A provocative take on politics and culture from a skeptical, libertarian point of view

Location: Long Island, New York, United States

Monday, July 09, 2007

Senator Schumer's New York Disconnect

Develop, Don't Destroy Brooklyn reports that Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) takes an inconsistent position on eminent domain. He supports the Atlantic Yards Nets Arena scheme in Brooklyn, while opposing the New York Regional Interconnect (NYRI) upstate. The New York Regional Interconnect would impose power lines on property-owners across a swath of central and western New York to provide a power link from upstate to downstate New York. The Libertarian Party of New York opposes both schemes.

As a Libertarian and property rights activist, I certainly do not support the NYRI eminent domain, but it would be easier to justify as being for the public good than the corporate sports welfare and office/apartment real estate development involved in the Atlantic Yards Nets Arena.

Why would Schumer oppose NYRI and support Atlantic Yards? It should be obvious that private property rights, the market economy and individual liberty are not supported by Schumer and his odious philosophy. Let us summarize Schumerism. "Government will support voting blocs essential to electing Schumer and his allies."

Who opposes Atlantic Yards? Libertarians, Greens and a few thousand Brooklynites. Other than Libertarians and Greens no one outside Brooklyn even realizes that they get to pay for developer Bruce Ratner and his Forest City Ratner Firm. Who supports Atlantic Yards? Mayor Bloomberg, Borough President Marty Markowitz, the labor unions, the city's major dailies, various elected officials and the poverty racketeers of ACORN.

Who opposes New York Regional Interconnect? Property-owners, elected officials, environmentalists, Republicans, Democrats, Conservatives, Independents, Libertarians, Greens etc.

By supporting Atlantic Yards, Schumer antagonizes a few thousand Democrats and independents who are unlikely to go Republican. Not that there was a choice. GOP candidates for governor John Faso and William Weld curried favor with Bloomberg by endorsing Atlantic Yards. By opposing NYRI, Schumer deprives the Republicans of an issue to galvanize upstaters.
This is a simple matter of arithmetic. Brooklynites are taken for granted because important Schumer Democrat coalition members are on board with Atlantic Yards and a few defections are insignificant.

Voters need to send a message and vote Libertarian.

Richard Cooper

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