So the news is saying we are preparing to give away our commonly-held land for public development. This is why the land sharks are all circling around the Department of Interior [is it of the Interior?]. For over a century we have given presidents the power to create or add to national monuments of land. Usually this is land that may be full of natural resources but does not have the infrastructure to get to these resources. So no one wanted it or could afford it. But these lands have been part of our national park system and the basic infrastructure has been applied by your tax dollars. There are roads, bridges, and electricity where there was none and the investors have been chomping at the bit to have these lands privatized.
Ryan Zinke our new Secretary of the Interior rides around on his horse to give the illusion that he cares about the land. Beware the Trojan Horse. In the beginning we were looking to open the land because we had an energy crisis. Well not exactly; we were importing more oil than many thought appropriate. So they proclaimed we needed to divest ourselves of our public lands for mining coal and drilling for oil. It was a matter of public interest they said. But when dealing with the new right if you hear abortion think birth control, if you hear repeal Obamacare think Medicare too, so if you open public lands because we need oil think we need less public land period. Now you may not know it because of fracking and other things, we are now exporting much more energy than we import. I thought fracking would keep the freaking Republicans away from the public land. I mean it is a very questionable practice that we are allowing to go on, the environment be damned. But I reasoned, at least they will forget about divesting the public land. After all an energy shortage is no longer a problem (if it ever was). Not the case it seems ‘there are jobs in them there hills’ they proclaim in their newest argument to open public land for private use. Yet these same people boast about how the economy is booming like never before. You even heard the President proclaim it is the best recovery ever. He is our economic hero. Turns out he is not our economic hero but is the hero of those who have money to invest. We will be promised jobs in exchange for the land. None or poor to average paying jobs will come for us if we are lucky. But I do see a few more billionaires’ pockets being lined.
In the olden days when the government had land in the west, they offered it up in lotteries to give the simple folk like me and you a chance to have our own piece of land. I think if you watch carefully you will find this not to be the case if this land goes private. They will proclaim the government will need a good return on their money. So it will go to the highest bidder with the most promising plan for the land. And in their twisted logic, the land will be had at a fair price. The government will then turn around and to be sure the land is developed, they will give all sort of tax incentives and government loans and near interest free loans to the big boys who bought the land at a fair price. This will of course make the price of the land not as fair as they made it look. It is a good fortune to have if you already have a fortune.
And after the land is depleted of its resources the investors will leave a wasteland behind and the government will have to clean it up. The land will be cleaned up and made good for investments once again. And we will privatize the land.
This is the utopia that the Trumps of the world have for public lands. They say they only want to divest of the land that Obama declared public land. Of course you should be hearing, we want all the public land privatized, since this is the language of the Republicans. They say the first so you get used to the idea of giving the land away and once you have been lulled to sleep? They subtly add the rest to their agenda.
Visit your public lands now; who knows what will be public tomorrow.