A Modest Proposal: Sell Nevada

Alex Tabarrok wonders whether the U.S. should sell some of its massive land holdings to help pay for its latest binge, with more surely to come. Conceptually, it’s interesting. I and others like John Rutledge have long argued that we need to look at total U.S. assets when doing any macroeconomic analysis. This would include potential trillions worth of federal lands. But it’s not clear the government would actually have to sell the land to reap the gain. Merely owning it is useful collateral for issuing more debt. On the other hand, getting more land into private hands might be a good thing in and of itself.

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