Billionaires from the tech industry have been buying up huge areas of land in Northern California for years, and their motives were recently revealed. These billionaires are trying to build their own Utopian City where they won’t have to deal with the consequences of the world that they helped create. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: Billionaires from the tech industry have been buying up huge areas of land in Northern California for years. Their motives have been revealed now, these billionaires are trying to build their own utopian city where they won’t have to deal with riffraff and poor people. Well, we’ll see where that goes. Farron, I read this story, this story’s been kicking around a little while, but it’s really happening. It is all of these Silicon Valley types said, you know, we’re tired of living with regular Americans. We don’t want poor people. We don’t want riffraff. We don’t want what we’ve created in San Francisco and LA, homelessness, a crime problem, tax problem. All these things they helped create. And now they’re saying, we’re gonna leave that to everybody else and we’re gonna put up a gated community. What’s your take?

Farron Cousins: Yeah. This is absolutely almost farcical with the way it sounds, but again, a hundred percent real. They’ve been pouring money for many years now into this group, The Flannery Group, and so Flannery has been going out secretly buying all this land from the farmers, telling ’em, oh, this land is, you can’t really plant anything here. There’s only about a 5% yield. Let me pay you way over the value of your land. And of course, the farmers say, well, heck yeah. Take it, it’s yours. So now they’ve got all this land, and now they’re petitioning, they’re getting local residents to agree like, hey, what if we just turn this into its own city? You know, we’ll run it. We’ll build the mansions. We’ll build the houses. We’ll have grocery stores and all kinds of national parks for you to visit. We just, it’s gonna be our tech billionaire city.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. It’s billionaire city. I mean, basically they’re gonna close the gates to poor people. They’re gonna close the gates to this riffraff that they say is lying all over the streets in San Francisco and in LA. We’re gonna leave all that behind, and we’re gonna build this utopia. The irony to me is they helped create so much of that in San Francisco. They helped create so much of that in LA and these awful parts of California that are having to really fight back on all of this. So they say, well, we can’t solve it, so we’re just gonna build a new, we’re gonna move on. We’re gonna put up big gates and you poor people, you know, don’t bring your unclean masses to us. They’ve spent about $800 million doing it so far. They’ve actually spent that so far, and they intend to go ahead full speed. Are they gonna get resistance here?

Farron Cousins: It doesn’t seem like it. They have the money. Like I said, they’ve already kind of paid off the community by paying them well over the value for their land. So these people have a little bit of a loyalty to ’em saying, well, my property was worth a hundred thousand, but they gave me $400,000. I kind of like these guys. What they’re doing seems interesting. And we talk about how, yeah, they’re trying to escape the horrible conditions in California. I think part of it too is also, okay, well we need to get out of these low lying areas. We got climate change bearing down on us.

Mike Papantonio: Good point.

Farron Cousins: So let’s just go up into the mountains and we can move our high end stores up here. Don’t worry.

Mike Papantonio: Let the poor people deal with all the.

Farron Cousins: Exactly. It’s the Mad Max city. We’re gonna be living in Mad Max and they’re up there on their hill.

Mike Papantonio: Well, they’re gonna have their private police system where there’s no rampant crime like they’re experiencing in San Francisco and LA. They’re gonna have their own transportation system to where poor people won’t be interfering with their ability to travel around. It’ll just be rich folks in exotic transportation systems. So, as I look at this, it’s just such, oh, by the way, the bad soil thing, I bet what you’re gonna find on that once you start digging, is they hired the best experts they could hire to say, we can’t really grow anything on this soil. Because that could be an obstacle. Okay. If you say you’re taking off 55,000 acres that was ranching land, farm land, but we’re gonna make this into a new city, they’d have problems with that. So they bring in an expert, say, no, this is bad soil. We can’t really grow anything. It’s nonsense.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.