Block Debates Eminent Domain at U Chicago

Rand-influenced economist Walter Block will be participating in a debate over eminent domain at the University of Chicago next Monday:

The debate revolves around the question: Should government have a right to take anyone’s property for less that what the owner would freely and voluntarily agree to accept as payment? Or, more formally: Is the state’s power of eminent domain necessary in a free society?

The announcement for the event includes an interesting bit about Block’s background with Ayn Rand:

Block, too, is believed to have never shied away from a good debate. As a senior at Brooklyn College in 1963, Block found his way to a luncheon honoring novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand, and proceeded to the head of the table. He poked his head between Rand’s and that of her companion, psychologist Nathaniel Branden, and announced that there was a socialist present who wanted to debate someone on economic issues pertaining to capitalism. They politely asked him, “Who is this socialist?” and Block declared that it was him. Branden graciously took Block aside and agreed to debate, not only right then and there, but also thereafter, continuously, until one of them had changed the other’s mind on the merits of capitalism and socialism.
Today, Block is pleased to admit that he lost that debate.

His debate with Chicago Law School professor Richard Epstein will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, May 10th at the Law School, and is sponsored by the Ludwig von Mises Institute. For more information, see the full announcement on the UChicago web site.