Trump Reverses Obama’s Unconstitutional Land Grab

It’s not a yyyuuuuuge victory, but it’s definitely symbolic. We should appreciate the small things…

Obama used his Executive-branch authority to take thousands of acres of land off the Utah market. Trump has just given it back. At Daily Mail, we read:

President Donald Trump unveiled a plan Monday in Utah to dramatically scale back two national monuments – calling it an important move for ‘states’ rights.’

‘Some people think that the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington. And guess what? They’re wrong,’ he said in the cavernous Utah Capitol Rotunda in Salt Lake City.

‘The families and communities of Utah know and love this land the best. And you know the best how to take care of your land. You know how to protect it, and you know best how to conserve this land for many, many generations to come,’ he said.

‘Your timeless bond with the outdoors should not be replaced with the whims of regulators thousands and thousands of miles away. They don’t know your land, and truly they don’t care for your land like you do.’

The reduction is in the thousands of square miles:

The plan would cut the total amount of land in the state’s red rock country protected under monument status from more than 3.2 million acres (5,000 square miles) to about 1.2 million acres (1,875 square miles).

The best part is perhaps Trump’s antagonistic rhetoric towards federal bureaucrats. Nobody likes bureaucrats.


Economically speaking, land is a valuable source of raw materials and scarce resources. Land is one of the vital components of capital: land and human labor, over time. Economics deals with the allocation of scarce resources.

If you take land off the market, you make the already-scarce surrounding resources even more scarce. You also lock-out the economic potential and inhibit responsible wealth generation associated with that land.

Property rights are defended by free market economists as being superior to socialism or communism in helping to best allocate scarce resources for the public good, thanks to the price mechanism. Otherwise, when government takes ownership of property and calls it “public” land, this leads to the tragedy of the commons. Since everybody owns it, nobody actually owns it…


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