Skip to comments.High Plains Moochers
Posted on 04/28/2014 5:21:13 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
It is, in a way, too bad that Cliven Bundy the rancher who became a right-wing hero after refusing to pay fees for grazing his animals on federal land, and bringing in armed men to support his defiance has turned out to be a crude racist. Why? Because his ranting has given conservatives an easy out, a way to dissociate themselves from his actions without facing up to the terrible wrong turn their movement has taken.
For at the heart of the standoff was a perversion of the concept of freedom, which for too much of the right has come to mean the freedom of the wealthy to do whatever they want, without regard to the consequences for others.
Start with the narrow issue of land use. For historical reasons, the federal government owns a lot of land in the West; some of that land is open to ranching, mining and so on. Like any landowner, the Bureau of Land Management charges fees for the use of its property. The only difference from private ownership is that by all accounts the government charges too little that is, it doesnt collect as much money as it could, and in many cases doesnt even charge enough to cover the costs that these private activities impose. In effect, the government is using its ownership of land to subsidize ranchers and mining companies at taxpayers expense.
Its true that some of the people profiting from implicit taxpayer subsidies manage, all the same, to convince themselves and others that they are rugged individualists. But theyre actually welfare queens of the purple sage.
And this in turn means that treating Mr. Bundy as some kind of libertarian hero is,
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Shouldn’t Krugmarx like him if he is a Moocher?
Pray America wakes up
You forgot the Barf alert.
Only a private property stealing Bolshevik like Krugman thinks it’s normal for the federal government to own the lion’s share of Western lands. Appeals to his collectivist derangement.
Of course that’s what the POS totalitarian hiding behind his theoretician’s academic beard would say.
Wake up and smell the socialism.
YOU didn’t build that planet, control freak.
Why does the Federal government “own” that land?
RE: You forgot the Barf alert.
The original post had an alert in parenthesis. The Mods deleted it.
Krugman has been inhaling the vapors again...
Is this the same Paul Krugman who took a $250,000 salary to address income inequality? That Paul Hypocrite Krugman?
Re: the turn conservatism has taken . . .
I am interested in the chain of events that turned conservatives, more or less a law-and-order group historically, into a group that distrusts the “jack-booted thugs” in law enforcement. One element of that is certainly the swat/militarization of federal, state, and local law enforcement, but I wonder if there is more than that.
Is a loss of perceived/actual legitimacy in government at work here?
Did the Democrats with their claims of George W. Bush’s illegitimacy for “stealing” Florida raise the stakes in the political battles? Did the Democrats respond to that perceived offense by more aggressively working to steal the Obama election(s) and others such as Franken’s Senate race? Did the left respond to the GOP’s failure to follow what the 2000 Florida election law “should have said” by more aggressively twisting/bending/ignoring laws they never liked?
Have conservatives gone from being supporters of the rule-of-law and thus of government law enforcement to being supporters of the rule of law and thus opponents of government law enforcement as currently practiced? Have we actually changed, has our perception of FedGov especially changed while FedGov remains more or less the same, or has FedGov genuinely changed?
Okay, I’ll bite, Dr. Krugman:
1. You never address the issue of whether the Federal government SHOULD own all that land in the west. Somehow, your home state of New Jersey does just fine without the Federal government owning most of it.
2. You say the government charges too little, but your accompanying report just says the government takes in less than it costs them to administer the land. Are you aware that government costs tends to be many times more than private sector costs for the same activity? Furthermore, if lots of different landowners existed, grazing fees would have to be low because of competition.
3. You say that because cattle ranchers get a supposed subsidy from the government, they’re not rugged individualists. That’s a really silly argument. I mean, you could argue everyone in history who lived in some country was not an individualist because they benefited from government in some way. I’m sure Daniel Boone took the state roads as far as they would go before walking in the wilderness. Big deal.
4. You toss in accusations of racism with no evidence whatsoever.
5. You say that conservatives believe private property rights are absolute. That’s a strawman argument. No serious conservative believes that. Thomas Sowell has written about limitations on property rights, to name one example. No conservative thinks someone should be able to store unprotected nuclear waste on a suburban street.
6. You then throw in a reference to Duck Dynasty for no reason other than it gets giggles from your leftist base.
The crux of the issue is whether massive government ownership of land leads to corruption. There’s a lot of circumstantial evidence that this whole mess started because of a solar panels deal involving Harry Reid’s family. How about a column about that, Dr. Krugman? But it’s a lot easier to just make snide comments about ranchers and Duck Dynasty to appeal to the amoral leftist elites that read you.
As opposed to White Plains Morons.
I bet this guy Krugman can’t shoot for sh#t.
I have to agree with him. Cliven Bundy got to use public land without paying even a fraction of what it is worth. He is a tenant - no more and no less. We all know what happens when we stop paying our rent to our landlord. The sheriff ultimately comes to evict us from the property. The only difference here is the landlord in question is the federal government.
Our law of contracts doesn’t change because of the nature of the lawful owner. The federal law doesn’t grant Bundy any more standing than a private tenant would have. We have laws and we have to live by them. If the Feds trespassed on private land, that would be one thing. But neither Bundy nor any one else has the right to use public land as they see fit.
Of course, if the American people want to change the arrangement, they can do so - through their elected representatives passing a new law. Until that happens we must obey the law regardless of our personal feelings about them and none of us get to decide what laws we would like to obey in this country.
RE: Cliven Bundy got to use public land without paying even a fraction of what it is worth. He is a tenant - no more and no less.
The question that concerns most FReepers is this — Why is the FEDERAL government in control of 84% of land in a State?
Bundy actually wanted to pay for grazing TO THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN NEVADA.
The dispute began in 1993, when the BLM interfered with Bundys grazing rights, citing protection of the Mojave Desert tortoise. Everything was OK before that.
It is not clear how cattle are a threat to the tortoise. They capped his herd to 150 animals on a 250-square-mile rangeland allotment. When Bundy saw his grazing fees were no longer being used to help ranchers, but to thwart them, he stopped paying monthly federal land fees of $1.35 per cow-calf pair, insisting that local government, not the BLM, should be in control of the lands.
Bundys family has raised cows on the land since the 1870s. The BLM was established much later in 1946. Cozy with federal judges, beginning in 1998, the BLM began to get rubber-stamped court orders requiring Bundy to remove his animals.
He does point out there are externalities involved - none of us has absolute freedom to do whatever we want. Even in our private actions the law sets limits. We cannot treat our animals cruelly, even if they live on our property. We cannot siphon off power illegally on our property to avoid paying our utility bills. We cannot create a public eyesore on our property and so forth.
We do not have complete freedom anywhere - and there is no area, from birth to death in which government is not present. In every area of our lives we are held accountable. This is part of our progress from the state of nature to living under some form of government. In our world, we gave up our freedom for the greater good. The theoretical ideal of freedom remains only that in our world - a dream.
You don’t address the points I made. Krugman is right there tends to be a lazy anti-intellectualism on the Right.
Again, as long as the land is federal, Bundy has two choices: he can pay his fees or he can move out. What he does not have the right to do is to treat land that doesn’t belong to him as his own private property.
And I don’t consider someone who isn’t a dutiful tenant a hero. I am sure no one on here would say someone who lives in an apartment should be a moocher at the landlord’s expense. The exact same principle is operative in Nevada; only the identity of the landlord happens to be BLM who acts on behalf of all of us in management of the federal lands - the American people.
Krugman could have written for Pravda.
Hey Paul, F@*k you and the horse you rode in on!