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Author Topic: Can geo-libertarianism even be called libertarianism?  (Read 73636 times)

Terry 1956

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Re:Can geo-libertarianism even be called libertarianism?
« Reply #315 on: December 24, 2003, 03:22:38 pm »

Mike and Bill,

I think you are both seeing valid factors contributing to the family's distress.

RS

Interestingly I am advocating that all land that have site value pay the LVT no matter what but I am not exactly sure what Mike is advocating...that "greens" should not be allowed to do what they want with land that they purchased?

I have also admitted that anytime land is taken "out of production" it effects those on the margins the most. Mike on the otherhand, to the best of my knowledge, has never even admitted that there is such a thing as economic rent...

This sounds a little bit like the "AnCap allows Geo-Lib but Geo-Lib doesn't allow AnCap" argument which Geo-Libs have already shown to be false...

Also, I am making the case that the system I advocate will significantly reduce rents and land prices "in situ" alllowing folks to remain where they are today whereas Mike's system advocates people move to the "frontier"...
                                                                         
  I understand where Mike was coming from and I don't think he would say that Greens should not be able to exclude people from their land but it seems so often it is the upper middle class and the rich wanting vast areas of land excluded from human use, except of course in cases where they want to gain the wilderness experience.

Well, if there is no violation of human rights associated with exclusive title to land when no equivalent unclaimed land exists, then there is no violation of human rights if Bill Gates buys all the dry land in the US and asks all of us to please leave... swim if necessary.   Nor is it any violation of human rights if he purchased the entire globe and gave the human population 24hrs to leave on pain of death.   Of course, that contradicts classical liberal thinkers like Jefferson and Locke, but not neolibertarian anarchists like Rothbard.

RS

It would be very unwise to sell the world to one  person or one company. Of course that is what some Georgist ( although not Geolibertarians) propose with a world government even a democrat of simple majority would be a company. 3.6 billon would rule over 2.4 billion, even a super majority of 90% would give a good chance of 600 million getting screwed.    It would be better to have a lot more widespread ownership of land  as well as a lot more diverse ownership of publicly traded stock corporations.          
      If one person bought the whole world due to tecnical problems he could not demand anyone leave except for maybe a few but even that would take more than 24 hours.                                                                  
   Jefferson, Locke, Rothbard  Rand are far from being gods and they got important things wrong. Jefferson was a slaveowner and he engaged in a few unconstitutional acts while President and tended to be wishy washy on his stands.
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Terry 1956

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Re:Can geo-libertarianism even be called libertarianism?
« Reply #316 on: December 24, 2003, 03:29:58 pm »

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On the other hand, I tend to agree with you on the point about huge tracts of land being held off the market needing to be assessed an LVT.  Such a rent could not exist unless there are actual scarcity conditions being caused however, and I think you have to determine that locally -- the homeless family in Manhattan is not homeless because of a national park in Wyoming.

I agree...here in Concord there are huge areas of land in some very desirable location that are owned by the state that should absolutely be paying LVT!!!

Any regulation imposed or land held out of production (for whatever reason) DOES impact the folks on the margin - the less economically advantaged...there is no doubt and I have publically stated as much in my volunteer work on the housing committee of the Concord Masterplan group.

ROFL!  Sheesh, Bill, now you got me - Yes, I want my Citizens Dividend if the government is going to pay LVT on ALL of its holdings! Gimme my share!  I got Rights dang it!  LOL

I think you found a chink...

michael
Fixed assets  of the government for 2001 was valued at over 9 trillion but this included buildings, equipment etc, Roads and streets were valued at over a trillion dollars. I really think the  federal government undervalues its fixed assets but  that is understandable. Rumsfield said before 9/11 that DOD probally could not account for over 2 trillion in spending. The DOD is just one department.
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Terry 1956

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Re:Can geo-libertarianism even be called libertarianism?
« Reply #317 on: December 24, 2003, 03:34:19 pm »

Todd or Bill,
quick question:
ok, you separate land value from the labor-based improvements on that land.  Got me thinking:

raw plot of land sells for X.  person puts house on it, it costs him Y.  so he is taxed only on the X, right?  

But doesn't the mere fact of him building a house on the property increase the value of the property due to its proximity to said building?

so the new property value is: X+(fraction of Y) = NewX

so does he get taxed on X or NewX?

michael

In addition, is it possible to separate the land from the improvement? ie: in above situation, can owner sell the house to one person and sell the property to another?



It does, as well as pruning the trees, making a level building spot, encouraging birds by planting certain trees etc.
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Terry 1956

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Re:Can geo-libertarianism even be called libertarianism?
« Reply #318 on: December 24, 2003, 03:55:18 pm »

Michael, this is is a good thought.

Although I've already demonstrated to Bill, et al' that it's actually impossible to seperate the value of the raw land from the developements anyway. -- For the simple fact that every piece of land in America has already been developed in some way some how. And we really don't know what the "raw Value" of the land was worth "way back then." You'd need to go back to a time before the native American's even. They certainly developed land that they lived on, and took care of the forests, etc.

Tracy

yup, Tracy, its a quagmire of rules, regulations, exceptions, assessors, and bureaucracy... totally against Akams<sp> Razor...

michael
                                                                           
  Lets put it this way US farmland averages about 1,500 a acre. There are 80 people to the square mile. There are 640 acres per square mile, thats 8 acres per person, 24 acres for a family of 4, thats 36,000. The average home today cost 160,000. A 20% downpayment would just about buy the 24 acres instead of a big home on a quarter to half acre lot. Most Americans it appears would rather have the big house and the small lot. They probally pay more for their two cars and the Living room furniture than they could pay for a small farm.                                                  
  Ken Burns story of the Old West had an interesting piece of a couple that owned a sheep ranch, they lived in a sheep wagon for  awhile, they built up their flock, lost much of it in a flood, they started over, lost it again and started again.
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Tracy Saboe

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Re:Can geo-libertarianism even be called libertarianism?
« Reply #319 on: December 25, 2003, 06:21:58 am »

I'm not a Geolibertarian but I am for IP as long as its an agreement of sale not a government grant.

That's fine. Their isn't anything wrong with it as far as contractual law is capible of enforcing it.

Tracy
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Tracy Saboe

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Re:Can geo-libertarianism even be called libertarianism?
« Reply #320 on: December 25, 2003, 06:31:02 am »

                                                       
  Lets put it this way US farmland averages about 1,500 a acre. There are 80 people to the square mile. There are 640 acres per square mile, thats 8 acres per person, 24 acres for a family of 4, thats 36,000. The average home today cost 160,000. A 20% downpayment would just about buy the 24 acres instead of a big home on a quarter to half acre lot. Most Americans it appears would rather have the big house and the small lot. They probally pay more for their two cars and the Living room furniture than they could pay for a small farm.                                                  
  Ken Burns story of the Old West had an interesting piece of a couple that owned a sheep ranch, they lived in a sheep wagon for  awhile, they built up their flock, lost much of it in a flood, they started over, lost it again and started again.

Yup, and if you got rid of all the zoning laws, and farming subsidies, their might even be some incentive for farmers to sell lower quality farming land for housing developement. As it is now, Corporate farmers buy up huge tracts of land, for the sole purpose of getting government subsidise. These lands for the most part, are quite difficult to farm on compaired to traditional farmland.

Heck, if we got rid of the protectionism, perhaps allot more farmland even would be converted for housing developement, because americans would then be allowed to purchase food from overseas (for a good third/seventh the price.)

Perhaps with-out federal subsidies and protectionism, you might see some people going back to a subsistance level farming. Perhaps not, regardless. Government interfearence definetly increases the cost of land much more then it would be.

Anyway,

Tracy Saboe
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We agree that "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action." --George Washington

Jack Conway

Conway Supports Obamacare
Conway Supports Cap and Trade
Conway Supports Abortion
Conway’s Utilities Rate Hike Scandal
Conway is in Bed with Big Pharma
Conway is Backed by Wall Street Bankers

Terry 1956

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Re:Can geo-libertarianism even be called libertarianism?
« Reply #321 on: December 25, 2003, 12:38:34 pm »

                                                       
  Lets put it this way US farmland averages about 1,500 a acre. There are 80 people to the square mile. There are 640 acres per square mile, thats 8 acres per person, 24 acres for a family of 4, thats 36,000. The average home today cost 160,000. A 20% downpayment would just about buy the 24 acres instead of a big home on a quarter to half acre lot. Most Americans it appears would rather have the big house and the small lot. They probally pay more for their two cars and the Living room furniture than they could pay for a small farm.                                                  
  Ken Burns story of the Old West had an interesting piece of a couple that owned a sheep ranch, they lived in a sheep wagon for  awhile, they built up their flock, lost much of it in a flood, they started over, lost it again and started again.

Yup, and if you got rid of all the zoning laws, and farming subsidies, their might even be some incentive for farmers to sell lower quality farming land for housing developement. As it is now, Corporate farmers buy up huge tracts of land, for the sole purpose of getting government subsidise. These lands for the most part, are quite difficult to farm on compaired to traditional farmland.

Heck, if we got rid of the protectionism, perhaps allot more farmland even would be converted for housing developement, because americans would then be allowed to purchase food from overseas (for a good third/seventh the price.)

Perhaps with-out federal subsidies and protectionism, you might see some people going back to a subsistance level farming. Perhaps not, regardless. Government interfearence definetly increases the cost of land much more then it would be.

Anyway,

Tracy Saboe
                                                                           
  Another thing that would help people have more wide spread landownership is repealing federal investment  and tax laws. A  real estate investment trust must pay out  all profits in dividens each year. REITS could be one way people in urban areas could own  more land. Also the IRS and SEC determines what a  for profit group is and is not. Urban REIT investors might perfer to make a nominal profit each year plow it back into operation and have access to the lands produce for food, recreaction, building materials etc. instead of the quarterly dividen.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2003, 03:38:02 pm by Terry 1956 »
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Terry 1956

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Re:Can geo-libertarianism even be called libertarianism?
« Reply #322 on: December 25, 2003, 03:32:53 pm »

                                                       
  Lets put it this way US farmland averages about 1,500 a acre. There are 80 people to the square mile. There are 640 acres per square mile, thats 8 acres per person, 24 acres for a family of 4, thats 36,000. The average home today cost 160,000. A 20% downpayment would just about buy the 24 acres instead of a big home on a quarter to half acre lot. Most Americans it appears would rather have the big house and the small lot. They probally pay more for their two cars and the Living room furniture than they could pay for a small farm.                                                  
  Ken Burns story of the Old West had an interesting piece of a couple that owned a sheep ranch, they lived in a sheep wagon for  awhile, they built up their flock, lost much of it in a flood, they started over, lost it again and started again.

Yup, and if you got rid of all the zoning laws, and farming subsidies, their might even be some incentive for farmers to sell lower quality farming land for housing developement. As it is now, Corporate farmers buy up huge tracts of land, for the sole purpose of getting government subsidise. These lands for the most part, are quite difficult to farm on compaired to traditional farmland.

Heck, if we got rid of the protectionism, perhaps allot more farmland even would be converted for housing developement, because americans would then be allowed to purchase food from overseas (for a good third/seventh the price.)

Perhaps with-out federal subsidies and protectionism, you might see some people going back to a subsistance level farming. Perhaps not, regardless. Government interfearence definetly increases the cost of land much more then it would be.

Anyway,

Tracy Saboe
                                                                           
  The largest landowner in my county is the TVA, the second largest is a English Paper mill firm. The first a federal agency should go to local control. On the second it would be interesting to see if hemp was legal how much the need for plup wood would go down.
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MrVoluntarist

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Re:Can geo-libertarianism even be called libertarianism?
« Reply #323 on: January 06, 2004, 05:47:37 pm »

I know, long delay for responding, but I figured some people might still want to know my response so...

First of all, the mere claim to the unextracted oil carries what you call the scarcity rent.

False. Scarcity rent refers to being charged for mere access to a geographic location, not to being charged a fee for extracting something from that location.

Well, a subset of extraction rights is the right to physically move into the geographical location, so I am correct to say that such a claim has a scarcity rent embedded in it.

Not according to the real esate books I've read you're not. Consider, for instance, the following quote:

....

Thus, the person who charges a rental fee for accessing the surface land is not necessarily the same person who charges a royalty fee for extracting the underlying resource -- hence my point about one not being (by definition) a "subset" of the other, and hence my reason for treating these issues separately.

Okay, but that's not what I was saying at all, and in fact, I would be really stupid to say that if you sell someone extraction rights, you're also always selling them the right to live on plots on the surface.  So let me try again:

"Extraction rights" refers to the following bundle of rights:

1) Ownership of whatever resource you can pull out
2) right to perform action that pulls out resource
3) right to go to place where 2) takes place for the purpose of doing 2)

Number 3) is the "mere right to access" that part of the world.  Therefore extraction rights have an integral, inseparable scarcity rent included in them.  To put this in context of the broader point I was trying to make, since this thread is so hard to follow, this proves my point that a claim to an (known) unexploited resource has independent value, which is the impetus behind exploration and discovery of the resource.  Taxing this value, which as I've shown includes a scarcity rent, discourages that activity.  (I'll handle your last minute attempt to rectify this problem later, where you propose one.)

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That, again, is why royalty rights are assigned to under ground resources, but not to the ground itself.

I thought geoists used "scarcity rent" to refer to the rent accruing to any "nature-given" resource, be it real estate or natural resources.

Well, first of all, in the interest of clarity, it's important to bear in mind that "real estate" refers not just to land but to improvements on land, and geoists do not apply the concept of economic rent to improvements. Second, while it is true that, in a broad sense, income received in exchange for granting someone else permission to extract a resource from its natural location is "rent" (since such income is a not a return to either labor or capital, making it a return to land by default), it is also true -- as I demonstrated above -- that the right to levy royalty charges on under ground resources can be (and sometimes is) legally separated from the right to levy rental charges on the ground itself. And the reason, it would seem, they are separable is that they apply to two different activities -- one being the extraction of a natural resource from a particular location, the other being the mere occupation of that location. So while both incomes qualify as "rent" in the general, classical economic sense of the term, the income derived from said royalty charges is a different kind of rent. Thus, unless a geoist states explicitly that he's applying the term "rent" to natural resource extraction, it's usually safe to assume he's referring specifically to location rents.

I guess then, in a sense you agree I was right.  But my argument, that the unexploited claim to a resource has independent value, was all I was getting at, and I think I've made my point.

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Consider the following example. Company B purchases from Company A a royalty right to a given oil reserve discovered decades ago. (Company A's cost of discovering the reserve was recaputured long before its transaction with Company B). Armed with this right, Company B proceeds to charge Company C a royalty fee for the oil it extracts from that reserve. Is Company C thereby discouraged from extracting the oil in the first place? If not, why not?

C is encouraged relative to some uses of their specialties and discouraged relative to others.

And is the reason he is so encouraged because the people he sells the extracted resource to usually pay a much higher price than what he himself paid to extract it?
 If so, then my point about the neutral effect that the diversion of this royalty charge into the public treasury has on the peson paying it, is thereby validated. If he pays the same amount either way, it matters not -- from his standpoint -- who collects it, since his subsequent sale of the extracted resource yields the same profit either way.

It is neutral only from the standpoint of someone trying to profit solely from extracting a known resource (assuming, generously, that the government charges the market price, doesn't take bribes, and doesn't play favorites ::) ).  However, the ease of profit from this method is tightly coupled to the number of known (discovered) resources.  And the number of known resources is a function of how hard they are being sought.  Since taxation of this discourages this part, though not (directly) the extraction, the diversion is not neutral.

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To give a complete answer though, I have to know more about the governmental method to which I am comparing this.  Once the oil was discovered, did the government 1) simply assert rights and kick off the homesteader?  Or 2) did it buy them from him with tax money?  Or did it 3) assess a tax in advance on all discoveries before the oil was found?  Or did it 4) jump in after the discovery and assess a tax?

Assuming the government is operating on geolibertarian principles, it would not claim ownership of the oil reserve, nor would it immediately start taxing him in proportion to the amount of oil he discovered. So long as he does not attempt to prevent others living on nearby land from extracting this oil for themselves, the government would have no business to intervene. But if he requests, and is subsequently issued, a legal document granting him the authority to charge others royalty fees for the oil they extract from this reserve, that is when the government would be justified to impose certain limits on behalf of the people it represents.

Part of the problem is indeed that he doesn't bear the defense cost, yet gets the exclusion benefit.  

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Now, if, in the process of searching for this reserve, the discoverer incurred a discovery cost of, say, one million dollars, then I don't think it would be necessarily unjust for his royalty income to be temporarily exempt from taxation. However, once he has clearly received back from this income more than he ever spent on discovery activities such as drilling, the tax exemption is, in my view, no longer justified.

So you don't think people should be allowed to profit from discovering new resources?  That's what you just said when you think the cutoff point for revenue to the homesteader should be equal to his costs in finding it and getting there.  Since that's your position, can you think of a reason why anyone would look for new resources, since they're always going to break even?

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For what I think are obvious reasons, it would be laughable to say the least to equate the "observation" activities of a 19th century land speculator with the multi-million dollar drilling activities of a 21st century oil company. Compensating someone for drilling costs is one thing; compensating him for sightseeing "costs" is quite another.

At the time finding that land was no obvious or trivial task, and citing hindsight doesn't help your case!  I can imagine that a 24th century version of you would dismiss 21st century asteroid prospecting and mining as "sightseeing" since it's "obvious" that as human civilization exapands, someone will notice the precious metals in the asteroids, so why should people be allowed to profit from mining?  Should the workers get all the dough?
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MrVoluntarist

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Re:Can geo-libertarianism even be called libertarianism?
« Reply #324 on: January 06, 2004, 06:19:31 pm »

Does this mean you disagree with MrVoluntarist's apparent position that land ownership can be justly derived from the mere act of "observing" it before anyone else does? Just curious.

Apparently, it's not enough that you're going to ignore my claims against you that you knowingly deny people the value they contribute to goods

I do no such thing, for the term "goods" refers primarily to labor-products, and I've maintained all along that the very act of producing something is itself the "contribution" that entitles the producer to the "value" of that thing. As for your contrary "claims," they are based on outright distortions of my views. For instance, in a previous post you state:

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If I perform labor (capital-free for simplicity) to transform an X into Y, I have performed y-x worth of labor.  (I'm assuming your premises here; I actually believe such a statement to be meaningless, given subjective value theory.)

You are not assuming "my" premise, because I never claimed this as a premise in the first place. Indeed, in my Geolibertarian FAQ I provide a quote by Henry George that explicitly rejects this premise:

"It is never the amount of labor that has been exerted in bringing a thing into being that determines its value, but always the amount of labor that will be rendered in exchange for it." -- The Science of Political Economy, p. 253

This is no solution at all; it just pushes back the problem.  How is the value of the labor being traded evaluated?  So Henry George recognizes that if a hunk of gold fall into my lap out of the sky, it has a lot of value, even though I did almost nothing to get it.  Good.  But then let's say an even bigger chunk of silver fell into your lap, such that I'd trade my gold hunk for your silver chunk.  Are both now worthless?

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Thus, when it comes the value of "Y," it matters not how much labor was exerted in producing it, but only what someone else is willing to give in exchange for it.

Exactly what I was getting at:  right after I produced it, people would trade y for it.  Next, I did nothing.  Next, people would trade y' (y'>y) for it.  Yet for doing nothing I deserve y'-y?

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As for what entitles the producer to the value of Y (as opposed to the person who values it), it is, again, the fact that Y wouldn't exist in the first place were it not for his labor.

So how far back do you want to chase the chain of causality?  For I, in turn, wouldn't have been able to transform X into Y if someone else hadn't transformed W into X.  Does that mean I owe him the y-x that I produced too, since it ultimately "would not exist" if not for him?

Remember my abstract hypothetical about be reaping a profit for being able to connect a roofer with a contract?  Well, in that case too, the roofer, and not me, was the originating cause of my ability to make that profit, right?  So are you going to change the position you took on that thread and say that he deserved my profit, since without him, it wouldn't even be there?

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Since land itself isn't a labor-product, those who believe that the value of land belongs exclusively to titleholders routinely twist themselves into pretzels to equate the mere "discovery" or "observation" of land with the production of labor-products.

I'm not twisting into pretzels.  You've probably just never encountered someone who could point out a negative impact of an LVT, and probably hadn't considered this yourself.

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In doing so, they are saying, in effect, that because Land Parcel A was "discovered" by Person A in 1803 instead of by Person B in 1804, anyone who possesses Person A's title in 2003 is entitled to all of the value of that attaches to that land as a result of the presence and activity of the surrounding community. This, of course, makes absolutely no sense,

Just as it "makes no sense" that someone who bought, hell, "refined" oil in 1880 is entitled to the additional value that (as it so happened) attaches as a result of other entrepreneurs who were successful with petroleum-requiring goods.

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because it assumes that the community itself would not be making use of the land surrounding Land Parcel A had Person A not "observed" it in 1803.

Oh, they would, but it doesn't rely on the assumption they wouldn't.  But their use would come at a cost to other improvements that could have been made, and by holding it off the market, and, thereby, letting someone else use the money he spent on it and bearing the risk, he helped ensure that there wouldn't be waste in having to destroy a permanent improvement to make room for hte better one they could have put there if only they had waited some time.

Go ahead and laugh.  Call this a pretzel justification for treating land as any other property.  But if you understood specualtion, you wouldn't be laughing so hard.

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you have to dig yourself deeper by putting words into my mouth.  Never did I claim that any first observation of any new resource justifies ownership.

Did you not essentially claim that the value of a land parcel belongs exclusively to whoever currently possesses the title that was issued to the first person to "observe" the land parcel itself?

No, I did not; I specifically pointed to the various degrees of observation: from observing that the earth is round, to observing that there's another side, to observing that there is solid ground on that side, to observing that is it possible to get there, etc etc etc.  However, I do hold that, except for absurd, unfeasible dileneations, there's not much difference in where the line is drawn, as long as it's consistent over time.  If the homesteading standard were mere detection of existence, that would just make things get claimed earlier, not guarantee profits for anyone.
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