Has Government CreatedSuper Classes of People?
By Ron Ewart
April 26, 2007
Radical environmental groups and the lobbyists that bring us draconian environmental regulations and the corrupt government that aids and abets them, have given us three super classes of rural property owners, developers, timber companies, and farmers. Now, the giant timber companies have owned their property for over 100 years, and have a zero cost basis in it. Eventually, they become giant developers, and use that zero cost basis to their advantage. They can afford to give up large tracts of open space in return for high-density cluster developments. Cluster developments are the ultimate dream of the politically correct, sustainable development, smart growth crowd. But the poor sap who has a five-acre tract right next door to the cluster development, is zoned such that he (or she) can do nothing with his property. That's fair, isn't it?
Then there is the farmer. Now many farmers have been on the government dole for almost 8 decades, all the way up to their necks, in government subsidies. But along comes a draconian environmental regulation and the farmer-lobbyists are all over the lawmakers for an exemption from the regulation, "for economic reasons." Good God! Don't drive the farmer out of business. We need the food, right? Such was the case in Washington State where the Farm Bureau lobbied the legislature for exemptions for farmers from wetland buffers and other regulations, and they got it. Meanwhile, the minority, non-farm rural landowner, who isn't a timber company, developer, or farmer, gets stuck with everything the government can dump on them by environmental-driven ordinance, without any exemptions, without due process, and certainly without just compensation. And remember, farms contain the highest percentage of wetlands because land that can be farmed tends to be fairly large and situated in the low flatlands, near rivers, laced with wetlands. So in order to preserve as many wetlands as possible, the government will apply the severest restrictions, (buffers and setbacks) on the un-represented, non-farm, rural landowner. Now that's fair, isn't it?
The large developers have big bucks and can negotiate deals with government to get what they want. Timber companies, turned developer, are in much the same category. Farmers have high-paid lobbyists who lobby government to get their way. But the minority, disenfranchised and un-represented, non-farm rural landowner is left to fend for himself, with little money and zero political clout. Why is it that farmers are to be exempted from environmental regulations for economic reasons, but the individual, non-farm property owner is left to bear the entire burden of environmental protection, without any regard to his or her economic conditions, much less his Constitutional property rights?
Once again, our broken system of government, high-paid lobbyists, and too many laws, create an atmosphere of super classes of people (privileged) who obtain exemptions or special favors from lawmakers and judges, for their super class. These lobbyists and special interests grovel at the foot of power for their little slice of the pie. Oh, and there are many super classes under this broken system. There are, of course, the poor and under-privileged, and the hungry city folk. The politician is, indeed, a super class of citizen. Then we have the senior citizen, and the blacks (sorry, African-Americans. Did I tell you that I am an American-American?) and let's not forget the illegal aliens. They have more rights and privileges than anyone else, and they are authorized by the U. S. Congress to break the law with impunity and get amnesty for their lawlessness. Oh, and let's not forget who hires these illegal aliens, the farmers. That minority group, individual, non-farm rural landowners, are essentially left out in the cold.
Is our system fair and equal? Hardly! Is it equal protection under the law? You've got to be kidding! Our great, perverted system of government has brought us favoritism, nepotism, corruption, conspiracy, bribery, and political influence. As a significant minority, non-farm rural landowners are no longer protected from the tyranny of the majority, or the politically connected. They are trampled and crushed like ants caught in an anthill, having just been stepped on by an elephant. But hey, that's fair isn't it? Every man for himself, in this wonderful USA with its super-privileged classes of people and its broken system of government. If you are a farmer, look in the mirror and say it isn't so.
Do you see what we have folks? Special interest groups fighting or lobbying government to hold onto their piece of the government pie, that the rest of us all pay for. Then we fight each other, if one of us strays over onto the others' turf. Pawns! That's what we are, and WE THE PEOPLE have allowed it to happen. We are all dancing to the government's drummer, and they laugh all the way to the bank. In their minds and on their lips they say, WE OWN YOU! And they do. When are we no longer pawns? When do we stop "dancing?" Or do we?
Ron Ewart is the president of the National Association of Rural Landowners P. O. Box 1031 Issaquah, WA 98027 Phone: 425-222-4742 or 800-682-7848 Fax: 425-222-4743
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