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"to what critics would characterize as 'a wild, wild West' status"

{In the mining camps and on the open range, the six-gun seldom served as the arbiter of disputes. Instead, miners established rules in camp meetings, and cattlemen used their associations to carve up the range, round up their cattle, and enforce brand registration. Though not all attempts at dispute resolution succeeded, institutional entrepreneurs found ways to define and enforce property rights that created rather than destroyed wealth. In short, the West was really not so wild.} - Terry Lee Anderson & Peter Jensen; "The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier"; page 203

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What?!?  You mean all those John Wayne movies weren’t real? ;-) 

Fantastic book; Terry Lee Anderson is a formidable scholar -- just read his concise "The Birth of a Transfer Society," as well as a number of his excellent articles on property rights.

Hard to believe, I know. :)

Two articles containing a number of interesting points and facts on the issue:



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