag for me but Gilmartin joining the board confirmed all I feared about WNYC's new direction. As they have clearly chosen to be developer financed rather than listener financed, WNYC can do without my contributions.

Aug. 07 2017 01:42 PM
Alvin Ingram from LES, Manhattan.

So much for WNYC being a voice for progressives. More precisely, it's proving to be a voice for developers. This is depressing. Smh

Aug. 07 2017 01:06 PM
Steve Finkel from Harlem, New York

@Glenn Graham Yup, Mary Anne Gilmartin co-author of the largest bait and switch in NY history that is Atlantic Yards is a Vice Chair and serial eminent domain abuser Carl Weisbrod, is the person you must be thinking of are both on the board of trustees http://noticingnewyork.blogspot.com/2014/11/is-forest-city-ratner-as-victor-writing.html

Aug. 07 2017 12:11 PM
Viola Nesbit from Crown Heights, Brooklyn

History shows that eminent domain has long been a tool white supremacists use to steel property from African Americans. http://www.citymetric.com/skylines/new-york-destroyed-village-full-african-american-landowners-create-central-park-893 http://grist.org/living/how-african-americans-lost-the-coasts-and-how-we-could-make-that-right/
When you consider the communities that were displaced by Columbia and Atlantic Yards are considered nothing much has really changed. Couldn't RadioLab shed some light on cases of this nature that have come before the Supreme Court. After all, WNYC is supposed to be a progressive voice.

Aug. 07 2017 10:31 AM
Eric Fairchild from Brooklyn, New York

@Glenn Graham Never thought of it until you mentioned it but there is at least one developer (Mare Anne Gilmartin) that I know of and an official from the de Blasio that I believe is an urban planner and they are both on WNYC's Board of Trustees. So, you may be on to something with it being a focus group. Lol.

Aug. 06 2017 05:18 PM
Carl Hall from Brooklyn, New York

No. Eminent domain is gentrification by another name. Only those who profit from it, support it in my experience.

Aug. 06 2017 05:09 PM
David Williams from Park Slope, New York.

In an ideal world, yes. This, however, is NY where eminent domain means taking property from people with a few resources and giving it to developers who have considerably more. In this city, [not so] affordable housing is what developers offer displaced residents who are left to compete in hunger games style for a new apartment: the NY housing lottery. Hospitals in many cases are closed to make way for developments https://ny.curbed.com/2016/11/5/13534252/cobble-hill-brooklyn-lich-redevelopment-luxury-apartments The question could have been more realistic.

Aug. 06 2017 01:20 PM
Glenn Graham from Midtown, Manhattan

Sorry but this question reads like one a developer and or city planner would pose to a focus group to gauge public response on use of eminent domain for an upcoming project.

Aug. 06 2017 06:53 AM
Margaret Hungria from Brooklyn, New York

Given the affordable housing crisis in this City, widespread concerns about displacement and police brutality all in neighborhoods where eminent domain curiously rears its head, isn't this question a bit - well, abstract?

Aug. 03 2017 11:24 PM
Maureen Cato from Brooklyn, New York

Atlantic Yards, Columbia and Willets Point make it crystal clear how New Yorkers feel about eminent domain. Taking property from black, brown and economically vulnerable communities communities and giving it to wealthy developers under the guise of doing a public good is THEFT and not what the founding fathers intended. In Atlantic Yards over a $1B of our tax payer dollars went NOT to the communities who needed it the most and were promised everything under the sun but to the government of Shanghai. The new 70% owners of Atlantic Yards (now Pacific Park Brooklyn) are Greenland Holdings.

You would be hard pressed to find anyone in Brooklyn who supports the use of Eminent Domain!

Aug. 02 2017 06:58 AM
Marcus Sandiford from Brooklyn, New York

If it's truly for a "greater good" and I was justly compensated, a resounding yes is the answer I and most right-thinking people would give. From what I have seen at Atlantic Yards though, a greater good is a private gain for a real estate developer subsidized by the tax payer. http://reason.com/archives/2009/10/08/when-public-power-is-used-for

It was interesting that an African American scholar made the argument in support of government having broad powers to take property. African Americans were also the face of the eminent domain created Atlantic Yards project to cloak the bad optics of white developers kicking the longest standing black residents out of a neighborhood they arguably created. It took what looked like the only black male in the RadioLab audience to point out, African Americans who are a mere 13 % of the population and own less than 1% of the land are five times more likely than whites to be displaced by eminent domain. What we are looking at with eminent domain crated projects like Atlantic Yards and it is a shame it wasn't addressed in the podcast, is ethnic cleansing https://youtu.be/36OurhtWHcA

Jul. 16 2017 05:37 PM

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