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In a modern David and Goliath battle, Utah Representative Christopher Herrod has introduced HB143 which, if enacted, would authorize the state to use eminent domain to take land from the federal government. About 60 percent of the state is owned by the federal government.
The larger lesson is that any effort to “rebuild” Haiti that doesn’t include eliminating this property-rights vacuum will be a case of throwing good money after bad, leaving seeds of future devastations waiting to germinate. An easy job? Forget it. International “do-gooders” with their quick-fixes need not apply.