Articles about Economics
2001. We all remember it well. Klamath irrigators were cut off in the heart of the growing season. Potato farmers lost their crops, some grain farmers made it, others didn't and pastures for livestock went dry. Green quickly tuned to brown as the water was shut off.
The KBRA was written in reaction to this calamity. The KBRA is supposed to "bring people together" and solve the problem at the local community level. Well that is the propaganda drivel proponents often spew. I have no problem with the local community fixing its own problems. But that's not what is happening. According to the KBRA, in order for the local community to fix those problems, the Federal Government must fund the buy back of Tribal lands, must fund dam removal on the Klamath and set aside a fund to help farmers survive when Klamath enters a low water year. If you ask me, there is nothing local about that at all. It is mostly Federal. The only "local" part is who receives funding.
That said, the KBRA is really built on a false premise — and that premise is that in 2001 Upper Klamath Lake did not have enough water to meet the needs of biological opinions for fish in the lake, fish in the river and irrigators in the basin. So a judge cut the irrigators off — based on faulty science. That's right, later it was found the data used by the judge was incorrect. Had the judge been given accurate data the water to irrigators would have flowed as it has every year since the projects began.
If you have read this blog for any time, you have quickly come to realize that none of us here are fans of the KBRA. We have philosophical differences that quickly lead to practical differences in how to solve the problem. And what is the problem? There (apparently) is not enough water in the Basin to support fish, farmers and native American traditions.
Since there is not enough water, a political solution was dreamed up by the KBRA geniuses. Here are some highlights:
Again this is a political solution. It doesn't recognize that when dams are removed along the Klamath river it will take more water to maintain river levels minimums required by biological opinions — in other words, less water in the lake and less water available for Klamath farmers. That seems backwards, doesn't it? But that is what political solutions do: they remove reality from the equation and use taxpayer money to pacify people who might otherwise object.
Every cave could really use a top of the line GPS. Just think how many of the now idle would be put to work if it became law that every cave in the USA be outfitted with a Global Positioning System. Merely replacing the units damaged by moisture, falling rocks and critters would plunk billions upon billions of equipment and salary bucks into the economy.
Can you imagine the number of extremely well compensated, benefited and richly early retired employees it would take to negotiate the permitting and environmental impact obstacles alone? The creation of even more stringent regulation barriers could potentially produce another 3, 000,000 or so insanely important positions. That in turn would result in a huge increase in medical and mental health career opportunities as the demands upon our medical and mental treatment facilities attempting to treat all of the stress related regulation issues would be horrendous. Just think how many more straight jackets we would need!
We could then repurpose all of that oddly considered unnecessary hunting, commercial, industrial, farm and range land into domestic GPS assembly sites (parts made in China and assembled here). It could all be green powered too. Instead of fossil fuels we could move progressively forward by using bike pedals, sails, drum thumping, hard labor, ruby red slipper tapping friction fiction and related over optimistic silly thoughts.
If you read the Herald and News today it has two Letters to the Editor by Michael J. Fitzgerald and Dan Keppen. While both are well written, both miss the point of those opposed to the Klamath Schools Bond measure. Whether ignorance or arrogance, they are missing the point.
The main point they are missing, and it is a very important one, is that Klamath Schools receive approximately $100 million (that's $100,000,000.00) each year. That's a lot of money, especially in our sparsely populated county. Both Fitzgerald and Keppen ignore this fact. It's as if they believe every penny of this money is wisely spent or that we shouldn't count this money when it comes to buildings and maintenance. Why not? Good question.
Suppose you were a generous parent and you gave your son a weekly allowanceof $100. At the end of the end of the week your son comes to you in a panic and says, "Hey, look, I'm out of money and I'm out of gas. I can't drive anywhere! Can you give me an extra $30 this week? I'll pay you back... I just need to put some gas in the tank." What would your first response be?
Note: This article has been updated. Thanks to a reader (Ed) who pointed our chart original chart was incorrect.
The wise book states that you can tell where a person’s heart is by seeing where their treasure is also. Below is a chart to help you understand who exactly is supporting the Citizens for Klamath Schools PAC.
In May 2013 Klamath County residents will face a ballot measure asking whether the Klamath County School District should be allowed to borrow $31 million to build a school and do capital improvements on current structures. The proponents of this measure will claim the virtues of supporting our schools. They will claim how it is wrong to send children to "shacks" instead of nice buildings to attend class. Furthermore, they claim the community will be better off with a new building, and how this will foster a sense of pride. This pride will translate into those outside the county reconsidering Klamath County. And once it is discovered how modern the school buildings in Klamath County are, people will begin moving their families into the area. Indeed, what a wonderful world this will be!
Unfortunately, this fantasy world quickly falls apart when facts are introduced, and we consider the real reasons why people and families move. While education may be a factor in deciding to move a family from one location to another, there are more important factors families consider before moving. There is the larger family to consider — will they be farther away from Aunts and Uncles, Cousins and Grandparents if they move to Klamath? There is the weather to consider — some people don't do well in snow or colder climates. But mostly there are economic issues to consider — by moving will the family be in the same, a worse or a better economic situation? While every family will weight these questions differently, the majority of people put economics first. If moving means a loss to a standard of living, it is a good bet the move will not take place.
Guest article by Finnious T. Fogbottom
To the current Klamath County Commissioners,
I agree with your stance against the KBRA and related issues. To understand your position one need only look at how the integrity of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Paul Houser and seven or so Federal biologist was savagely maligned because they refused to support a set of indefensible dirty tricks and unscientific falsehoods. How could they be forced to call it science anyway when there are no (acknowledged) Basin deep core samples hanging around: Samples that would have established a reliable scientific baseline as to the true hydrologic etc. etc. etc. history of this disturbingly and darkly coveted region?
Heck, if they just went along with it all and then got busted they’d just be promoted in one way or another like the Hair of the Lynx Hoax folks. So their stand agaisnt the safe, lazy and easy path makes them true American heroes!
When you hear the words Subsidy or Grant what first comes to mind? Thoughts of a benefactor giving generously to a noble cause? A charity getting money to help it achieve some worthy goal? The community benefiting from an outside contributor?
Words have meaning. Using language properly helps to successfully communicate a particular message or idea. However, language can also be twisted so that one can say a particular thing and yet mean something entirely different. Political scientists call this twisting of words, to say one thing but mean another, propaganda. The Nazi's and Soviets were masters at this game. For example, the Soviet paper was called "Pravda" and pravda means truth in Russian. However, the paper was anything but true in its reporting. It was filled with Soviet lies about America, the West and how wonderful life was in the Soviet Union.
Another group that is good at twisting words and meaning are liberals. Unfortunately their success has made it so we don't stop to think what really is happening. We just accept what is said as good and noble and move on with our day. For example, the words subsidy or grant has a positive meaning in our culture. If your industry or organization receives either, it means your group is doing something right, something well and we should all be thankful for your efforts. However, that is only true when it is a private subsidy or private grant. Private subsidies and grants come from organizations that have created wealth in the free market place. They have created a good or service that people like and in return freely given their money for said product or service. Furthermore the organization has done so in such a way to make a profit. Those profits have accumulated and now that organization decides to give back to the community in the form of a subsidy or a grant. In other words a gift. It can be in the form of a scholarship, in the form of matching funds, or just a lump sum. Private gifts are good things. They are voluntary. They are of free will. They allow for the full expression of liberty.
If you read the Sunday paper's lead article, 2012 Looking Back / 2013 Looking Forward, there were some interesting trends:
While this is an interesting perspective from a select section of the Klamath community, my specific question is where are the opinions from Jeld-Wen, from South-Valley Bank & Trust, from Bell Hardware, from Lithia Motors, Columbia Forrest Products, Fred Meyers, Basin Mediactive, Winema Electric, your favorite restaurant owner and from a former Aqua Glass employee? If the paper was really interested in giving us a story on the real economic outlook for 2013, you would've seen fewer opinions from students, volunteers and government employees and more from business leaders.
This 90 second video says it all.
When will the people take back control of a government that has become out of control?