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Feeding the liberal myth that all evil rests within the private sector is fear mongering of the worst kind

By Tom Glendinning
Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2011

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Pittsboro, NC - In response to Ms. Strouble's post on September 3, I have a few comments:

First, result is confused with intent. You assume an action with which you disagree is motivated by an misguided or evil intent.

Second, you claim that all the changes in regulation and approvals of development have a negative impact on the environment. How do you know? What is your measuring stick?

Third, the claim that Weakley's report cost taxpayers nothing is false.

Fourth, you say that the private sector is responsible for all damage to the environment because it acts on the principle of greed.

Now, to answer some of these claims. You can not determine what someone's intent is without reading their minds. You may be capable of it, but most of us are not. We can only speculate on motive. That is the charge of law enforcement and juries.

The environment has improved immensely in the last three decades. The Haw, Cape Fear, Catawba, Neuse, White Oak, even Rocky Rivers have improved in water quality by leaps and bounds according to state monitoring records of pollutants. The main reasons are the improvements in treatment and disappearance of industry. But water quality has benefited from practice, policy, enforcement and reduction of polluters, just as has the whole environment in the USA. Forty years of regulation has made good progress and will continue to do so.

Ms. Weakley's report was paid for by government (taxpayer) monies. The grant, albeit administered by Triangle Land Conservancy, was partially from the NC Wildlife Commission. That is taxpayer money. The research which she provided in the report was done by the US Army Corps of Engineers, DENR departments, the NC Wildlife Commission, federal and state parks commissions, NC State University, government mapping records, etc., etc., etc. All the research was funded by taxpayer monies and cost many times more for the original research than the report grant. Ms. Weakley's report is based on a dearth of government research, little of it original.

The private sector would not make products if the consumer did not buy them. Capitalism is that simple. You can not force me to buy something I do not want. (That may be an historical comment in light of the new health bill, however.) Raw materials have been mined, harvested, or created since the beginning of human commerce. The environment is the source of these materials. If you wish to stop pollution by ceasing mining, transport, handling and processing of these materials, stop buying them.

One more point, the economy and the federal budget are linked by Congressional fiat. If the economy is doing poorly, the budget needs adjustment in proportion. Our recent dependency on deficit spending of the last twenty years has changed the ratio of revenue to spending. Decline in GDP is not in balance with the budget. Our deficit has grown to an unmanageable point. If it grows in the same way, by 2050 50% of it will be interest payment. That is a dangerous level without some relief from the revenue side.

You mention auctions. A good point. The last major auction was conducted by the FCC for sale of the "White Band" frequencies to private companies a few years ago. These low frequencies used to host TV broadcasts. Now, they host cell, data, private communication systems, privately and federally run military signals. This sale was a one time revenue used to cover extravagant budgetary spending. It is now gone and no longer generating federal revenue. TV owners who depend on non-subscriber broadcasts are now at the mercy of stations who do not deliver the power to cover areas they once did. That was a government auction.

The stock market bubbles of the tech, real estate and banking industries are partially private fault. If, however, you trace, legislation governing these aspects of private industry, you will find that they all originated in legislative and regulatory changes. If the FTC had monitored and regulated the stock market as it has been authorized to do, the crashes would not have been so severe. Price to Earnings ratios were outrageous in the tech bubble and no agency or broker questioned them. The king's new clothes were bought without one criticism. The housing laws changed starting with Johnson and Carter and progressed to the final straws in 1996 and 2006. You may try to blame that on Bush, but he warned against it while Congress passed the law. Monitoring and regulation of the banking industry changed over the years also. If the former level of regulation had been observed, the loans would not have become so onerous and speculative. The basic flaw was law, and the fed and FSLIC were powerless to stop the industry once banks were forced to make high risk loans.

A deeper look into cause and effect are required in order to analyze the economy, the effects on the taxpayer, and on our lives. Feeding the liberal myth that all evil rests within the private sector is fear mongering of the worst kind, biting the hand that feeds you, so to speak. This myth is part of a socialist agenda. What I wish to learn is how the paychecks will be delivered and the bills paid without it. The USSR failed. We are headed in the same direction. How else should we govern ourselves other than balancing the checkbook and paying the bills?

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Feeding the liberal myth that all evil rests within the private sector is fear mongering of the worst kind

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