Friday, December 22, 2017

Extremely Rich Americans Are Protecting Wealth With Land

Extremely Rich Americans Are Protecting Wealth With Land

...”over the past decade, the nation's wealthiest private landowners have been laying claim to ever-larger tracts of the countryside... in 2007, the nation's 100 largest private landowners owned a combined 27 million acres of land. A decade later, the 100 largest landowners have holdings of 40.2 million acres, an increase of nearly 50 percent.

Those rising numbers represent the growing appeal of land as an asset class. The stock market has been on a tear in recent years, and some wealthy individuals have been looking to cash out and park their assets in a safe place. That's where land comes in. Paper fortunes appear and vanish in the span of days on Wall Street, but land isn't going anywhere.
Investors are particularly interested in productive land — property that can be used to raise cattle, mine minerals, produce timber or grow crops. Like stocks, income and wealth in general, land ownership is tightly concentrated among the upper class.

In 2016, the wealthiest 1 percent of households owned 40 percent of the nation's non-home real estate, while the next 9 percent of households owned another 42 percent.
That left the remaining 90 percent of households owning just 18 percent of the country's non-home real estate.

The nation's largest private landowner is telecom baron John Malone, with 2.2 million acres. Ted Turner is No. 2 on the list, with an even 2 million acres...
The median holdings of the top 100 landowners rose from 160,000 acres to 250,000 acres over that time period.... Many wealthy individuals shield their purchases via trusts, shell companies and other corporate structures.

Properties currently on the market include the Agua Fria Ranch in Texas, where $15.2 million will get you 23,482 acres, including “almost the entire Agua Fria Mountain range.”
Other enormous chunks of land currently for sale include:
24 mountain peaks outside Salt Lake City for $39 million; a 7,000-acre Georgia estate on the market for the first time in the history of the republic;and, T. Boone Pickens's Mesa Vista ranch in Texas, where $250 million will net you 64,000 acres of the Texas Panhandle.

Eighty percent of us live on 3 percent of the United States. Large swaths of privately owned land are beyond comprehension because they are simply beyond the horizon.”

One Fourth of American Christians Believe in Reincarnation

“According to data released by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (2009 survey), not only do a quarter of Americans believe in reincarnation, but 24 percent of American Christians expressed a belief in reincarnation. This represents a significant deviation from the traditional Judaeo-Christian narrative with which most Americans in the baby-boomer generation grew up. You were born. You lived. You died. And after a judgment you went to heaven or hell forever.
The word “reincarnation” derives from Latin and literally means “entering the flesh again.” The conviction is that an imperishable principle (soul) exists in every human being and comes back on this earth after death in a new form. The fate of every person in this life and in future lives is determined by the consequences of good or bad actions in the past or present (karma)”...

My Comment: Fundamentalists of the three Abrahamic religions cannot generally be expected to believe in reincarnation. Indeed, even the fundamentalists of the Hindu religion don’t understand reincarnation and have distorted views (e.g., that a person can be reincarnated as an animal). Fundamentalists think at a basic level and have not progressed in their spiritual understanding. Thus, they really heavily on religious dictates.

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