the Immensity of the National Debt
This does not directly pertain to the cattle
market, but we recently came across the map of the United States found
below that shows the proportion of Federally owned land in each state.
This prompted the question, "How much of the nearly $20 trillion
National Debt could be paid if vast amounts of this land, much of which
costs more to administer than it generates in lease payments, were sold
and the sale proceeds applied to the debt?" -- National
What was found in the New
Estimates of Value of Land of the United States - Bureau of Economic
Analysis - April 3, 2015, is astounding and may be the most compelling
and understandable way to comprehend the immensity of the National debt...
In the conclusion of this report, it is
stated... "This paper presents new estimates of the value of land in
the lower 48 United States from 2000 to 2009. In 2009, the value of
land was approximately $23 trillion, $1.8 billion of which is owned
by the federal government. According to the National Land
Cover Database, 6% of the lower 48 states is developed, and according to
the estimates in this paper, this land consists of 50% of the overall land
value. Land values rose until 2006 and then fell until the end of the sample
"The estimation methodology consists of
dividing the U.S. into a mosaic of parcels at the census tract level and
below, assigning ownership and prices to each parcel, and tabulating.
Whereas past estimates have omitted large areas of land or have based valuation
on potentially implausible estimates of structure values, this attempt
instead misses no land area and uses hedonic estimates of land values."
The Bottom Line... Selling all Federally
owned land and applying the sale proceeds to the National Debt would only
be "a drop in the bucket" and nearly all of the land in the lower 48 states,
both private & public, would have to be sold to pay the debt.