Democrat War on Rural America is Going Strong

Curry County, Oregon has been suffering economically in recent years.  The reason is because environmental regulations have reduced the amount of logging allowed in the county’s state and federal forests to just 20 million board feet per year, a mere 25% of what it was 30 years ago.

This story is very common across the nation and is part of the Democrat/environmentalist War on Rural America, a place where people are generally conservative, working-class, Christian and caucasian, and have less political power than most other Americans. Meanwhile Associated Press reported:

For more than 90 years, the coal-fired power plant in Glen Lyn, Va., has been churning out electricity and contributing to local prosperity. Of late, it has generated nearly a quarter of the revenue for the $1 million budget of the town.

Yet when the plant ultimately shuts down to comply with new federal air pollution regulations by the end of 2014, says Town Manager Howard Spencer, so too might the community of 200.

"If the town lost all of that revenue," he says, "we would struggle to even continue to be incorporated."

An Associated Press analysis has found that more than 32 mostly coal-fired power plants in a dozen states will be forced to close because of the new, more stringent regulations. Another 36 plants are at risk of closing. (end of AP excerpt)

So in order to placate wealthy environmentalists in New York, San Francisco, Portland, Chicago and other enclaves in urban and suburban America where most of the enviro movement’s funding comes from, people in rural America from coast to coast are suffering economically and will continue to suffer. Because most power plants and forests and other facilities and resources targeted by environmentalists are located in rural areas.

Can’t Obama and his enviro cronies make exceptions in these hard times?

Of course not. Because these are hard-line activists working day in and day out to disenfranchise the folks in rural and small-town America. Thus as Obama and his theoreticians talk of “spreading the wealth around” they actually are doing the opposite – defunding rural communities that are populated by the kind of people who have built our nation for centuries and who generally vote Republican today.

Just go to any small town and you will hear one or three or ten stories about economic development being squashed by the ecologists who bring in lawyers from the cities and the universities to oppose new projects or restrict or shut down existing ones. It is a tale of ruthless and heartless intimidation and bullying.

There is a significant and even more devious reason for enviro action against rural people: Ecologists are seeking to depopulate rural America in order to turn it back into a Green Utopia. They have always opposed human occupation of rural areas and exploitation of its resources and want to create more and more wilderness out there. The best way to run people out of rural America is to kill their jobs and hopes so that they move to suburbs or cities. This effort also plays into a natural effect of technology which has greatly reduced the number of workers needed for farming, logging, ranching, mining etc.

Here is an excerpt from Thomas Edsall writing before the 2012 election in the New York Times about the Democrats’ approach to white working people, including those in rural America:

For decades, Democrats have suffered continuous and increasingly severe losses among white voters. But preparations by Democratic operatives for the 2012 election make it clear for the first time that the party will explicitly abandon the white working class.

All pretense of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned in favor of cementing a center-left coalition made up, on the one hand, of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment — professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists — and a second, substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic. (end of Times excerpt)

A good president who cared about all Americans would do what GOP candidates are finally talking openly about: Restraining the EPA and its authoritarian rules, cutting EPA’s size and budget, scaling back state enviro laws, and allowing rural people to make a living like they have for hundreds of years.

Obama, on the other hand, is working in concert with tens of thousands of local ecologists who live even in small towns and rural areas and who reflexively stir opposition to any project proposed. They then use enviro laws and the courts to obstruct, restrict or shutter power plants, mines, quarries, logging operations, pipelines, roads, ranches and other facilities.  Even rural post offices are being targeted. Reported Reuters in 2011:

(Reuters) – The U.S. Postal Service … was studying about 3,700 money-losing post offices for possible closure starting in February 2012, and considering closing hundreds of processing centers in April.

…The Postal Service, which does not receive taxpayer money to fund its services, lost more than $5 billion in fiscal year 2011 and says it needs to shed about $20 billion in annual costs by 2015. The Postal Service has argued that facility closures will help it adjust to falling mail volumes as consumers turn to the Internet to communicate and pay bills. (end of Reuters excerpt)

Many of those 3,700 post offices are in rural areas and small towns. Their closure would be another significant blow to these people. Now look at this sentence from Reuters:

…(US) senators said (that postal) officials agreed to push back the closures to give lawmakers time to pass legislation that would help get the Postal Service back on track before the end of fiscal year 2012, when the mail carrier has said it could shut down. (end of Reuters excerpt)

This means that the postal unions were praying for, and are still in September 2013 praying for a government bailout as happened at GM and Chrysler and as the same types of people are seeking for Detroit.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has squandered boatloads of money over many decades. As postal rates climbed relentlessly in the good times the unions made endless sweetheart deals because the money was rolling in. They allowed all costs to spiral out of control because rate increases always ran slightly ahead of costs and nobody was paying attention to the rate rises of one or two cents at a time. It seemed so small as the economy was booming.

No more. USPS is in a death spiral as America has turned to alternatives (primarily the internet, but also FedEx, UPS etc.) And now that it is time to pay the piper USPS has proposed to eliminate thousands of rural and small-town post offices as part of the solution.

The postal service could have slashed costs dozens of different ways over the years, first and foremost by restraining wages, benefits and pensions, cutting featherbedding and generally streamlining a lumbering bureaucracy. Saturday mail delivery also should have been eliminated decades ago to save tens of billions of dollars. Even Canada eliminated its Saturday mail delivery way back in 1969. It’s really a no-brainer.

Instead costly and wasteful USPS practices flourished rather than concentrating on making the system more efficient for the long haul under changing economic conditions.

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