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Dec 062006
 
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Other issues impact water demand

Kevin Dudley and Dan Gibson-Reinemer may disagree about whether water from the Poudre River should be diverted to build a new reservoir (Dec. 4 commentaries), but they agree that rapid population growth is projected to drastically expand the demand for water.

Unfortunately, neither notes that the reason that the U.S. population and the Colorado population are growing so rapidly is mass immigration.

Immigration adds to our population both directly (when people come here legally or illegally) and indirectly (when those immigrants have children, and when natives from states with high immigrant inflows flee to other states such as Colorado). It is the single largest factor driving population growth and population redistribution.

Conservation should be at the top of any agenda for water management. But in the end, we cannot preserve our natural or social environment without slowing down population growth.

To achieve that goal, we must end mass immigration, and in particular we must end mass illegal immigration (most immigration into the U.S. is illegal). We should penalize the employers who hire illegal immigrants to reduce the demand for their labor and the incentive for them to come here.

Colorado’s population is projected to grow by 2.6 million in less than 25 years.

That is an increase of more than 50 percent in a relatively short period of time. It is hard to see how we will avoid another reservoir if this kind of population growth continues.

In the long run, efforts to reduce mass immigration are a necessary step toward environmental sustainability. I wish that the conferences and articles devoted to saving the Poudre River would start making this obvious point.

Steven Shulman

Professor of economics

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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Dec 062006
 
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Holes in Hemenway’s argument

Nick Hemenway touted the “amazing” FairTax plan this week. I’m a libertarian; I like low taxes. But let’s be honest. If you read the “The FairTax Book,” like he suggests, you’ll learn that implementing Hemenway’s “revenue-neutral, 23 percent sales tax” actually means a tax of 30 cents on the dollar, not 23! Why is he misleading us like this?

And then there’s the FairTax “prebate,” where Hemenway missed the fact that, under his plan, the lowest income earners not get only “keep every penny they earn,” but also get more back. Monthly prebate checks will make millions of Americans dependent on the federal government for their day-to-day income and create the largest single entitlement program in American history. While helping the poor is a commendable goal, we all know that you don’t get people out of poverty by giving away money! And I thought that Hemenway was a conservative!

But wait! Sure enough, the FairTax is a typical conservative tax cut for the rich. With the FairTax, any money not spent is effectively tax-free, so the top earners – those making millions of dollars a year – will actually see their tax burdens cut dramatically! And if they’re paying less under a “revenue neutral” plan, you can bet that someone is paying more – probably you.

Sure, taxing income isn’t good, but taxing consumption is worse. And the “Fair Tax” is anything but fair.

Seth Anthony

graduate student

chemistry

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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Dec 062006
 
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Why not a menorah?

After reading Drew Haugen’s informative article in Monday’s paper, I’ve decided to discard all of my pre-finals studying in order to address and thank him for the recognition of an extremely discriminatory decision made by the Fort Collins’ Downtown Development Authority. The argument between what constitutes a secular symbol and what does not has been prevalent for decades.

Fortunately, the 1989 U.S Supreme Court decision classified both Christmas trees and menorahs as secular symbols. That is why I find it utterly appalling that members of the Fort Collins’ Downtown Authority somehow figure that a menorah vastly outweighs the “religiousness” of Santa Claus, whose job is to spread the good spirit of Jesus Christ, and a C-H-R-I-S-Tmas tree. Also, note that Santa Claus and Christmas tree are capitalized, further reinforcing that the Christian God is enveloped within these symbols and deserve semantic recognition. Perhaps it is the rarity of seeing a Jewish menorah that emphasizes the invasiveness of a foreign religion. To clarify more concisely, I am not against the display of religious symbols but actively in favor of including representation of the religious difference that Fort Collins undeniably possesses. Within concluding my last week of four-and-a-half years at CSU, I am heartbroken that the majority of Fort Collins’ decision makers failed to parallel my growth, appreciation and embrace of our surrounding diversity.

Suzanne Cummings

senior

speech communication

 Posted by at 5:00 pm