Sunday, February 20, 2011

Where are all the conservative conservationists? & a quick economics rant

© 2011 Joshua Stark

I know quite a few conservative conservationists, yet I'm completely baffled by the support I hear for their political leadership in recent days.  Everything from dam removal studies to support for the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, whose corporate partners include Altria, Anheuser-Busch, and Bass Pro Shops, is slated for defunding.

And it isn't as if this leadership is trying to curb government spending:  The same folks who decry these programs as too expensive have already suggested building a gigantic dam with federal funds, and are fighting to keep subsidizing money-losing dams on the Klamath.

Nor is it as if the leadership is trying to remove the federal government from local decision-making:  The same leaders who complain that local folks don't have a say are pushing to defund those Klamath plans, plans that locals have arrived at after years of internal negotiations, and after some deep soul-searching and compromise.  By moving funding from removal studies and back into subsidizing those money-holes in the water, conservative leaders are bringing down the heavy hand of D.C. government into the affairs of locals.

So please, my conservative conservationist friends, please contact your leadership and tell them that we all value the wild, that it is part of our shared American experience and spirit.

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Now, my economic rant (those of you who know me have heard this from me a million times, but in my defense this is because it's been said a million times):  Every politician talks about putting America's economic house in order, because the typical American family has to balance its budget, and therefore so should our government.

Baloney.  Pure B.S.

First, the typical American family does not balance its budget.  If any of you has a car payment, house payment, boat payment, college loan payment, or credit card payment, then you have deficit spent, and you have an unbalanced budget.  If you don't have any of these, it's probably because you already paid it off, but at one time you deficit spent to get there, and you probably did it to the tune of many times your annual salary.

We all deficit spend in order to build our economic house.  We pay it off, and save, when we are better able to do so.  We save, in part, for those hard times we know will come. 

Second, the typical American family cannot regulate business, nor does its spending influence the overall cost of goods and services in the economy.

To make the analogy is to lie, in a big way, to the American people.

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