Free Reports

Bad News from the Ranch

May 21, 2016


BALTIMORE, Maryland - An alarming email came on Tuesday from our ranch in Argentina:

'Bad things going on... We thought we had the originarios problem settled. Not at all. They just invaded the ranch.'

A Revolution Going On

To bring new readers fully into the picture, Northwest Argentina, where we have our ranch, has a revolution going on.

Some of the indigenous people - that is, people with Native American blood - believe they have a claim on the land, simply because their ancestors once lived on it.

You can see easily what a slippery claim this is. Most of the people in the area have ancestors who may or may not once have lived on our ranch. Nobody knows.

Which of them should have title to which land? And wouldn't the same principle apply to all the land of Argentina...and America, too? Are there no Native Americans with an ancestral claim to Manhattan?

Yes, the history books say the island was purchased for $24 dollars' worth of geegaws.

'We were cheated,' the redskins could say.

And what about the rest of us? We had ancestors, too. Where did they live? What rights do we have?

As a matter of law, it has been settled for 400 years: The Spanish stole the Chalcachi Valley fair and square. Since then, land has changed hands in the customary way - by voluntary purchase and sale. That is a system that is not likely to change.

But...the report from the ranch continued:

  • Santos [an activist for the rights of the indigenous peoples of the area...or a dangerous revolutionary...depending on how you look at it] showed the people in the valley a document that he claimed gave the originarios the title to the farm.

    He told them that if they were indigenous to the valley, they should be the owners. Naturally, about a dozen people - all of them from the four families who live up in the mountains and always give us trouble - declared that they were originarios.

    Then, when we tried to take our cattle up to our pasture, they blocked the road...they said the farm belonged to them.

    But don't worry. We called the police. They came. They're here now. Lots of them. It's tense. But there's no violence. At least, so far.

  Our iOS App is Here... Get it Now!  
  We take immense pleasure in announcing that our iOS mobile App is now LIVE.

Yes, the complete Equitymaster experience is now available on your Smartphone...iOS and Android!

Right from the free e-Newsletters to the chart-of-the-day; from the intelligent portfolio tracker to our premium services; from our latest recommendation reports to all the daily market commentary... and a lot more.

If you're reading this on your mobile, just click on the icon below to download the app right away!

  Android Mobile App   Android Mobile App 

Foxes and Feds

On Thursday, our lawyer contacted the authorities in the capital. He got the Minister for Human Rights and the person in charge of 'Indigenous Affairs' to agree to go up to the ranch.

They are supposed to meet with the revolutionaries and explain that Santos doesn't have any authority with the government and that his claims are completely bogus.

Meanwhile, the lawyer filed civil charges against the ringleaders in local court, claiming that they were unlawful trespassers who were interfering with our property rights.

But wait...not everyone is sympathetic to the plight of landlords. One reader writes:

  • There is a statement that, to me, is hypocritical. You state, 'But the top 5% - where the foxes are - gained income. Their wages are up more than 50% over the same time. Why? Because they take more and more money from the rest of us.' Mr. Bonner, what do you mean by 'us'? You are a very wealthy man (I admire and respect that). I have seen this in your other essays. You like to think of yourself as 'one of the guys.' Perhaps in some ways you are. But don't forget that you are wealthier than 99% of your reading audience. So when you say 'they take more and more money from us,' it is disingenuous to act like those rich people are sticking it to you. You are part of that group that is taking more and more money from the rest of us.

Now hold on. If it is a crime to be in the top 5% of income, we plead guilty. Throw the book at us.

But we don't think it is wrong to make money. We don't think it is wrong to own property. We don't think it is wrong to try to increase the world's real wealth - and our own - by playful acts of reckless capitalism.

On the other hand, we do think it is wrong to take money or property from other people without their permission. That's what the foxes do. That's what the feds do. And that's what the revolutionaries are trying to do to us in Argentina.

Fortunately, the foxes that were supporting the revolutionaries (with taxpayer money) were just booted out of office in Argentina. And now, we seem to have the law on our side.

Still, the war goes on... Which way will it go? How will it turn out? We don't know.

But we know which side we're on...the side of law and order...of European-style property rights...

We're on the side of the landlords!

Bill Bonner is the President & Founder of Agora Inc, an international publisher of financial and special interest books and newsletters.

Disclaimer: The views mentioned above are of the author only. Data and charts, if used, in the article have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Equitymaster do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendation on any course of action to be followed by the reader. Please read the detailed Terms of Use of the web site.

Recent Articles

A New Infrastructure Boom March 26, 2019
Selva Freigedo talks about the potential in 5G network and how it could transform the way we communicate.
A 40 Somethings Guide to YouTube Hits March 20, 2019
Vivek dwells into a new YouTube phenomenon.
As the Economy Slows Down, Maruti and Two-Wheeler Companies Cut Production March 19, 2019
The country's largest car maker has cut production by more than a fourth.
In Supporting Demonetisation, RBI Behaved Like an Old Uncle Not Willing to Take a Stand March 13, 2019
The minutes of the meeting of the RBI Board which happened before demonetisation have been released.

Equitymaster requests your view! Post a comment on "Bad News from the Ranch". Click here!

2 Responses to "Bad News from the Ranch"

Deepak Maheshwari

May 23, 2016

"We know which side we are on ... the side of the law and order ... of european style property rights ... We are on the side of the Land lords!"

The above may sound right to some , but hold your breadth. Think , whose law , the law of the victors ? The world history is witness that those who were defeated were not always inferior to those who invaded them. Often, the indigenous people were generous allowed visitors to trade, preach their religion and also settle on their lands only to be later brutally betrayed.

The promises made to original inhabitants were not kept when truce were reached in the disputed lands or the independence declared.

Not far away, here in India, the indigo farmer's thumbs were cut and all efforts were made so that indigenous cloth weaving industry is destroyed to allow the mills from the west to take the local market.

All, I want to say is that we need to show collectively greater sensitivity towards those who have been deprived because of our actions, be it current generation or the previous ones. This is important to avoid the future conflicts.

Time is always changing, this is the only truth. It's well known about the precarious conditions of US economy,it's indebtedness,and the potential currency devaluation ahead.Situation in Europe is no different.

Let's hope that the current level of the comfort life styles enjoyed.



May 21, 2016

Pretty damn cheeky article by a Yanqui imperialist referring way into this century - yes, the 21st century - to the indigenous peoples as redskins. He should read "A People's History of the United States", recommended reading in many US universities, to acquaint himself with the genocide and continent grabbing committed against the indigenous peoples of the Americas by his forefathers, the white European colonialists, who were part scum in their own societies.
Sounds to me like the American spaghetti movie, "For A Few Dollars More".
Shame on you reproducing such articles!

Equitymaster requests your view! Post a comment on "Bad News from the Ranch". Click here!