Monday, July 15, 2013

Pragmatism Winning Out

The Newark Advocate ran a story Sunday that continues, two days now, to be the top website story.  It's a story about a guy who had his family home taken by eminent domain for the construction of a four-lane highway.

He has protested that action with a sign "ODOT SUCKS" posted on his house ever since.  People drive by it, in droves, every day.

Eminent domain is one of those hot button issues that stirs a lot of people up.  Thus, one would have predicted the online comments to be more leaning toward this guy than toward the highway and the state agency, ODOT, which took his property.

That's not the case, though.  Pragmatism is winning out instead.  Believe it or not.

The comment with the most "likes" as I type this is the one that remarked, "Ok, if we didn't build roads because they went through private property, then we would still be driving on small little roads that were started by horse and wagon."

The second most "likes" on a comment was for the person who coached, "It is time to get over it an move on."

The highway has been good for Licking County and, in time, will pay economic dividends much greater than the cost of the project.  Those people who lost land (and homes) are to be commended for their personal sacrifice. Sometimes government has to do what is necessary for the common good, though.  This was clearly one of those times.

I'm glad to see pragmatism won.


  1. " Those people who lost land (and homes) are to be commended for their personal sacrifice."

    I think many missed the point of his complaint. Sure, he didn't like losing his land, but his main complaint was that he wasn't fairly compensated.

    The public is not to be commended, but rather compensated for their sacrifice.

  2. I can be personally, pragmatic about eminent domain. My ancestors' homes sat where four-lane highways do now.