Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Selling Yellowstone

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“The United States may have run up a huge debt, but it is not a poor country…,” the Washington Post announced on Monday as Our Rulers hit their credit-limit. “The federal government owns roughly 650 million acres of land, close to a third of the nation’s total land mass. Plus a million buildings. Plus electrical utilities like the Tennessee Valley Authority. And an interstate highway system.”

Ergo, “economists of a conservative or libertarian bent” advocate liquidating some of those assets. “Why … should the federal government be in the electricity business?” the Post asks even as it chuckles that of course, “no one advocates selling Yellowstone”; goodness, even libertarians aren’t that crazy!

Actually, plenty of libertarians and anarchists are indeed that principled. Selling Yellowstone and everything else government “owns” (does a thief truly own what he buys with his victims’ plunder?) makes sense on all levels, practically, constitutionally, morally. 

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