The Cattle Rancher Vs. The Feds: Who is Winning?

The battle between cattle rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management has cooled off as the BLM left under the pretense of protecting the public from outbreaks of violence amongst the Pro-Bundy protestors.

Bundy, for years, has been grazing his cattle on federal lands for free. For a long time, nobody cared. Then, some bureaucrat at the BLM decided to care. I figure they thought it would be like taking candy from a baby. They apparently did not count on the affair becoming a media circus. They did not expect the arrival of thousands of Pro-Bundy protestors to stand in the way of the BLM. The BLM was caught on video with a legion of snipers at the ready to shoot the protestors. At least one protestor was tased. The negative PR this has created for the BLM, a previously under-the-radar bureaucracy, has been overwhelming. Whichever mid-level bureaucrat responsible for the whole affair must be pretty red-faced right about now, and maybe unemployed as well.

The case is not dead, however; it has merely receded from the flash point, is all. The BLM may still raid Bundy’s property. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) has made clear his feeling on the matter: “It’s not over.” He wants to see Bundy prosecuted.

The interesting thing to consider is this: the Federal Government owns nearly 30% of all territory in the US. In Nevada, where the Bundy affair is unfolding, the Feds own a stunning 84% of all land. That’s pretty wild. Nearly the entire state is owned by the Feds. Nevada is not alone. The below chart shows us the federal holdings of the U.S. government:


If I’m not mistaken, the Feds own nearly half of all land west of the Great Plains. This is land that could be sold off. It would put a decent dent into the national debt. The Feds are not interested in such a deal, however. In my opinion, the major problem at work in the Bundy case is not that Bundy is grazing illegally on federal lands, but that the Feds own any land to begin with. It should all be in the hands of the private sector, being put to productive use, instead of being wasted under the management of bureaucrats.

I think this whole situation is marvelous. The Bureau of Land Management has been portrayed as an evil empire stomping on normal people. People like Harry Reid, true-blue DC hacks, have been forced into voicing support for the BLM. This makes people like Harry Reid look bad, which pleases me.

The case has been marvelous thus far. The BLM has appeared bumbling, sinister, and cowardly all at the same time. I don’t want Bundy’s home to be raided, but imagine the bad PR if the BLM actually decides to kick Bundy’s door down and euthanize/seize his cattle. Phew. Bad PR for federal bureaucrats, and wonderful PR for liberty-centered ideas. Let freedom ring.

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One Comment on “The Cattle Rancher Vs. The Feds: Who is Winning?”

  1. carham April 19, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

    Interesting perspective here that suggests this situation has a welfare aspect to it:

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