Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rich Republicans Love Clean Environments and Government Regulations---Where They Live,That Is

An interesting editorial from the Provincetown Journal's fine writer, Froma Harrop, on why the Republican rich really, deep down, do like lots of government regulations---where they live and vacation that is.  (right, Mitt and Ann Romney at their vacation retreat in New Hampshire.)   

There are places in the United States, especially back east, where it is so difficult to access the local open areas--those localized control areas--that even so much as drinking an open  can of soda pop along a beach trail is considered a violation of some small-town, big dollar municipal code and worthy of a fine. 


Thank goodness for some states, like Oregon, which has a Land Use Commission and many state parks and beaches to be open to the public, with less onerous regulations. How long this lasts in an era of falling revenue for government-held public lands and recreation sites in the West is a good question.  

Most Americans likely have ,as I have, run up accidentally into a "gated communities" where even stopping and asking directions is considered an act of willful disobedience.  And one dares not tread a foot inside such a place unless invited.  


 Yet where did the money come from for these people to wall themselves off from the rest of us?       


 From the article:  "New Englanders fanned across the country extracting riches from other regions. They did mining, oil drilling, railroad building. How their activities harmed these other environments was, in most cases, the last thing on their minds. They made sure that their kids attended prized schools back East and that they themselves would not spend their summers near an open pit mine in southern Arizona. They came home to the fresher breezes and charming villages of the Northeast. And the rich from other regions joined them for the summer party.

"It's one thing to pollute other areas. It's another to despoil where one goes for recreation. It's animal nature not to dirty one's own nest."


This is one more indicator about one of the advantages of big business: if you own a empire as the Koch Brothers and others do, you can make your money in a place where your company fights against environmental regulations. And then you live far away in another part of the state or nation or globe,   far enough away in fact for the results of your extraction-and-pollution schemes to have no effect on you or your family. More here:


  1. Cap and Trade was originally a GOP idea and of course it became a terrible deal as soon as Democrats embraced it. And as you mentioned most GOP Washington legislators never visit WVa...our mountains are being destroyed our water poisoned. Most people (except Republicans) agree we can have clean coal without destroying our state,but we can't do it without regulations.

  2. Here we tend to refer to this state of affairs as Class War Doug, the resentment that is felt for absentee landlords who despoil our environment whilst living in some pristine paradise - has driven many an uprising on this side of the pond and that is without any equivalent Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms or to raise a well regulated militia to see them off. I think America needs a new Tom Paine and a new Common Sense to spark the next now long overdue revolution. I can't see any other viable solution to the problem myself Doug.

  3. Of course they wont live in a polluted area that they themselves have polluted. Being rich gives you the options to live anywhere and they dont care about how the folks that live near these mines or drilling rigs sit lose their life from the fumes from their chimney stacks or the water that flames. I do think the people of this country have to stand shoulder to shoulder and demand rights to a clean environment.

  4. Yes, they pulled the same trick with the "individual mandate" for public-private health insurance, Mike, as you know, whic hwas created by the Heritage Foundation and endorsed by all in the GOP. It's a case of one team (one party, that is ) always moving the damn goal posts further down the field rather than playing by the rules they themselves agreed to. Heck theye invented the rules!!!!

    I was specifically thinking about places like Kentucky and W Va, with this mountain top mining situation.

    We must have better regulations and concern for the health and safety of people in rural areas and small cities if we are going to dig for coal, pump out tar sands for oil or bring up natural gas thorugh fracking.

  5. It is a form of class war, AA, though few in the establishment will dare call it that.

    I suspect if things don't improve, that phrase "class war" is going to cross the Atlantic with more freguency I predict.

    As wealth becomes more stratified and "room at the top" harder to get to, you might find US politics more broad of scope than we have seen since the 1960's. (Hopefully not the 1860s.)

    We certainly need another Progressive Era in America, that is certain.

    The closest person we have to Tom Paine today is the socialist Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders.

  6. You're right Marty. This is another case of refighting old battles from decades ago, but it looks like that is going to be what it takes.

  7. A very interesting article. It is amazing how many people squander other peoples regions while the vehemently protect the area around their homes. Great post