May 14, 2016

"Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a bill to hand out hectares of land free of charge in Russia's Far East in a bid to attract people to the vast region."

"Under the law, Russian citizens can receive a one-hectare land plot owned by state or municipal authorities in such regions of the Far East as Sakha-Yakutia, Kamchatka, Primorye, Khabarovsk, Amur, Magadan, Sakhalin, the Jewish Autonomous Region, and Chukotka."

45 comments:

YoungHegelian said...

There's a reason they won't even be able to give these lands away.

Years ago, I had a young woman from Sakhalin Island house sit for me while I went away for Christmas to visit family. When she came by to get the key & get the directions for what needed to be done for the cats, it was a cold (low 40's), dreary day with a misty rain of teeny-tiny droplets that got everywhere.

As she was leaving the house she said to me: "See this weather. This is Sakhalin Island in June".

I instantly understood why the US of A & a future American hubby looked like such a good deal.

Paddy O said...

worked for the Great American Desert.

Unknown said...

YoungHegelian, you sound like a global warming skeptic.

Achilles said...

Would they give me enough land to start a city-state?

Smithers! Get over here!

SteveR said...

I'll have to rethink my Risk strategies to avoid collateral damage.

Terry said...

In Hawaii we have a quasi-governmental group called the Department of Hawaiian Homelands. It is supposed to hand out land to people who are at least 50% native Hawaiian (long story). It's been around for decades.
DHL mostly leases the land to commercial enterprises, but it is always under pressure to hand out more land to Hawaiians. Hawaiians tend to be less wealthy than most state residents, so they often find themselves unable to afford to buy land in their ancestral homeland.
Recently DHL floated the idea of handing out big parcels on the high, eastern slopes of Mauna Kea on the Big Island.
You can't do anything with the land. It is scrub. It's too dry, too rocky, and too steep. It is miles and miles from the nearest town on bad or non-existent roads.
And since the land is not taxed, there is no incentive for the state to build any infrastructure to provide roads and other infrastructure.
Free land ain't always a good deal.

edutcher said...

We called it The Homestead Act.

How The West Was Won.

Achilles said...

Terry said...

"And since the land is not taxed, there is no incentive for the state to build any infrastructure to provide roads and other infrastructure.
Free land ain't always a good deal."

So when you drive past a development do you think the government actually put in all of the sewers and plumbing and electrical and roads? Is the vast majority of our population that ignorant of who actually funds and builds these things?

For example, in order to upgrade electrical service the PUD does a system balance check and if they have to add more power lines back to a substation they give you an estimate and ask for the money then pay people way to much to do it. Developers have to provide all easements and access and build any roads out to the nearest county road. They have to connect the sewer system to the current municipal system. The government never builds anything new unless there is some kind of Crony deal where a politician is a part owner.

The only reason I see this failing is the people don't trust the government not to take the land back or expect them to rescind the tax free status once the land is improved.

Chris N said...

No strategic reasons at all, rest assured...

Gotta go East and live that Russian Dream

YoungHegelian said...

@Unknown,

YoungHegelian, you sound like a global warming skeptic.

Well, that was in the early 80's, you know.

Now, with Global Warming, Sakhalin Island is as balmy as Miami. They have Carnival Cruise ships stop by in the summers, & the beaches are full of bikini-clad Ludmillas. The tourists also serve a useful purpose as they provide an easy to catch summer prey for the polar bears, as the tourists put up much less resistance than a seal. It's just an ecological win-win for everyone except for the tourist who gets et.**

** Has your Bullshit Alert FitBit started buzzing yet?

Hari said...

1 acre = 2.471 acres = 10,000 square meters

Michael K said...

"We called it The Homestead Act."

Yes but that was 160 acres. One hectare is not enough to do much with.

Both my great grandparents began in Illinois with Homestead Act land. When I was a boy, the pasture of my grandparents' farm had never been plowed. It had been my grandmother's parents farm. They finally plowed it and planted corn. The corn (using of course modern hybrid seed corn, was 10 feet tall by midsummer.

damikesc said...

Honestly, we should be selling our federally owned land as quick as possible. God knows we have a shit ton to dispose of.

Christopher said...

I wonder how much of this is being done out of a desire to develop their far East and how much is being done out of fear of China.

Either way they're offering too little land to get people to move there without further incentive.

Bob Ellison said...

If enough people banded together-- say a thousand of them-- and said "we'll take it, but we want to all move to this one little area", then it might work. Not enough land to farm, so you're going to have to create a village. You'll need a builder, a grocer, a plumber, maybe a doctor if you're lucky, a teacher or two, etc. They could maybe find a way to make it work, especially if some of them are good at actually producing wealth, like by building things and inventing things.

If I were a poor Muscovite, I'd consider talking it over with friends and acquaintances. "Let's build a village! We'll be so far from Putin that maybe he won't notice us anymore."

Hagar said...

36 million people live in Canada, more or less happily.
Russia would love to have more not too Chinese or Turkic looking people living in Siberia.

Bob Ellison said...

And each person should demand a head of cattle and ten chickens, and a few hand tools.

Hagar said...

Japan wants Sakhalin back and China wants the Amur Valley back plus some other lands that Mao sold to Stalin in return for weapons and money.

traditionalguy said...

They are catching up to the Homestead Act. But they need an A&M Colleges Act.

Go East young man, go East.

gspencer said...

Kamchatka, eh?

Meet your neighbors,

http://www.digitaljournal.com/img/5/1/6/1/1/2/i/7/8/6/o/800px-A_Russian_Bear.jpg

http://image.shutterstock.com/z/stock-photo-great-brown-bear-russian-nature-wilderness-world-14920576.jpg

Freeman Hunt said...

Russians and their hectares!

Michael K said...

"36 million people live in Canada, more or less happily."

The same applies in my family to Canada. Two sets of great grandparents immigrated to Canada from Ireland about 1830. They started in eastern Ontario and moved west with the railroad as it went. They did pretty well there. I have many cousins in Canada and have met some of them.

Russia would be wise to give settlers larger plots but the Europeans never understand. That's why fracking will never work there. They have no tradition of free enterprise. The government owns all mineral rights.

Achilles said...

damikesc said...
"Honestly, we should be selling our federally owned land as quick as possible. God knows we have a shit ton to dispose of."

Federal Debt. Paid.

Take everything Social Security would pay to people 55 and over if they lived to 100 years old and pay it off as a lump sum. Take all of the money people under 55 paid into social security and add 10% interest and pay them a lump sum. End Social Security. Stop stealing from the American people and providing disincentive to employ Americans.

Rewrite Medicare to be a universal coverage plan for all medical costs over $100,000 in a single year. Provide a flat voucher to each person to buy a supplemental insurance plan to cover the rest. Deregulate the insurance industry and break up the oligopoly.

Meeeea said...

Speaking of powerful Presidents...while our Nation was busy yesterday warring over bathroom (don't worry they are just) "guidelines" the administration sent out to schools, check out what they codified while we were intentionally deceptively distracted:

"Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule codifying broad nondiscrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, people in health facilities, programs, and activities receiving federal..." https://www.americanprogress.org/press/statement/2016/05/13/137402/statement-caps-neera-tanden-on-aca-final-rule-protecting-lgbt-americans-from-discrimination-in-health-care-and-insurance-coverage/

An opponent's take: http://www.frc.org/newsroom/family-research-council-statement-on-new-hhs-final-rule-on-obamacare
(Above two are short and worth reading.)

https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2016-11458.pdf (the actual 362 pages of the new rule in the Federal Register)

Funny how this didn't make the headlines, isn't it? Or did I miss something?

sinz52 said...

"We called it The Homestead Act."

Some Star Trek fans have proposed that as the way to encourage colonization of space: A Homestead Act for habitable planets like Mars.

Each family gets 160 acres of Mars if that family agrees to move there and work the land.

aritai said...

Wow. Very neat, and clever. Next add mineral rights. And a million dollar fee that the government will loan them for immigrants bringing children and any demonstrable skill, no degrees needed. And perhaps differential voting rights for land owners and no restrictions on what their restrooms are used for, similar to the early U.S. Grandma didn't stop snorting for minutes. Sorted out the tadpoles as well as your pTb sorts competitors that can stand the heat of being accused by him or your sissy press of being liars, weak, or too intellectual. She woke up the entire rim of the crater. Haven't seen her this happy in a century. Thank you Ann.

JaimeRoberto said...

They want to populate it with Russians before China decides to populate it with Chinese.

Comanche Voter said...

Well in truth and in fact the Homestead Act (a creation of Congressman Justin Morrill in ~1862 or so) did not work so well for the Great American Desert (which is basically about 80 percent of the country west of the 100th Meridian). People tried to make a go of it on homesteads west of that line. But there just isn't enough rainfall there to sustain much agriculture.


I believe that the American Census Bureau in the 1880s and 1890's defined the American frontier as any place where there was less population than one person per 100 acres. Sometime between 1980 and 1990, as those dry Western counties hollowed out population wise, the number of "frontier counties" exceeded the number of such counties in the 1890 census.

There's a reason the federal gubmint owns so much land in the American West. It's not worth much for agriculture other than grazing cattle, And since there's not much water there, you aren't going to put a whole lot of people and houses on the land.

I live and practiced law in Los Angeles. I had a lot of late night flight arrivals from the East Coast returning home. Flying over the West at night shows a whole lot of nothing on the ground--any lighted and populated areas are few and far between.

CWJ said...

I know a little something about the area, and yes these are some of the dicier sections of Siberia/the far east. So let's be frank, even our Homestead Act was designed for the Midwest. Once you got out into the great plains, people found that 160 acres didn't cut it. They needed 4 times that size. Not saying these people are going out there to farm, but ha, but 1 free hectare???? Really???

CWJ said...

Comanche Voter,

Yeah, 640 acres of wheat just doesn't give off the light of LA at night. You have an urban person's image of a whole lot of nothing.

Hagar said...

I have been told the average for useable rangeland in New Mexico is 40 acres per cow/calf couple.

traditionalguy said...

FTR: The move of Europeans north from Mexico and Texas and west from Arkansas and Missouri was stopped for 40 years by the military superiority of the Comanche Empire Calvary.

glenn said...

In 19th Century America we called this Homesteading. Bad Vlad is a copycat, pass it on

geoffb said...

YoungHegelian, you're describing today, mid-May, in Southern Michigan.

They had a larger population in those places in the 30s, 40s, 50s under Stalin. Of course it wasn't by free choice.

Ambrose said...

If he handed out some acres, then we'd be talking.

Terry said...

Putin needs a better sales technique.
Howzabout "If you move to Siberia, the Cossacks won't attack you. You say that's ridiculous, and the Cossacks have never attacked you? When is the last time you spoke with your wife?"

ndspinelli said...

Look for inbreeding to start in the frozen tundra immediately.

furious_a said...

Heck, when I was a boy Comrade Stalin didn't have to offer land, he just loaded Balts and Tatars and Volga Germans into cattle cars and sent'em East. End of story.

David said...

There is an immense amount of federal land in the west. Reparations. An idea whose time has come.

David said...

"Palestine" was a mostly dry desert until the Jews got there. Unfortunately for Putin, there aren't many Jews left in Russia.

Remember also that the US did not limit homestead rights to citizens. The various states and the federates of the day actively encouraged emigration by non-citizens. As part of the competition for farming boots on the ground, several midwestern states gave aliens the right to vote. That worked rather well, by the way.

rcommal said...

Oh, Lord, is this what's next? Not just 40 acres and a mule but also https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aw2phldcmCQ .

Comanche Voter said...

CWJ I have relatives who have ranched in Southern Arizona. When it takes 50 acres or so to support a cow calf unit, and you still have to feed, then that qualifies as not much in the way of human habitation. I've driven across much of the Southwest and in the typical range and basin terrain there is some vegetation and birds, snakes, lizards, coyotes and such. But they don't turn the lights on at night. And I'll grant you that neither does a crop of wheat. So perhaps "nothing" was the wrong choice of words.

Bruce Hayden said...

They want to populate it with Russians before China decides to populate it with Chinese.

5/14/16, 6:45 PM


Sure, Rusia and Chiba are best friends now. They hate the Muzzies together, and know that getting together scares brighter Americans (which probably excludes much of the Obama Administration). But Siberia is rich in natural resources, is sparsely populated, and a long way from the rest of Russia. China, on the other side is resource poor, has a lot of people, is closer, and is more opportunistic in terms of foreign policy very year. They have looked mostly south east so far, but why not look to the north? Russia probably couldn't stop China with its army any more, esp given their necessary logistics train. Which probably means the aging Russian nuclear arsenal. And the Ruskies stirring up trouble around China's other borders and internally. But realistically, the Russians are afraid, and should be. They are in demographic collapse, which probably means that over time, the danger will continue to increase. I suspect this may be too little and too late.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Achilles: Rewrite Medicare to be a universal coverage plan for all medical costs over $100,000 in a single year. Provide a flat voucher to each person to buy a supplemental insurance plan to cover the rest."

What could go wrong? Too much to say.

With "over $100,000 in a single year" people will delay start of procedures to start of fiscal year.

Cost of a tonsilectomy and pre- and post- care will gradually rise to just over $100,000.

"Over $100,000 in a single year" will be, over time, amended to "over $50,000 in a five year span."

"Provide a flat voucher to each person" will, of course, include legal and illegal transients.

Bottom line, it's a bottomless medical entitlement. "Government" pays for anything over $100,000, and by voucher for everything else.

Gabriel said...

Long tradition of Russia offering land to immigrants. My ancestors were Dutch Hutterites who took up that offer, and within a few hundred years they had found that there were some strings attached.