On Track to Lose Our Public Lands

by Bill Willers / May 27th, 2011 – Dissident Voice

The political right and its economists now recommend selling federal assets to pay down the nation’s debt…

What assets? Forget for the moment things like buildings and highways, and consider the most cherished assets – our public lands in the form of national forests, BLM lands, national parks and wildlife refuges. A third of the nation, ours in common, is a gift beyond price to pass to our descendants. It is a public treasure we may lose, for it is firmly in the crosshairs of moneyed interests intent on “privatizing”. Who is capable of buying such public assets? Think of corporate “persons” in petroleum, insurance, industrial recreation, pharmaceuticals, defense, agribusiness, banking and the like. And don’t forget their 37,000 K Street lobbyists who lavish unlimited cash on lawmakers, or of the billionaire faction of “Haves and Have Mores” George W. Bush called his “base”.

On May 18, when asked what he thinks about the idea of selling Utah land to help pay down the federal deficit, Utah Governor Gary Herbert responded, “It’s an idea that’s not new. It’s been talked about for the last generation. If we want to reduce the deficit and balance the budget at the federal level, why don’t we sell some of the federal assets, and of course we have a lot of federal land that they can liquidate and help balance the budget. I think it’s certainly worth exploring.”…

We the people, now “owners”, would be transformed into “customers” paying market demand. And now a multi-trillion dollar debt is providing the needed argument for selling our national treasure…

It is understood that the privatization of public domain has to be done by degrees to avoid unwanted reaction. Beckwith made this clear with his reference to “the contracting out of support services to private firms operating for profit” to be accomplished in “tentative steps”. Such contracting is increasingly common in the form of “public-private partnerships” and “competitive outsourcing”. And as those standing to benefit from privatization use their considerable political and economic might to achieve their goals, it is passing “under the radar” of the larger public mind.

full article – http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/05/on-track-to-lose-our-public-lands/

Here is a related article on the “corporatization of land” – Hedge fund managers pour assets into farmland



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