When I teach the American Revolution, I try to teach my students the difference that property rights make. In feudal societies, men did not own their property outright. The King or the Lord could, in many circumstances, resume his title to your land and transfer it to someone else. On the vast majority of American farms, the King lacked that right. The Americans thought that taxation without representation was a step back toward feudal property.
The Kelo decision, and actions the government has taken lately in the current crisis, suggest that we, having forgotten what property rights are and are for, are moving away from that part of the American way. Technochracy does not like it when citizens’ rights get in the way of efficient planning.
On Thursday, May 14, 2009 I was notified that my Dodge franchise, that we purchased, will be taken away from my family on June 9, 2009 without compensation and given to another dealer at no cost to them. My new vehicle inventory consists of 125 vehicles with a financed balance of 3 million dollars. This inventory becomes impossible to sell with no factory incentives beyond June 9, 2009. Without the Dodge franchise we can no longer sell a new Dodge as "new," nor will we be able to do any warranty service work. Additionally, my Dodge parts inventory, (approximately $300,000.) is virtually worthless without the ability to perform warranty service. There is no offer from Chrysler to buy back the vehicles or parts inventory.
Our facility was recently totally renovated at Chrysler’s insistence, incurring a multi-million dollar debt in the form of a mortgage at Sun Trust Bank.