The Federal Land Grab Racket

Gridlock is a necessary evil in any government system with checks and balances.  It can nevertheless lead to despotism when government shutdowns are used to coerce representatives of vulnerable states into funding programs that grow the government.  This form of extortion is possible because a third of all U.S. land is federal property. Territories that became states in the first half of the 19th century usually acquired nearly all lands that were previously under federal jurisdiction.  This changed after environmentalists persuaded Congress to retain lands for both their natural resources and scenic beauty.  This is why the largest expanses of federal land are in western states like Wyoming (48%), Oregon (53%), Alaska (61%), Idaho (62%), Utah (65%), and Nevada (85%).  East of the Mississippi, average federal land ownership is only 4%.  Nearly all these eastern states were consolidated prior to...(Read Full Article)
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