Apr 182002

I love smart people. Too bad they’re so hard to find.

This week’s IQ failures – the growing number of local anti-growth advocates.

It seems that a few weeks ago, local activists gathered outside a meeting about the new Interstate 25 Corridor Plan to protest the “price of growth” in the region.

The policy the group met to protest was a plan to structure development around the I-25 corridor. The plan represents the first regional effort to structure growth and includes plans for open space and structured development.

Our own newspaper did an article on the protest that I found to be very interesting. It contained some great quotes from Ken Bonetti, a CSU economics instructor and member of the Help/Success Center. I would like to share a couple of those quotes with you so that we can all see what the best minds have to say on the issue.

“People such as ourselves are portrayed as a minority. I challenge that assertion. Polls show that a majority of the general public is against what’s happening to Colorado, but the general public is not an organized body of lobbyists. Policy is influenced by a minority of highly organized, well-financed growth interests.”

First of all, common-sense check. Of course the majority of people in Colorado are against growth. After all, they are here; they obviously like it. Why let a bunch of newbies ruin “their” city?

It would seem that “the majority of the general public” is all too eager to forget that the same freedom to come and purchase property is available to newcomers just as it was available to them.

I would like to remind “the majority of the general public” of another right they seem to have forgotten about: the right to get out if they don’t like it. I hear Wyoming has plenty of great open space.

Second, the reason growth is occurring is not because the “general public” lacks organization and lobbyists. It is because the legislators, for the most part, are intelligent, non-communist individuals who believe in the protection of rights and opportunity. They are intelligent enough to know that without growth, much of the “general public” will be without a job.

It’s a lucky thing someone is thinking for the “general public” because if the way they voted on some past referenda issues is any indication, the “general public” is a collection of idiots.

“Colorado is on the chopping block and the state is being hacked to pieces. Costs that arise from growth include highway and street congestion, dirty air, loss of open space, loss of productive farmland, degraded habitat and the spread of ugliness throughout the region.”

If you don’t like street congestion, take the bus.

If you don’t like development, put your money where your mouth is, get together, and be capitalists. Buy the land you want to see as open space and keep it that way.

If you don’t like to see farmland give way to houses, quit buying their water to feed your lawn. Build a dam and provide for yourself.

Keep in mind that my habitat is degraded by the presence of what is apparently “the general public.” You don’t hear me claiming that it is because I am an ineffective lobbyist.

Finally, my favorite scientific phrase for the day: “the spread of ugliness.” Of course, I guess if I was lacking a good base for my argument, I would appeal to the subjective as well. Wait – no, I wouldn’t.

Here is my new term for the debate: the spread of stupidity. I am beginning to feel like it is an epidemic.

Do yourselves a favor; go get the vaccine-an independent, logical and intelligent mind.

Scott Wilkinson is a senior majoring in civil engineering.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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