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The Ethicality of Using the Eminent Domain in Improving Harmony City (Essay Sample)

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The Ethicality of Using the Eminent Domain in Improving Harmony City

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The Ethicality of Using the Eminent Domain in Improving Harmony City
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Introduction
One of the biggest constraints behind the carrying out of several development programs in different cities and towns is the question of ethicality. City planners and city authorities often have to grapple with this issue before finally achieving their intended developments. This paper seeks to focus, critically, on the ethical issues surrounding the revamp and improvement of Harmony city.
Eminent Domain
Eminent domain refers to any of the actions taken by a state government or the state’s agency e.g. municipal authority. It involves the execution of state powers by seizing private property (that which does not belong to the state) and putting it into public use. The property could include both real and personal property (Stoebuck, Whiteman, & Cunningham, 2000). The property annexed is used either by the government, the public, for provision of social amenities, purposes of economy improvement or for public safety. The underlining factor is that the reason for seizing property should benefit the public. Proper and reasonable compensation should also be made to the owners of the property taken. (Stratton-Lake, 2002)
Harmony City and Its Background
Harmony city is a city in recession that is trying to revitalize itself after a major decrepit; a city that boasts of tourist attraction sports that include a Universe Football league team, professional baseball (plays in the minor league) and highly talented basketballers who are fast rising in success. It has a rich opera house, which is regarded one of the best in the state.
However, its manufacturing base, which formerly constituted a major economical stronghold, is no more. This dates back to the 1970s when retrenchment from the factories on the city’s east and river docks set in, resulting in dilapidation of housing and indifferences among the members of the city council services. This played a big setback more so to the Coolidge district, situated north of downtown Harmony city, who had been working in the factories since the 1950s.Currently the buildings look dilapidated due to neglect. The inhabitants now live on half pay while some are unemployed due the now closed or relocated factories. Notwithstanding, small businesses are on the rampant ranging from hardware stores to beauty shops.
Revival of Harmony City
With time, the planners and the political, economic and social leaders of Harmony city realized they had to set the city on a revamp path; a resurrection path and thus they has to come up with a viable plan for its revitalization. Millennium Visions, the largest technology firm and employer in Harmony city, offered a proposal. Through the plan, headquarters were built in Coolidge district. In addition to this, more upscale domiciles were also built. This involved razing down of buildings that did not meet the requirement of the four blocks square area in each direction rule. In achieving the goal, displacement of many small businesses and manageable housings for the low-income earners was witnessed. Moreover, acrimony between the white-collar job dwellers and blue-collar job dwellers of Coolidge district started spiraling to optimal levels sometimes. Millennium visions believed in keeping the educated in Harmony city as a priority. This led to more division among the inhabitants as the less educated members of the city felt sidelined and neglected.
In executing the plan, the council decided to embrace the eminent domain as a tool in the city’s revival program. Following this many the houses of quite a number of Coolidge City’s citizens were annexed and the owners compensated at a lower value than the appraised value.
Ethicality of the Eminent Domain on Harmony City;
Since time immemorial, the comparison between law and ethics has never relented. Laws emanate and relate to what would be ethical conduct in the societal view. Throughout this theory, breaking the law is seen as being unethical. However inevitably breaking the law is sometimes a necessary evil; it is sometime a misdeed meant for the greater good.
Harmony city for a while had been experiencing recession and eminent domain was taken as the master strategy for its revamp. So the main question is, is it ethical to implement eminent domain basin on the Harmony city case?
Yes it is; and by taking a closer look at Harmony city revitalization program, the ethicality of the matter outweighs the vices of the matter. The defining factor should be that actions taken in the name of implementing eminent domain should improve the lives of all citizens. Basing on that, the whole execution of the harmony city revamp process, though it led to some people being displaced as their apartments were replaced, the ultimate goal was to replenish the whole city to a new level for the good of all and economical upsurge of the entire city. This pins down the goodwill of eminent domain. It positive effects are far reaching. Secondly, In the U.S, eminent domain is constitutionally recognized and thus legally enforceable. Anything that is in point with the law is ethically seen to abide by the morals of the people (Nowak & Rotunda, 2004). Thus implementing eminent domain is ethical. However, these are not the only reasons. The mere fact that all the city planners and eminent persons wanted was to improve the livelihood of the whole town makes the whole process ethically right. The vision they had in mind for the city justifies the goodwill they had for harmony city and its citizens. Sense goodwill was eminent. They wanted ultimate benefit for city and satisfaction to all the dwellers of the city (Ross, 2002). Any success gotten from the improvement of the city would not only benefit the planners but also the residents including the non-educated ones. Another reaffirmation why it’s ethical to implement ethical domain, is how it provides a platform for all the stakeholders to network. For Harmony city the project was carried out with the full knowledge of the residents and all the necessary stakeholders on board. This notwithstanding necessitates openness, pure honesty in mind thus deeming it a truthful and honest project.
Sometimes when implementing eminent domain the action may be legal but its ethical implications may be detrimental to the livelihood of the citizens in the locality. The ethical consideration relates to the morality of an action. I.e. how the society views with relation to wrongness or rightness. In most societies, there is a belief in a rightful way of carrying out things; what many call an expected code of conduct (Ross, 2002). This mode of conduct is believed to be humane and fair to a majority of the members of the society. In such societies, this expected and accepted code of conduct outweighs any other consideration (Paul & Elder, 2006). Through this we are then able to answer the question above. The implications brought about by the project would only serve to improve the livlihood of the citizens. This outweighs the constraints that the project brought along with it thus reinforcing its ethicality.
Yes, the plan from its proposal had positive economical effects in mind. Its execution was meant for the greater good even though it meant upsetting some elements of the city; some citizen’s homes were destroyed in the revitalization project. This was part of millennium visions execution plan. Moreover, the compensation program followed this, which was a dent to the citizens. Under- compensation with respect to the actual appraisal value of their apartments was witnessed. The considerations were at ultimatum and negotiation was limited. On the other hand the limited negotiation resulted in the owners feeling frustrated, as they had to accept the available offer or face forceful eviction. Human beings are a volatile creation and any mistreatment no matter how minor can lead to strife (Ross, 2002). The eviction was therefore a big risk by the city council of Harmony city that would result in huge positives for the whole community thus making the risk retainable and acceptable.
Yes there were some negative implications during its implementation. These negatives came into the picture when the Millennium Visions group proposed for only the educated to occupy Harmony city. This was a biased sentiment and acrimony thereof was inevitable. The blue-collar workers and the white collar workers found it hard to associate with each other. This was naturally bound to happen as no single person wanted to be undermined whatsoever and more so because of the educational background. Self-esteem is of utmost consideration to most people. Morally, in the society it is unacceptable to treat other human unequally due to a factor like educational background. This brings about relational friction in which, people who previously coexisted together find it hard to associate together due to some separation factors (Ellis, 2007). This friction between the educated and the non-educated might prove to be a thorn in the feet of the city planners in future. However the ultimate gains would cover up for this giving eminent domain justification. The benefits for the whole city carry the day and because it’s for the all, make implementing eminent domain worthwhile.
Counter Argument.
Harmony city had come of age. It has both gone through high and low economical times. Dating back to the 1970s, when it was a manufacturing hub; through the recession period that involved mass retrenchment and necessitated revitalization. The revival process, though marred by strict ultimatums on th...
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