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These 10 People Collectively Own 33 Million Acres, Or 1.5% Of All US Land

Tyler Durden's picture


It is a well-known fact that when it comes to ownership of rental properties in the US, Wall Street, and particularly Blackstone, has become the single largest landlord in the country. But what about undeveloped land? As summarized by Vizual-statistix, according to The Land Report published by Fay Ranches, the top 100 owners of US land collectively have 33 million acres in their private holdings.  This equates to about 1.5% of all USA land – that may seem like a small percentage, but it’s actually a massive area.  The chart below lays out the top 10 largest private landowners with the areas of Puerto Rico, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Washington, D.C. included for scale. As can be seen, all of the top 10 own a piece of the USA that is bigger than Rhode Island, and five have a piece that is at least as big as Delaware. John Malone, who is the largest land owner in the country with 2.2 million acres, owns private property the size of Puerto Rico.

Some additional perspective from The Land Report:

  Investing in rural, undeveloped land continues to be a popular strategy among the affluent, according to the 2013 Land Report 100, the latest annual survey and ranking of the largest private landowners in the United States just published by The Land Report and presented by Fay Ranches. Increasingly seen as a “safe deposit box with a view,” acreages continue to be purchased by leading landowners at solid rates. In 2012, the country’s top 100 landowners cumulatively increased their private holdings by 700,000 acres to a total of 33 million acres, nearly 2 percent of U.S. land mass.


Liberty Media Chairman John Malone and his 2.2 million acres under ownership topped the Land Report 100 list, which focuses exclusively on deeded acreage owned by individuals, families, family-owned companies and family-controlled foundations and excludes leased and public lands. Malone edged out Ted Turner, who currently possesses more than 2 million land acres. Rounding out the top five in order were: the Emmerson family, Brad Kelley and the Irving family. The 2013 edition of the Land Report 100 presented by Fay Ranches can be downloaded at


“It’s refreshing to continue seeing large landowners find value in aggregating their land for conservation and agriculture purposes versus parceling it out and developing it,” said land broker Greg Fay, founder of Fay Ranches, which is sponsoring the Land Report 100 for the third straight year and is a longtime supporter of the magazine. “Everyone at Fay Ranches congratulates leading landowners for their commitments to the land, to conserving our wild places and preserving our agricultural heritage.”


This year saw a shake-up in the top ten as Stan Kroenke elevated his position from No. 10 to No. 8 after his recent purchase of the historic Broken O Ranch, described nationally as “one of the largest agricultural operations in the Rocky Mountain West.” Kroenke also owns the 540,000-acre Q Creek Ranch, the largest contiguous ranch in the Rocky Mountains.


There are several landowners new to this year’s 100 list, including No. 28, Dan and Farris Wilks, billionaire brothers who recently purchased more than 400 square miles of land, mostly in the eastern half of Montana. Oil field services entrepreneurs, the Wilks brothers own the prized N Bar Ranch in Montana, which is known for its wildlife and fishery resources. Another new addition to the Land Report 100 presented by Fay Ranches is No. 96, Arthur Nicholas. The co-founder of Nicholas Investment Properties owns Wyoming’s historic Wagonhound Land and Livestock, an AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder.


“America’s largest landowners continue to recognize land as a compelling asset, one whose numerous attributes go well beyond ROI,” said Eric O’Keefe, editor-in-chief of The Land Report. “It’s a story you’ll see again and again in the Land Report 100, one that features familiar faces and some new ones I’m sure readers will instantly identify. ”

So here is how Bernanke's trickle down supposedly works: US millionaires - rich in assets - become billionaires, increasingly buying up US land, i.e., more assets, while everyone else, read the not so wealthy, buy Made in China trinkets, purchased mostly on credit so loading up on liabilities, i.e., debt.


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Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:04 | 4332361 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

One simple question, "are their property taxes per acre the same as mine?"

Tick tock motherfuckers...

Still waiting that ETF on guillotine manufacturers...


yours truly,

a "concerned" farmer

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:06 | 4332369 sunaJ
sunaJ's picture

I would amend this to say single private landowners.  The Mormon church is in the top five owners of privately (corporately) held land.



Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:08 | 4332381 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

I have many mormen neighbors, at least they know how the fuck to make land productive...

never seen gardens greener.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:20 | 4332424 Troll Magnet
Troll Magnet's picture

Property tax...Ain't that shit something?  Fuckin' assholes...
"Congratulations on your new property!  Now pay us." 

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:42 | 4332488 putaipan
putaipan's picture

calling henry george ......

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:10 | 4332562 scrappy
scrappy's picture

Right on!

The Corruption of Economics (Georgist Paradigm series) [Paperback]
Mason Gaffney (Author), Fred Harrison (Author)

After the Crash: Designing a Depression-free Economy

(Hint: Land is Key)

Gaffney's Latest

The Mason Gaffney Reader: Essays on Solving the "Unsolvable"



Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:58 | 4332687 BLOTTO
BLOTTO's picture

10 families = 33 million acres? thats cute.


Queen Lizz II = 6,600 million acres...

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:51 | 4332879 JailBanksters
JailBanksters's picture

Difference is:

Lizzy never paid for it, she just said that's mine, Aha ha ha


Wed, 01/15/2014 - 09:35 | 4333694 Occident Mortal
Occident Mortal's picture

Malone owns 3,500 square miles?




Queen Elizabeth II owns 10,312,500 square miles of the 57,500,000 square miles of land on Earth. Which is about 20% of the planet.


Oh, and she's exempt from paying tax, but she voluntarily pays some taxes...


Obviously not inheritance tax though. Or any kind of tax on her wealth. She's not stupid.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:58 | 4332906 BringOnTheAsteroid
BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

Those pesky Rothschild's fly under the radar again.

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 14:56 | 4334722 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

Most of this above land is cheap dirt in western states.  The real productive land (Rothschild land) is held in secret "land trusts" in midwestern farm states.  Big, old wealth families flying under the radar once again.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:10 | 4332739 SafelyGraze
Wed, 01/15/2014 - 00:37 | 4333188 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

RE prices run in cycles of 10-12 year sunder normal conditions. The present heavily manipulated RE sector will eventually revert to the norm and I suspect that will be a painful time for property owners who are holding the "Hot Potato" when it corrects.

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 04:20 | 4333439 Golden_Rule
Golden_Rule's picture

If RE prices crash so will gold, if gold soars so will RE.  Granted I do think gold has less downside and more upside because gold was allowed to correct while RE was propped up.  But RE gives a current income (and future).  Only two bets to be made at this time I think, you're either betting on the dollar, or betting agianst the dollar.  As long as you don't use leverage, and as long as you make the right bet, you'll be rewarded in the end.

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 08:07 | 4333559 N2OJoe
N2OJoe's picture

Leverage is why I expect RE will crash as the credit bubble implodes while physical gold moves in the opposite direction. Of course paper gold will simply cease to exist, further aiding in the rise of physical.

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 09:26 | 4333670 pavman
pavman's picture

You can't take land with you when you have to flee the country.  You can, however, carry gold quite succinctly.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:34 | 4332625 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

  Many of the temples have professional canning equipment as well.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:03 | 4332720 machineh
machineh's picture

My basement temple has professional caning equipment, to administer corporal punishment to deserving politicians.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:05 | 4332723 erkme73
erkme73's picture

I have many mormen neighbors, at least they know how to fuck productively...


There, fixed it for you.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:09 | 4332386 rocker
rocker's picture

As of lately, don't forget Blackrock and all their acquired rentals since the depression started.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:48 | 4332670 Occams_Chainsaw
Occams_Chainsaw's picture

Them Mormon chicks like to get freaky....

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:21 | 4332773 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

I heard the Mormon chicks will take it in the butt to preserve their virginity for marriage.

Note: I am currently seeking a Mormon girlfriend.

I am Chumbawamba.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:33 | 4332807 SmackDaddy
Wed, 01/15/2014 - 05:05 | 4333456 drunkenlout
drunkenlout's picture

So will their brothers, Chumba.  Be careful out there in Park City.  

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 23:26 | 4332994 oncefired
oncefired's picture

Scientologists have a bunch to

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 09:42 | 4333725 Budd aka Sidewinder
Budd aka Sidewinder's picture

The LDS church is the largest owner of farmland in the world

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:25 | 4332434 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

"One simple question, "are their property taxes per acre the same as mine?"

You have an acre?!!!!

Seriously though, of course not. The bulk of their land would not have houses sitting on it. If their rate per acre was taxed the same as your acre there would not be a farmer left in the USA.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:36 | 4332636 zaphod
zaphod's picture

The taxes per acre may be small, but for the number of acres these large owners hold it adds up. You require a consistent income stream to support ownership. 

In the last depression many large land owners finally gave up and sold large portions primarily due to taxes. 

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:52 | 4332677 o2sd
o2sd's picture

The simple solution to that is to plant trees on fallow land. Lumber has outperformed every other asset class over a 100 year period.


Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:53 | 4332684 Duke of Earl
Duke of Earl's picture

Don't be so sure, Michael Dell famously lowered his property taxes 99.8% in 2005.  I'd bet some people can do better nowadays.

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 13:01 | 4334278 Tim_
Tim_'s picture

Fake Farms Owned by the Rich Provide Massive Tax Shelter

"All across the country, a huge number of America’s wealthiest are tapping into agricultural tax breaks—and none of them have to do any real farming to qualify."

"Take Michael Dell [jew], founder of Dell Computers and the second-richest Texan, who qualified for an agricultural property tax break on his sprawling 1,757-acre residential ranch in suburban Austin and saved over $1 million simply because his family and friends sometimes use the land as a private hunting preserve to shoot deer."

"The exemption is such a money-saver that it’s hard to find rich Texans who aren’t moonlighting as farmers on their estates, and that includes President George W. Bush. Bush has used the farm-tax dodge scheme on at least two properties in the last two decades."

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 15:58 | 4334971 obthedgehog
obthedgehog's picture

Rules like that are hardly uncommon.  In NJ horse country, for example, larger parcels (say, 3-4 acres) can be taxed at the much lower farm rate if they can show ~$200/year in agricultural income.  That's a handful of Christmas trees, a few jars of preserves sold at a farmers market (and the ingredients don't even need to be produced on the property), or something like that.  Maybe it would be pushing it for you and you neighbor to report selling your lawn clippings to each other, but then again maybe not...

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 02:06 | 4332466 prains
prains's picture

....combine a "winner take all" form of corporate "libertarianism" with crony captitalism and look what you get........


a whole lotta "isms" that the rest of us never get to use


edit: yes i know for some it's hard to reconcile corporatism with hard held beliefs about liberty but you just have to look at what's happening to understand the camo you've built for others

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 04:09 | 4333436 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

+1 liberalism, taken to it's extremes, tends to favour the very big. add cronyism (a form of corruption), which in the current centralized US setup means it happens mostly in Washington D.C., and you have the current corporate regime, with their think tanks and legions of lobbyists

since libertarianism is a form of extreme liberalism, as in extreme liberal capitalism, it's the political heaven of the great corporations and aspiring great barons

now I would not mind how Americans care about their own political affairs if their megacorporations would not treat the whole rest of the world as their stamping ground

what I dislike is not the principles. it's their application. the results

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 16:01 | 4334982 obthedgehog
obthedgehog's picture

Wrong.  Megacorps get that way because they can use government to leverage special privileges, the biggest of which is to hobble competition.  No government leads to no special advantages leds to more competition leads to less bigness.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:22 | 4332779 Dasa Slooofoot
Dasa Slooofoot's picture

Taxes?  They probably call it a farm and get subsidies.  

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:47 | 4332865 Wahooo
Wahooo's picture

Latifundia in the ole republica banana. What's that you say, you got no bananas?

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 23:32 | 4333007 pot_and_kettle
pot_and_kettle's picture

I'm long torches and pitchforks.

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 09:32 | 4333685 fedupwhiteguy
fedupwhiteguy's picture

did i miss something in my 4th grade mathematics classroom? the header says 10 greedbags own 33 mil acres, but then the article proceeds to discuss 100 persons own 33 million acres. nice teaching moment.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 11:51 | 4348203 bbkaren
bbkaren's picture

THANK you. It appears you and I are the only ones noticing this. I'd hate to think this was just an effort to promote class envy and cries of "INEQUALITY!!" Eat the rich!

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:05 | 4332370 DownByTheRiver
DownByTheRiver's picture

Sorry, the Red Shields own what percentage??

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:14 | 4332399 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

They own the most via debt feudalism. I.e. they own and control us through debt and therefore own and control all that we think that we own. They also own and control government, at all levels, and therefore own and control us via the ownership government extends over us with taxes and fees (“If you have to pay to have it, you don’t own it.”)


"The kings are dead, long live the guillotines."

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:27 | 4332444 john39
john39's picture

and what about all that federal land out west...  who really owns that?  or should i say, for whom is it currently being held.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:27 | 4332605 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

good question. 2.27 billion acres "of which 20 percent is privately held." so that would be darn near 2 billion acres of land. "and homesteading is legal in Alaska." in other words the price of land can crash too...or "for the price of a Passport" (in other words do not give up US citizenship!) you could be simply gifted an acre.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 23:32 | 4332868 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

Gifted?  Gifted?  I am expecting my gift to be of debt......

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 23:02 | 4332920 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

I don't know exactly, but the usual suspects comes to mind: China, Germany, Russia, Israel and Keyser Söze.

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 10:03 | 4333758 fedupwhiteguy
fedupwhiteguy's picture

That's my fear. That the feds will allow some environmental friendly (sarc) government, who holds our debt, to purchase (with treasury tokens) large tracts of land. I'd hate to have invested time & money in building up a sustainable farm only to have some dirty corporate (foreign) entity raping the property next to me. Cuz you know, what you do on your property doesn't always stay on your property. i.e., gmo pollen blowning onto your property, risidual air pollution drifting into your living room window, underground water supply contaminated by caustic chemical spills/abandoned mining operations....

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 21:29 | 4336207 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Based on what I know about property taxes and the latest water regs by the EPA, you don't own your property as it stands now.


"Firearms are the ultimate title to property."

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:05 | 4332374 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Where's the Catholic Church on that list?

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:26 | 4332437 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

Their kingdom is not of this world. LOL.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:25 | 4332596 rayduh4life
rayduh4life's picture


Vote up!

Vote down!


Where's the Catholic Church on that list?


Currently buying up all the hospitals and medical centers in washington state.  They have 40+% now and still aquiring.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:36 | 4332637 Normalcy Bias
Normalcy Bias's picture

Don Francis...

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:07 | 4332380 pragmatic hobo
pragmatic hobo's picture

... and the rich keep telling the poor "debt is wealth" ...

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:14 | 4332400 GrinandBearit
GrinandBearit's picture

Funny how the MSM has you focus on people like Donald Trump.   Mr Comb-over is apparently a small fry.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:15 | 4332401 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

It's difficult to say which one of crimes the oligarchs commit is the most egregious, but this certainly is close. These fuckers come in with their limitless piles of fiat, and artificially push up land prices beyond the reach any farmer or potential small land owner. One person owning this much land makes me sick.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:21 | 4332426 BigJim
BigJim's picture

 As can be seen, all of the top 10 own a piece of the USA that is bigger than Rhode Island, and five have a piece that is at least as big as Delaware. John Malone, who is the largest land owner in the country with 2.2 million acres, owns private property the size of Puerto Rico.

I'm sure they're all really, really nice people, and bought all that land at market rates from the original owners... or bought it from people who did.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:33 | 4332460 new game
new game's picture

most all, note i said most all waethy fucks are just that and would fuck their grandma if she was lying drunk on the couch...

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:50 | 4332521 BigJim
BigJim's picture

To be fair they probably did pay grandma's bar tab.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:26 | 4332439 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Come on, at least Ted tried to do something. He was a billboard salesman who got in on the ground floor of cable tv, with the right people in place, he could have made the difference. Evil and drug dealers won out in the long run, but that can be a learning experience for the 3 of us who will try again, with a God todays rich people don't believe in.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:34 | 4332560 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Your feudal overlords would like to thank the junkers for their support......... Idiots.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:29 | 4332608 rayduh4life
rayduh4life's picture

Yep! Born and raised in Napa CA.  There's no way I could have purchased the acreage that I have back home.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 23:41 | 4332844 KickIce
KickIce's picture

Frequently visit a farmer's blog and they have reported $10K/acre in Iowa.  Even when grain prices were higher spring/ summer they couldn't see how to make it profitable.  Guess with a mainline to fiat source you don't mind as you can pay for equipment and land in cash.  As usual, it's all about control and food supply makes a damn good weapon.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:44 | 4332851 logos5
logos5's picture

I don't want to own all the land... Just what joins me.

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 00:12 | 4333124 NickVegas
NickVegas's picture

They don't want small business, small farmers, small anything, that means local. Global domination, total remote ownship, feudalism, fascism, something ism. Few can escape their clutches, the tightening, the shrinking middle class.

Iterated and compounded, the advantage of the first use of fiat becomes enormous, fractionally reserving that fiat, and then buying assets to rehypothicate. Free money for them, a life of servitude for you laboring essential to receive coin of the realm to pay taxes, again iterated thru all the tax monsters. Then they "buy" up your assets at auction, and woe is me, you can't hang with the free money crowd. 

I'm long escapism because so many are trapped, sliding down.

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 23:33 | 4336662 BigSpruce
BigSpruce's picture

Oh fuck off Dr Engali - you sound like some brainwashed disciple of Marx

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:19 | 4332415 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

We just have to accept that the higher up the scale you move the smaller the percentage of your income you consume. The excess has to go somewhere and land is one of them.

The only question is, at what stage does the percentage of land ownership becoming damaging to the rest of the population?

Then again, are there some benefits?

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:45 | 4332503 The Abstraction...
The Abstraction of Justice's picture

You consume other people's money, i.e bailout money.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 23:17 | 4332963 bilejones
bilejones's picture

That's a different issue than the one he addresses: i.e. is the concentration of land ownership a bad thing.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 23:25 | 4332990 Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

You pose a very interesting question. The benefits of private property are legion and well understood, especially by the Ayn Rand set. But as you say, if it all ends up in an oligopoly owning everything, there are catastrophic disadvantages.

Good luck having that nuanced discussion here though!

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 23:48 | 4333051 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

Nuanced is not happening here...

But base is....

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 00:41 | 4333193 prains
prains's picture



I believe what you're talking about is a form of Corporate Libertarianism but distinguishing the two can be somewhat difficult

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 23:33 | 4336670 BigSpruce
BigSpruce's picture

We should be asking that of the Federal Gunvernment - where in some counties in this country they own 75% of the land base - where only 50 years ago it was none.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:25 | 4332436 piceridu
piceridu's picture

This chart proves that the vast majority of souls in the US are serfs...

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:28 | 4332448 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

The problem does not lie in them owning all this land. In my opinion the problem is that the average family can no longer afford to buy a quarter acre and build a decent home without becoming a debt slave.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:58 | 4332539 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Go back and look at American history and it is Pollyanna revisionist nonsense that most Americans owned their own land and homes. Home ownership rates only spiked after WW2 after several bills were passed to drive up homeownership rates.

Hell if you go back and look especially in the South most farmers were tennant farmers or sharecroppers who only rented the land from large trusts or wealthy individuals.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:18 | 4332582 Ranger4564
Ranger4564's picture

No one cited nostalgia, they expressed a desire for people to be able to own their land so they could build a home.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:35 | 4332632 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

So what. Still a ridiculous childish notion which isn't remotely based on historical fact and by historical norms and against other countries the US has very favorable rates of home ownership.

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 13:11 | 4334302 Ranger4564
Ranger4564's picture

If you are taking objection to my use of the word Own, you're right. I think we're actually in agreement, it's just that I misspoke. I believe that the land that's available may be used in one's life to use as fit, but it's not owned, and it's not inheritable. I also think that land occupation needs to be evaluated as populations increase / decrease, for an equitable distribution of the world resources.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:22 | 4332589 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Historical facts always get voted down on this site when they go against the grain. If you really believe that land was always readily available and affordable during US history, your a dope. There is a very good reason that at every turn we violated every treaty with the Indians and it dominated US domestic affairs well before the founding of the US and we'll after it for over a century.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:25 | 4332789 Muppetrage
Muppetrage's picture

My dope?

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:25 | 4332599 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Historical facts always get voted down on this site when they go against the grain. If you really believe that land was always readily available and affordable during US history, your a dope. There is a very good reason that at every turn we violated every treaty with the Indians and it dominated US domestic affairs well before the founding of the US and we'll after it for over a century.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:38 | 4332834 Muppetrage
Muppetrage's picture

So are you saying that's a good thing? None of those slaves owned homes either, that's for sure.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:11 | 4332744 cro_maat
cro_maat's picture

That is what TPTB want you to think. You can buy 20 acres for $ 10,000 in many states. You can then build a home using wood ( from your own land) and recycled materials. You can design it to be energy efficient and off the grid and if planned properly the house can be completed for under $100k or even under $50k. Hell I have seen reports from homesteaders who built their homes for under $1k.

The key is don't buy property with a building on it and don't use a commercial builder (and do pay cash).

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:44 | 4332855 Muppetrage
Muppetrage's picture

Sign me up

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 00:01 | 4333097 Borrow Owl
Borrow Owl's picture

"The key is don't buy property with a building on it and don't use a commercial builder (and do pay cash)."

No. The key is to ignore and/or thwart the bureaucracy in all of its myriad forms- ie, building permits, licenses, zoning, inspections, etc., etc., etc.

When the inevitable confrontation occurs, make sure that the .gov vermin understand- in no uncertain terms- that any further attempts to infringe upon your personal property rights will be dealt with by whatever means as may be necessary.. up to and including the use of deadly force.


Wed, 01/15/2014 - 10:32 | 4333827 fedupwhiteguy
fedupwhiteguy's picture

If you don't gather together with like minded neighbors and stake out a boundary to be defended at all costs you'll fall in front of the overwhelming federalized fire power. don't get me wrong, I want to see you succeed for sure.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:34 | 4332464 Dr. Gonzo
Dr. Gonzo's picture

Controling the means of production the currency and the media in good ole USSA.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:35 | 4332469 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Debt is worse than slavery.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:03 | 4332552 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

This is a ridiculous statement. Debt especially if used for productive purposes can be very beneficial and even severe debt can be discharged through personal bankruptcy in the US except student loans.

In slavery, your opinion and in some cases your life is completely irrelevant especially if there is an ample supply of labor can quickly replace a discarded or useless slave.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:29 | 4332611 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

"In slavery, your opinion and in some cases your life is completely irrelevant especially if there is an ample supply of labor can quickly replace a discarded or useless slave."

Well we do have an ample supply of cheap labor from illegal immigration, so our labor is easily replaceable, and we are cannon fodder in their endless wars, so our life is a bit irrelavant, and they often do rule against the will of the people, so our opinions dont really matter.  I'd say were' almost there.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:45 | 4332663 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

If you seriously think that, your deluded. Being a slave means your opinion on any pertinent issue is irrelevant. A much closer representation is a women in rural India who grows up and is at the whim of her father before she marries (often in a prearranged marriage where she has no input) and afterwards her husband. That is a life of slavery.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:52 | 4332679 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Relax, I was being facetious.  You however, actually equate a woman living in India, with an actual slave.  That's being deluded, deluded by feminist propaganda.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:33 | 4332816 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

In that situation, yeah it largely is. 

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:31 | 4332615 pods
pods's picture

Debt is a plantation that you cannot see, smell, or touch.

A Matrix if you will.

And that is magnitudes worse than simple chattel slavery.

 "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe that they are free."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:54 | 4332688 john39
john39's picture

Debt= Free range human farming.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:07 | 4332730 machineh
machineh's picture

Obamacare = subsidized antibiotics for fence-pastured human livestock.

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 01:29 | 4333284 NickVegas
NickVegas's picture

I think we need to get the debtors prisons fired up. If things get tough, I want someone willing to fight to pay their debts. Incarcerate with public money, those who will not pay their "lawful" debts. Teach em a lesson, the taste of the cat-of-nine, a shackled train car to hell.

If this is true, well, how many times can you say that, before, well, I'm not sure at this point.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 23:09 | 4332931 bilejones
bilejones's picture

So you have found a way to discharge tax debt through bankruptcy?

Do tell.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:37 | 4332471 chunga
chunga's picture

Some day I hope these 10 people are forced to defend this land of "theirs".

How does it go again?

"We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off."


Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:59 | 4332908 anomalous
anomalous's picture

So being wealthy is now a bad thing?

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 23:17 | 4332966 Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

If said wealth is amassed through crime, like virtually all current "wealthbuilding" is, then yes.


Any other stupid questions?

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 10:42 | 4333850 anomalous
anomalous's picture

Dr. Benway, that is a pretty narrow view painted with a pretty broad brush. I wonder if there may be a place for you helping Barry distribute Escalades in the poorer parts of town - on account of fairness.

Do you not know anyone who has succeeded through hard work?

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:38 | 4332476 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

The top ten will own it all some day.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:43 | 4332497 The Abstraction...
The Abstraction of Justice's picture

Once you add the Rothschild Sassoons to that list you will see they already do.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:05 | 4332555 Cacete de Ouro
Cacete de Ouro's picture

And in the red corner, the Rothschilds, wealthy beyond reason, and vastly vastly more wealthy than one would credit...

that was the time to disappear, to fade into the shadows, for we are too too wealthy. If the populace knew we have our fingers in every pie, that we financed who the dickens knows, from palm oil to tin to railroads to Brazilian coffee to the Transvaal, why it would be curtains for us; that is why we have moved out of the limelight...

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:51 | 4332525 Professorlocknload
Professorlocknload's picture

Yeah, buzz,,,but will they be able to keep it?

I mean, only 10 targets, and a couple million hunters?

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 12:57 | 4334262 viahj
viahj's picture

exactly.  they only "own" this property as long as we all go along with the current fascist fiat system.  true ownership is defined by being able to hold.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:44 | 4332499 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

Obviously, Rhode Island needs to expand.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:45 | 4332501 Catullus
Catullus's picture

You don't really make any money on buying undeveloped land, doing nothing with it, and selling it. So that there's this group of investors continuing to buy up large swaths of land and not concerning themselves with ROI tells me these people are morons and are going to take a bath on this. It is most certainly not a deposit box with a view. It's a piece of land in the middle of no where. Any prospective buyer is going to ask themselves "what can I do with that land and what's it going to cost me?" Then they'll discount that cost and put a bid in. By in large, you're not going to perform better than inflation. And if the discount rate increase (interest rate goes up), that buyer is going to lower their price. So being that these are the lowest interest rates in human history, this is not the time to be sitting on undeveloped land.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:02 | 4332549 sluggo
sluggo's picture

Better than sitting on a pile of fiat when SHTF!

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:12 | 4332566 Catullus
Catullus's picture

Very true. But that can be said of nearly every asset that depreciates very slowly. Also what good is having a paper claim to a land area the size of Delaware when the SHTF?

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:47 | 4332860 scrappy
scrappy's picture

Agreed and agreed.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:22 | 4332587 Ranger4564
Ranger4564's picture

Yes, as the population increases, if there is any form of capacity for savings, then more and more people will want to own a portion of that land. You just have to wait and it will become more valuable as demand increases.

It all depends on whether there is an economy which facilitates a reasonable salary allowing savings. For more people, the answer presently seems to be no, they're primarily in debt.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:47 | 4332668 ceilidh_trail
ceilidh_trail's picture

Timber rights, mineral rights, crops, livestock, conservation easements... all types of ways big land pays.

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 07:57 | 4333553 Catullus
Catullus's picture

Oh shit. I forgot about that. Scratch my earlier comment, I guess the land doesn't need to be developed, or tilled, or felled. I guess that all just magically happens when you buy land. And it's never already priced in when you buy from the previous seller

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 23:13 | 4336590 BigSpruce
BigSpruce's picture

They are hardly buying undeveloped land and doing nothing with it. Using Malone as an example, a large portion of his lands were formerly owned by GMO ( Jeremy Grantham). These lands, are located in Northern NH and Western Maine , contiguous, unencumbered and have a  contracted  fibers supply agreement ( for the lower value pulpwood) with a very large pulp/paper mill in Jay Maine. Higher value wood products are sold to the highest bidder to numerous sawmills throughout Maine and Quebec.These lands are being managed and harvested, daily, under the oversight of a large forestry company named AFM. In short Mr. Malone  is making money hand over fist from this land.

As for the Irving family- they utilize cutting edge scientific forestry to manage their timber for the highest return. They are a privately held vertically integrated behemoth- with operations in Eastern Canada and a few mills in Maine. The bulk of their land holdings are in Maine. Their time horizon is 100 years down the road a philosophy that has guided the company from its earliest days and one that differentiates them from most large corporations. Its theorized they are one of the richest families in the world. Ultra secretive  - very little is truly known about how much they are really worth. 

You implied in your post Catullus that interest rates affect the acquisition price. Hate to break the news to you but the people buying undeveloped land of this size are not using credit. The only people that rely on  bank credit to buy timberland are chumps - and they usually end up broke. Trust me I've seen it time and time again. The successful ones use cash or private credit/partnerships.


Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:52 | 4332520 Cacete de Ouro
Cacete de Ouro's picture

The Queen of Buckingham Palace, aka Lizzy Windsor, aka ruler of the srfs in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, aka Regina deus ex machina, aka Lizzy the baby eating luzard, owns about 1/6 of the earth, according to her lawyers (due to the commonwealth thing don't ya know).....
So put that in your pipe and smoke it...

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:54 | 4332891 scrappy
scrappy's picture

She might not have been inauguated on the real "Stone of Destiny" which is Gods' favor, the Windsors probably never really "had it"

Elizabeth II's Achilles' Heel

The Lia Fail - Bethel - Stone of Destiny - Jacob's Pillar.



Tue, 01/14/2014 - 23:24 | 4332531 One And Only
One And Only's picture

Wealth (fiat, commodities, land, real-estate, etc) will ALWAYS be concentrated in the hands of a few.

There are two distinctions to this axiom: i. it is owned by the state; ii. it is owned by individuals.

With that being said there is a system where everything can be owned equally amongst everyone; from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs. Where everyone consumes equally and everyone produces equally and efficiently.

Civilization has always argued as to which of these three paradigms is correct. History has shown us how these three have worked. Time will be the final arbiter.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 20:55 | 4332537 no more banksters
no more banksters's picture

Which means more than 147,000 square km? This is roughly the size of Bangladesh or Nepal!

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:01 | 4332547 Deer Hunter
Deer Hunter's picture

So What? If I want to hunt their land, I will. They can pay the tax, I'll kill the game.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:03 | 4332551 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

The world is on the fast track to the past. I still remember family stories passsed down from our older generations. Stories of life in Sweden in the days of the aristocracy and landed gentry. Stories of being tenant farmers on the gentry's land, you work then you hand over a good deal of your harvest. In my families home village, there are still one or two great manor houses of the gentry, and the great farm buildings of their estates are in many cases still around, being built of brick and great stones.

I was told that great poverty was the norm, that great conflict resulted as the long fight to knock the elite off their perches took place. It was sometimes bloody. In any case, the majority of their land and power was taken away, and replaced with social democracy. Most Swedes, including my family, prefer this new system, to what their great grandfathers lived under. It seems in many countries the new elites are moving forward to restore aristocracy again. Government is firmly under their control, so I expect them to regain those lost powers, land and wealth. I can say, this will not go good for the little people, prepare to be crushed.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:47 | 4332655 Mempo of Twilight
Mempo of Twilight's picture

This is an inevitable result of capitalism. The haves will always work to expand their fortune and they will be able to do so faster than the have-nots. As the time goes on the inequality will only get more extreme and it will not just be a matter of material wealth, the have-nots will also see the loss of their freedom and liberties as they no longer have the clout to defend them.

This process can only be stopped or reversed by war/ revolution, problem is they are both extremely unpleasant, so the reset won’t happen until the plebs think they can’t take it anymore but it will eventually as it did many times before, until then the cycle continues as usual.

There is an alternative to this endless cycle, which is communism. But communism almost ensures one form of totalitarianism or another meaning the solution comes at a cost greater then the problem that it is supposed to solve. So for all intents and purposes capitalism is still the lesser of two evils.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:59 | 4332708 prains
prains's picture

ALL the "isms" are trumped by one thing.....human nature......sharing is always trumped by greed, Oligarchs are the one constant in the history of human civilization through all the different attempts at some kind of "ism" be it multi-god or singular,

the Oligarch always rules supreme and will continue to do so, Revolution only clears the deck for a new set of Oli-spawn

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 01:34 | 4333294 NickVegas
NickVegas's picture

For reasons dimly understood, history as we know it, is written about the shitty parts of human civilization. The long, prosperous advancing periods, hmmm, couple of lines maybe. The programming runs deep.

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 11:20 | 4333959 PrecipiceWatching
PrecipiceWatching's picture



Needs to be repeated often.

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 05:50 | 4333484 One of We
One of We's picture

A shitty excuse for a Swede; you sound like a Frenchman. Guessing you've got a good dose or Nord blood close in the veins you surrender monkey....

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:03 | 4332553 Whoa Dammit
Whoa Dammit's picture

I would much rather have these folks owning the land and keeping it as wilderness and ranches than to have Pulte hovels and Big Box retail built all over it.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:04 | 4332556 gwar5
gwar5's picture

I hope they neeeee-ver forget to pay their yearly property taxes. 


BTW, the government is moving to lay claim to everything, including private land, because they claim all the water resources and contend any adjoining land is part of their  runnoff for the water. California farmers and 50K workers already got booted over a 4 inch fish. Agenda 21. 

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:14 | 4332752 machineh
machineh's picture

Likewise, N.J. expropriated all development rights on 400,000 acres to 'protect the watersheds' of lakes that supply Newark and Jersey City.

No compensation to the property owners, who lost 50-80% of their land value.

So the peasants have no bread? Why, let them grow Christmas trees!

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 00:52 | 4332973 scrappy
scrappy's picture

Maritime Law - Gold Fringed flags

    A Sick Corporate Illusion

       Start studying!

For Instance , The Doctrine of Laches!

I bet a Jury doesn't know what a Gold Fringed Flag means. Educate them in a calm manner. Prove it.

Ask the Judge in open court, Is this an Admiralty Court?

I noticed the flag, your honor.

We need Contitutional Courts, not Maritime.

God help us, the deck is truly stacked.

A quick story.

I was recently in my local municipal court for a probate matter.

 The town hall itself is on the historic register , love New England for history and preservation, (at least they do good at that)!

In front of me, the gold fringed flag.

To the right, on the wall under glass, an original 13 star flag with NO FRINGE, truly authentic, loose cotton stitching, beautiful, I could not help myself...

I just kept looking at it... thinking about freedom.

Thinking about TRUE JUSTICE, my personal goal.

Let's expose this shit!



Wed, 01/15/2014 - 23:16 | 4336620 BigSpruce
BigSpruce's picture

Its definitely a real threat. Being implemented gradually - every year the reach grows longer - I have noticed.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:08 | 4332558 proLiberty
proLiberty's picture

Let us start this conversation by acknowledging that the US government still holds a tremendous amount of land that it could release for sale. It owns more than 50% of the land west of the Mississippi River including 84% of Nevada. Moreover, it does not pay the normal state and local taxes on that land while excluding much use that a private landowner would normally make of his own land.

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 00:08 | 4333112 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

I would much rather they sell the US to it's citizens rather than sell Yellowstone to the Chinese

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 05:43 | 4333479 One of We
One of We's picture

I've been camping,  hunting, fishing, pissing, and shitting on "federal" land since I can remember. Molon labe....

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 23:20 | 4336634 BigSpruce
BigSpruce's picture

Thats the real outrage. A  financially and morally bankrupt entity is the largest landowner in the US. Only in 21st century Amerikka is there nary a peep about it. Instead we incite class warfare by publishing some stupid article about a handfull of billionaires owning less than 2% of the country. Ahh red meat for the proles - its what sells!

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:35 | 4332567 deflator
deflator's picture

Check out Green Bay Packaging, the owners of the Green bay Packers of Wisconsin and their land holdings.


 Guess who's makin' boatloads off of fracking royalties? Guess who is lending the "money" for fracking? The FED...

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:14 | 4332571 muleskinner
muleskinner's picture

I ain't pissed.  

He kept sayin', more land, more land, so I kicked in the nuts and gave him a couple of acres.

Who gives a shit if somebody wants to 'own' 2.2 million acres?  You're not an owner, you're an idiot.

2.2 million acres and all of it will do no good except to find a place to bury you.  Divided by 640, it is 3437.5 square miles of land.  You're a pure lunatic to even want to own that much land.  You're a bona fide nut.  Just another dumbass wandering around with no place to go.  You won't know if you are afoot or horseback.  You'll be the horse's ass.   

There is a county in Montana named Petroleum.  I wonder how it got its name.

If you have ever seen Montana, then you know that it is a huge state.

Land north of Butte is desolate and copper mining has made some of it useless.

You don't want to be stranded in Montana, even in the summertime.  Out there where the Crazies are towering is a long way from anywhere in the middle of nowhere. 

The elevation is a factor in agriculture and it is one tough row to hoe out there.  Big Bud tractors weren't born there because all you needed was a riding lawnmower.  525 horsepower with a 500 gallon fuel tank burning 5 gallons an hour.  Something to see and not soon forgotten.

CM Russell's sketch of starving cattle in a Montana winter tells 1000 words.

The capitol building in Helena has a copper dome.  A great setting for a capitol building, for sure.

A good acre of land intensively farmed will yield one helluva lot of good food.




Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:28 | 4332606 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Yup and one of the more interesting books I ever read was on the history of Anaconda Copper and its impact on Montana's history for nearly a century.Z

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:42 | 4332845 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

And look how a big chunk of the money made on Montana copper ended up - a reclusive, child-like heir who spent the last decades of her life living anonymously in NYC hospitals, pbsessed with her doll collection and seemingly manipulated by all those around her.



Tue, 01/14/2014 - 23:54 | 4333068 W74
W74's picture

Quality is better than Quantity.

Siberia has a lot of land too, and what isn't ridiculously cold (I'm in Colorado by the way, most of the state is closer to Mexico than it is to Canada) is poorly drained boglands with an intense Mosquito problem when the arctic wind isn't blowing.

Been to Montana (42 of our states, actually, and MT is one of the most beautiful) and it takes a day to drive east-west.  Not much to do there but drive long distances and drink (I think that's a statistic there too) unless you like hiking mountains.

But yeah, speaking of intensive farming...that's one reason so many Asian countries are so populated.  You can grow a lot of calories worth of rice and multiple harvests per year on only a fraction of an acre. But you have to work it, all day every day.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:17 | 4332581 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Tend to bet this is actually historically not that large especially in the early days of the initial colonies especially in the South or the later 19th century when interrelated trusts held by railroad companies and umbrella companies owned obscene amounts of land.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 21:23 | 4332590 q99x2
q99x2's picture

On Q99X2 we have 12 pyramids for each of the months. That would make enough sacrifices for 10 of them.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:02 | 4332714 Duc888
Duc888's picture




They just rent it.  Tell them to stop paying property taxes on the land.


Then you see who really owns the land. 

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:20 | 4332770 the0ther
the0ther's picture

So let's raise taxes on it until they feel the pain.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:24 | 4332783 Dapper Dan
Dapper Dan's picture

most of Malones land is in Maine, covered in snow and ice 9 months of the year,

Maine has two seasons, winter and getting ready for winter.

Some engineers from the U.S.G.S. surveyed some property and found that in a area, the New Hampshire and Maine border must be changed. They stopped to inform a farmer that he was no longer in Maine, but in New Hampshire.

After a long pause, he grunted and said, "That's good. I couldn't take another one of these Maine winters."

Q: What do you call a good looking girl on the University of Maine campus?
A: A visitor.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 23:17 | 4332964 Tod E. Tosspot
Tod E. Tosspot's picture

I've been to Japan

I've been to Spain

The women are ugly

In Bangor, Maine

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 23:44 | 4333043 W74
W74's picture

Cute little airport they have in Bangor Maine.  I believe it's "international" too.  Must cost a fortune keeping the runways plowed and de-iced though.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 22:26 | 4332790 Stinko da Munk
Stinko da Munk's picture

I just wish they would keep their lawn mowed.

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