Wednesday, April 20, 2011
For those of you that don't follow Glenn Beck, you may have missed this address on federally owned property. Although Beck's outburst is filled with a few a million nutty conspiracy theories, I think he's asking a pretty important question: Why is so much land in the West owned by the federal government? Check out the following maps - the first shows all federally owned land (including Indian reservations) and the second shows federal land as a percentage of total state land area:
If we really believe in the power of private ownership to incentivize useful activity, why isn't there more of a push to auction off some (a lot?) of this land? Currently, driving across much of the West is like driving across the moon - it's wasted, desolate space. Why not turn that over to private entrepreneurs? Maybe we'd get fewer moon craters and more Las Vegases.