Friday, November 14, 2008

Alternatives to more federal debt: example A...

Why not sell some assets?  It seems to work for other economic entities.
The Federal Government owns more than half of Oregon, Utah, Nevada, Idaho and Alaska and it owns nearly half of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming.  See the map for more.  It is time for a sale.  Selling even some western land could raise hundreds of billions of dollars - perhaps trillions of dollars - for the Federal government at a time when the funds are badly needed and no one want to raise taxes.  At the same time, a sale of western land would improve the efficiency of land allocation.  [More]

I like this idea.  The cattle industry likely would not, unless they suddenly decided to become landowners instead of essentially subsidized lessees.  Still, getting land into private hands always seems like a good idea to me.


Anonymous said...

OK, I'll agree with selling some land. Did you see the writer advocates using some of the proceeds to establish 'The Buffalo Commons'? That's an idea that could only be at home posted on a NYT website...

Anonymous said...

Let's not give the cattle guys a hard time about being subsidized.

John Phipps said...


The old Buffalo Commons idea has been around for a long time, and oddly, we may get there with simple market forces if you look at the demographic terms and the farm bill gets squeezed by a very lean budget.

I don't know if it will gain any new political favor in the current environment, but weirder things have happened.


Hey - I give corn, cotton, beet, etc. growers a hard time about subsidies - it constitutes about half my writing. So one small shot at undervalued grazing fees isn't unbalanced, IMHO.