Update on the China Highway House

I recently discussed the case of a Chinese family holed up in their house in the middle of a new highway.   They were protesting what they perceived as an unjust takings due to an excessively low compensation offer from the government.  The family has now accepted a compensation deal.  Apparently, they will get $41,000 – not a penny more than what had been on the table when this hit the news and well short of the $95,000 the family claimed it cost to build the house.  Not sure if they received an offer they couldn’t refuse or they realized the government wasn’t going to budge in the face of the family’s last-hold out power. 

As I noted earlier, I was more concerned about their neighbors.  Those folks had their property taken for economic development, a dubious rationale (unless you are the Supreme Court of the USA).  In this case, a highway seems like a legitimate purpose for a government taking.  Not knowing the market prices of homes in the area, I wonder if the compensation was even close to just.  Yes, a last hold-out has some leverage, but it is probably hard to beat the Chinese government in this case in terms of relative power. 

Here is the house being demolished:

China Highway House

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