Pop Quiz for Property Rights Law

A property developer in Chongqing has excavated all of the land surrounding this home and is proceeding on a construction project, clearly attempting to force the resident to give up and allow her home to be demolished. One must have sympathy for the people living in this “nail house” (so-called as they are unwilling to leave). Perhaps not surprisingly giving the amazing image above, this story has become a hot issue, e.g. here, here, here, and here; even state media are reporting on the case. In fact, people.com.cn’s online poll currently finds over 93% of people support the resident of the nail house.

Eminent domain is rarely easy as urban renewal and private property rights can conflict. I do not have a considered opinion on the recent Supreme Court case in the US that expanded eminent domain claims. That being said, the tactics employed here are despicable.

What’s next? How will the new property rights law affect the situation?

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