Who owns the Resources?

At the risk of being called a Socialist or Comunist I am going to ask the simple question of Who owns the Resources? Now to clarify what I am talking about lets take a simple look at a few facts. The first of these is that the majority of the land in this country was purchased from other countries using tax dollars extracted from the public or was aquired throught war again paid for using tax payer dollars.

Our goverment allowed much of this land to be transfered to individuals either throught patronage or through the working of the land for spacific periods of time. The country also accepted as binding the grants of land from other sovern countries such as Spain, France, and Mexico. Those lands transfered to the ownership of private individuals and the resources on those lands belong to those holding title to those lands, this is without question. The question is who owns the resources on the remainder of the land purchased with tax payer dollars and in fact held in trust by our goverment for the benifit of the whole nation?

It is My opinion that those resources belong to the people as a whole while there are others that belive they are intitled to extract those resources for a nominal fee and then sell those same resource back to whom they belong at an excessive price or that they have a god given right to use the land while paying a price less than fair market value for the use of the land.

Now I am sure I have many of you wandering exactly what I am talking about, so I will attempt to explain and provide some examples. First lets take for example ranchers in say Montana. Many of these ranchers rent grassing land from the goverment at a price of $26 dollars per head of cattle and have done so for years. These ranchers feel that the land they rent is theirs and should remain theirs and in fact have used violance in the past to prevent others from using that land. In fact these same ranchers are killing buffalo with the sanction of the goverment in order to prevent these free roaming anamails for grassing on these public lands. Ok some are saying so what? Well the fair market price of such pasture land if aquired from a private individual would cost these same ranchers at least three times the price and if the area was in a drought situation even more should water be available. So again who owns the resources? This question is asked because I think we need to reexamine the modal under which we extract resources from tax payer owned lands. I believe that a better model would be that of contracting with companies to extract say oil with the goverment (i.e. the tax payer retaining ownership) instead of the current lease/royalty method where the tax payer recieves little in relation to the fair market value of the resources extracted if anything at all. The simple fact is resources that are owned by the country/people at large are being tranfered to others with little or no benifit to those who actully own the resources.

Now I am sure that there are those who could and will find fault with My proposition and I will be looking forward to an open debate on the subject. While I do not veiw the goverment using the same free market principals being championed by the GOP terrorist as Socialism or Comunisiom, I do veiw the terrorist failure to use those principals as a failure of their faduciary resposablity.

I look forward to your comments.

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