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U.S. Farmlands: The False Crisis

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Publication Date: September 1983

Publisher(s): Heritage Foundation (Washington, D.C.)

Author(s): Julian L. Simon; Herman Kahn

Topic: Environment (Land resources and use)

Keywords: Agriculture

Type: Report


In short, net agricultural land capacity is increasing, not decreasing. The claim that urbanization endangers our capacity to grow food is employed to justify calls for government policies to restrict free exchange and utilization of farmland. This is one of the package of unfounded pessimistic forecasts and calls for governmental interference from those who believe that physical limits increasingly constrain progress and growth. In fact, with every successive century and decade, physical elements are less and less.of a constraint upon economic progress. The motivation of at least some of those involved in this movement is the desire to preserve the past-to avoid change. The obstacles to growth that arise from this motivation are a key impediment to progress that has no known physical limits.