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Sun Jun 23, 2019, 01:27 AM

A small group of billionaires is buying vast parcels of the West (NYT)

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/22/us/wilks-brothers-fracking-business.html

Who Gets to Own the West?
A new group of billionaires is shaking up the landscape.
By Julie Turkewitz
June 22, 2019

IDAHO CITY, Idaho The Wilks brothers grew up in a goat shed, never finished high school and built a billion-dollar fracking business from scratch.

So when the brothers, Dan and Farris, bought a vast stretch of mountain-studded land in southwest Idaho, it was not just an investment, but a sign of their good fortune.

The purchase also placed the Wilkses high on the list of well-heeled landowners who are buying huge parcels of America. In the last decade, private land in the United States has become increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few. Today, just 100 families own about 42 million acres across the country, a 65,000-square-mile expanse, according to the Land Report, a magazine that tracks large purchases. Researchers at the magazine have found that the amount of land owned by those 100 families has jumped 50 percent since 2007.

Much of that land stretches from the Rocky Mountains down into Texas, where, for some, commercial forests and retired ranches have become an increasingly attractive investment.

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Reply A small group of billionaires is buying vast parcels of the West (NYT) (Original post)
dalton99a Jun 2019 OP
safeinOhio Jun 2019 #1
democratisphere Jun 2019 #2
BigmanPigman Jun 2019 #8
democratisphere Jun 2019 #10
SammyWinstonJack Jun 2019 #3
KY_EnviroGuy Jun 2019 #4
FakeNoose Jun 2019 #5
KY_EnviroGuy Jun 2019 #6
FakeNoose Jun 2019 #7
KY_EnviroGuy Jun 2019 #9

Response to dalton99a (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 03:26 AM

1. Soon to be farm land for pennies on the dollar

as the Wealthy will buy it all up. The only chance small and medium farmers have is to form joint organizations to use the power they would have as a group. Small amount of dues can add up quickly with the many as opposed to the few.

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Response to dalton99a (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 03:27 AM

2. I'm sick of billionaires buying up and owning everything.

The robber barons are destroying America once again.
F'em all!

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Response to democratisphere (Reply #2)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 06:32 PM

8. It is like before they has Property Tax and Income Tax

and the billionaires in the Gilded Age had more money than the US govt. This is what happens with income i equality for 30 years and unfair taxes for the 1%.

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #8)

Mon Jun 24, 2019, 05:38 AM

10. So true.

We are back to the days of the robber barons.

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Response to dalton99a (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 04:17 AM

3. Filthy richey riches, just got to have/own it all. Tax them out of existence.

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Response to dalton99a (Original post)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 05:08 AM

4. Everything is going just as planned...

towards our Nation being a 100% rental society. Homes, farms, business properties, public lands, natural resources, and transportation will slowly be bought up or majority controlled by global investment firms, sovereign wealth funds and independent billionaires. They make offers no one can refuse and they're doing this around the globe.

Let's all take a moment every day and remind ourselves that almost every purchase of goods and services we execute during our lives has an element of profit that can be used to further concentrate the world's wealth in fewer and fewer hands. That's the way our systems of trade, banking, investment, resource control and asset management is now designed to work.

Part of those profits are also use to buy elections and favors from our public servants. It's a cheap investment for them that pays enormous returns. That's how we got to the current total seizure of the U.S. Government in the Senate.

We also need to frequently ask ourselves why interest rates on savings have been practically zero for many years, and simultaneously got sold on placing most of our retirement funds in stock market instruments such as IRAs.

And, it all happened while we were watching with eyes wide open watching media they own......

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Reply #4)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 08:56 AM

5. Truth!

Well said. I wish I could Recommend your comment.

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #5)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 10:32 AM

6. Thanks. I've been watching this slowly happening to us for a long time.

Not an economist or any other sort of expert on this, just a dumb old-timey tech guy that pays a little attention to the big picture.

As strange as it might seem, my first disturbing observations were in the late 60s as small-town hardware, clothing and grocery stores started closing as a result of Big-K and then Walmart moving into town. Then, small to medium manufacturers began to be gobbled up by much larger not-local corporations and then many of those closed. It was called "M&A". Those small companies and stores were invested in and a part of the local communities and culture, which kept them in check. That's all gone now for the sake of cheap products.

Zoom the clock forward almost 50 years and China and the Saudis are buying up land and resources around the globe using our "pennies from purchases" at the gas station and Sam Walton's "Buy American" Walmart. Pretty amazing for two nations where few Americans would want to live.

What disturbs me the most (for the sake of my granddaughter) is the fact that income and asset ownership inequality is getting much, much worse each year around the globe and I see no practical way to reverse that trend. This means their ability to buy elections, affect public policy, and feed right-wing fear machinery will also get worse. They love for us to be dumb, afraid, confused and close to broke.

We know we're a very sick nation when an Australian billionaire who made his original fortune selling gossip tabloids in the UK can actually sway elections in the U.S. and cause serious divisions in our society using his right-wing cable news network.

Sorry to hit you with another rant but next to climate change, I see this issue as our most challenging of all and it's kept well hidden from our general public. Our media will not bite the hand that owns them....

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Reply #6)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 10:53 AM

7. It may seem well-hidden, but it's actually right out in the open

We Americans have been trained since grade school not to look behind the curtain, we should trust that the rich guys in charge must know what they're doing. Yes we do know, they're picking our pockets while they lie to us. They twist our arms and tell us they know best.

Chump is only the current iteration but it's been going on for a very long time. To my mind Chump is the worst but only because the greed is so blatant now.

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #7)

Sun Jun 23, 2019, 06:45 PM

9. Exactly. Good summary.

Trump is like one of their wildly errant children that escaped his cage, but is very indicative of that global amoral family.

KY.....

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