Citizens Use Government To Steal From Business

Dave Killion — September 15, 2012

Would you like some injustice with that?


Go to Long Island, New York, and you might just see The Most Beautiful McDonald’s In America –

“Known as the Denton House, its bones date back to 1795, when it was constructed as a farm house by one Joseph Denton, a descendent of the founder of the village of Hempstead. In 1860, it was given a Georgian makeover, complete with gingerbread ornamentation, and throughout the 1900′s, found commercial use as a funeral home and a series of restaurants.

By 1986, it was abandoned and on the verge of falling down.

McDonalds purchased the property with the intention of tearing it down and replacing it with a standard McDonald’s restaurant. Thank God for the citizens of the New Hyde Park, who worked to secure landmark status for the building in 1987.”

Thank God? Let me understand this: a group of citizens desires the preservation of a building, and achieves that goal by lobbying local government to place restrictions on the property that cause the existing owner to suffer an increase in costs AND a loss in property value. We’re to believe that God not only approved of such an outcome, but deserves praise for being somehow behind it? Well, as I recall, there is at least one commandment of the ten that expressed God’s position on theft, and I’m pretty sure he is opposed to it. I’m not saying these people are going to Hell… only that they deserve to.

Did the members of the community really want the building saved? It’s hard to say. If people were told they would have to pay for the cost of saving the building out of their own pockets, I bet many fewer would have said yes. But they weren’t asked that question. They were asked if they wanted the building saved, and they all knew without being told that someone else would have to pay. And, libertarians aside, who would have said no to that?

Via Neatorama


Jeremy Maddock says

One has to admit though, it’s a unique look for McDonald’s that meshes well with the region’s history.

The only problem that I see is that all these concerned citizens should have been lobbying the owner of the McDonald’s franchise to save the building, rather than the government. There is often a good business case for protecting historical buildings and landmarks. The media coverage alone proves that it’s getting attention, and probably more business, as a result.

— September 17, 2012

Leave a Comment

Disclaimer: The articles and opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Libertarian Book Club.