QUESTION: Sir John, should government pay just compensation to the owner of a huge idle land if it is to construct a highway across the land?
ANSWER: The government should negotiate a donation and emphasize to the owner of the land that the development will increase land value and it is more than enough as a form of just compensation.
When government pays a single centavo in real estate deals like that, I can tell with a 99.999999 percent certainty that corruption and anomaly is happening. There is huge corruption especially if the idle land is paid by government at post-development land value.
However, if the highway would hit a house or currently-operating farm, government has to pay just compensation for the displaced residents and farmers.