Yesterday another high court put its foot in it. Now York's Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of the State Housing law. From now on cities are permitted to condemn tenements owned by private capitalists, pay for them according to the judgment of their own appraisers, and build their own tax-free housing projects in their stead.
Think of the opportunities for graft in all this. When Tammany comes back into its rightful zamindary, taxes can be raised on all buildings and all land beneath, large districts condemned, appraised at almost zero (on account of the high taxes), paid for at that price, and a low - cost, tax-free, housing project begun under governmental aegis.
Then come endless ramifications. Other capitalists, laboring under huge taxes, will be quite unable to compete with the tax-free Tammany houses, so their properties will sink in value, to be condemned, appraised, bought, exempted from taxes, with politicians taking cuts on the way.
That's what New York's decision of constitutionality means in terms of flesh and blood. Perhaps the Law has been upheld, but in that case the law withdraws all protection from private enterprise, and it becomes a question of man to man combat, on one side the particular grafters in charge of the government, on the other the capitalists whose properties are confiscated.
What a party! And whatever the outcome, which ever side loses, whoever gets poor or gets rich,--I win.