Think big, but don’t buy Greenland

Tyler Cowen An interesting claim:

7. Consider an agreement that makes sense: the US is buying Greenland from Greenland and Denmark. Can we actually pay 56,000 or more residents to leave their country and territory?

I agree that the Greenlanders are unlikely to be sold, but I am skeptical that the purchase will benefit the United States.

American schoolchildren were taught that we had a bargain to buy Alaska for 67 7.2 million in 1867, but I saw no credible evidence to support that claim. Yes, Alaska produces a lot of oil, but what about all the US government money that goes into reducing Alaska? What? Net facility?

However, Greenlanders are aware of their large oil reserves and are less likely to sell for $ 7 million or even 7 billion. And as the world transforms into a low-carbon future, the price of oil (with negative externalities) may be lower than many people think.

There is also a mismanagement of the scale of governance, which indicates that we can govern Greenland less effectively than Denmark.

When we Bought South Arizona From Mexico in 1854 ($ 10 million), we should have put more pressure on Baja California. Even a small sliver of Northern Market (say 10% above) would be much more valuable than Alaska. Heck, my own Orange County (only 800 square miles) is far more valuable than all of Alaska, an area about 800 times larger. Greenland will be less valuable than Alaska.

Greenland may have a small military value, but I doubt it. NATO already controls the North Atlantic between the United States, Canada, Britain, Norway and Iceland. Given the tragic performance of the Russian military in Ukraine, I suspect that they will soon have their eye on the North Atlantic.

There is a lot of talk about state power. It is quite clear that American state power has declined sharply over the decades. Now is not the time to take on additional government responsibilities in Greenland (or space), but to fix our dysfunctional government in its current responsibilities. For example, the huge Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base just south of Orange County. The land could be used to create a wonderful new city with a larger population than Alaska, with a climate that is more glorious than the areas currently expected for additional population growth, Texas, Arizona and Florida. These are the inefficiencies of the administration that we need to focus on.

Don’t Buy Greenland – Sell Camp Pendleton.

Think big about usability, not geography.

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