Xander Fulton
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Reading this opinion piece caused me some concern...

Quote:
A radical plan to overhaul a century of sensible balance has been embraced by the Republican presidential ticket.

Handing over millions of acres of public land has long been a dream borne on the vapors of single-malt Scotch sipped inside trophy homes in the 1 percent ZIP codes of the West. Usually, the idea vanishes with the vapors. Not this year.


...so, I'm like, WTF? Have to check the facts, here, and...oh, crap.

Quote:
Romney’s proposal, unveiled in New Mexico, would allow state governments to call the shots on all public lands, except for areas termed "off-limits," and lets state officials regulate oil and gas drilling, bypassing federal land management plans and environmental guidelines


...which of course, follows up on his comments earlier this year.

Romney wrote:
I don’t know why the government owns so much of this land.
...
But where government ownership of land is designed to satisfy, let’s say, the most extreme environmentalists, from keeping a population from developing their coal, their gold, their other resources for the benefit of the state, I would find that to be unacceptable.


Riiiiiight...awesome!
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Walt
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Mostly the reason the people of the United States own all that land jointly is that they paid for it with taxes and sometimes blood:


Under the various Homestead Acts, individuals could earn land grants by living on the land and improving it. Started by Abraham Lincoln, grants were 160 acres (1/4 sq. mi., ~65 hectares). It was increased to 320 acres (1/2 sq. mi., ~130 hectares) for farming in dry areas, and then to 640 acres (1 sq. mi., 259 hectares) for ranching. "Homesteading was discontinued in 1976, except in Alaska, where it continued until 1986."

I've seen homesteading credited with the high standard of living in the US as opposed to the similar settlement period in South America, which tended to large land grants to the rich.
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Tall_Walt wrote:


Great map, and I have read about some of the oddities it shows. But I don't know how some of the Louisiana purchase ended up in the (greater) Texas, and it makes you wonder what's in that little bit of Spanish concession in Colorado and whether anyone in Wyoming does anything to remember they used to be in Texas.

(I picked up a book once on how the fifty states got their boundaries. Fir my money the oddest one is the New York/New Jersey border.)
 
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Walt
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In the 1819 Spanish Cessions, Spain gave up lands it couldn't possibly keep, under military pressure from the US.

State boundaries are interesting. The Mexican Cession of 1848 ceded Alta California, one state. The Mormons had a different idea, Deseret (dotted line), but settled in 1950 for the Utah Territory (blue):

 
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David desJardins
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I don't see why you're worried. Giving away our shared resources to rich people worked great in Russia.
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DaviddesJ wrote:
I don't see why you're worried. Giving away our shared resources to rich people worked great in Russia.


And if Romney had finished the sentence with what was going through his head at the time...

Romney's mind wrote:
I don’t know why the government owns so much of this land...if someone wants a vacation out in nature for some reason, why wouldn't they just buy their own island in the Caribbean? All this 'public land' makes no sense!
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Boaty McBoatface
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Not really giving it away, more a case of allowing use of. But will this land be rented or free?
 
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Wow, way to distort the facts there. Romney is not "giving" the land away - but transferinging to state control.

This has been a source of significant difference of opinion between the west and Washington. I for one fully support it and have since I heard that over 35% of Colorado is owned by the feds. Compare this to any other state east of th MT-WY-CO-NM line - huge difference (Next closest is Vermont at 13%).
 
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The OP quoted an article that said that very thing. As for the title: the lands are being given by the federal govt to the state govt.
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David desJardins
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Romney wrote:
I don’t know why the government owns so much of this land.
...
But where government ownership of land is designed to satisfy, let’s say, the most extreme environmentalists, from keeping a population from developing their coal, their gold, their other resources for the benefit of the state, I would find that to be unacceptable.


What should we do about these extreme environmentalists who think there should be protections for the environment? Maybe Romney could win if he vows to just have them all shot.
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Romney wrote:
I don’t know why the government owns so much of this land.
...
But where government ownership of land is designed to satisfy, let’s say, the most extreme environmentalists, from keeping a population from developing their coal, their gold, their other resources for the benefit of the state, I would find that to be unacceptable.


What should we do about these extreme environmentalists who think there should be protections for the environment? Maybe Romney could win if he vows to just have them all shot.


Or just bring back CFCs and leaded fuel again to insure that they all die.
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sisteray wrote:
Or just bring back CFCs and leaded fuel again to insure that they all die.


Well, you'd have to protect yourself somehow. In Beijing, the aristocracy and senior political leadership all have air filtration systems in their homes and offices, so they don't have to breathe the same air as everyone else. Maybe we could introduce that approach here. Why pursue the economically inefficient approach of keeping all of the air clean, when we can just clean the air for those who really matter?
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Utrecht wrote:
This has been a source of significant difference of opinion between the west and Washington.
It is something to think about:


If you're a Western state & you don't have control of a large % of your own land, this could put you at odds with the Feds.

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This is the kind of thing that would get a lot easier with state control, because buying political influence at the state level is easier than buying it at the Federal level:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/us/politics/koch-brother-e...
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DaviddesJ wrote:
This is the kind of thing that would get a lot easier with state control, because buying political influence at the state level is easier than buying it at the Federal level...

Especially in smaller or poorer states, but really everywhere.

Years before Yellowstone National Park, Abraham Lincoln created the Yosemite Grant to preserve Yosemite. It was given to California to preserve. Epic fail. Thankfully, John Muir got most of Yosemite returned to the federal government as a National Park, and enlisted Theodore Roosevelt to take the rest away from California.

So, now we have four million visitors a year, around 350,000 from outside the US. And instead of slightly cheaper granite counter tops, we have:
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Xander Fulton
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Tall_Walt wrote:
...And instead of slightly cheaper granite counter tops...


Why do you hate the job creators? Don't you know jobs don't just create *themselves*, and you need to feed the job creators ALL OF THE NATURAL RESOURCES in order for Them, in Their Gracious Benevolence, to keep granting new jobs for the unwashed masses?

Geez, some people...
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Kiss my butte. laugh
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DaviddesJ wrote:
This is the kind of thing that would get a lot easier with state control, because buying political influence at the state level is easier than buying it at the Federal level.
But you do see how this becomes a slippery slope of endowing the federal government with all power, in flagrant violation of the 10th Amendment.
The 10th Amendment to the US Constitution wrote:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

If states aren't to be trusted, then why not take all power away from the states and establish the new American Soviet Union.

 
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The Soviet Union was made up of individual soviet republics. They could be recognized as independent States as far as international law was concerned.

That's not the way our states are organized.
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fightcitymayor wrote:
But you do see how this becomes a slippery slope of endowing the federal government with all power, in flagrant violation of the 10th Amendment.


The Constitution does give the Federal government the power to own property. So no, there's no violation.

Quote:
If states aren't to be trusted, then why not take all power away from the states and establish the new American Soviet Union.


Wow, I thought the people who think that Obama is a Socialist were dumb, but the argument that the Federal government is Communist puts that to shame. Congrats!
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Walt
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fightcitymayor wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
This is the kind of thing that would get a lot easier with state control, because buying political influence at the state level is easier than buying it at the Federal level.
But you do see how this becomes a slippery slope of endowing the federal government with all power, in flagrant violation of the 10th Amendment.
The 10th Amendment to the US Constitution wrote:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution wrote:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; ...
 
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Well, this seems like a bad idea. I think the preservation of Federal Lands is one of the greatest legacies of Teddy Roosevelt
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I do have a concern, but it's the opposite of Romney's. If the Federal governemt gets taken over by the right they can authorize just about anything on Federal lands and the States have little power to stop them.
 
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What do you think is the better course of action:

-Leave it in the hands of the Feds and risk one party, most likely the right, doing as they will

-Give power over to the states.

or do you have an alternative solution?
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Aren't their more Right states now? So doesn't that just move the problem to fifty smaller problems. I realize that it breaks it up so that one single govt can't screw up the whole, but it doesn't really change much in the long run.
 
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