Sunday, July 1, 2012

The San Juan County Five

We are told that the CAOs will pass at least five to one in a couple of months. Write your Council person and challenge them to answer if they are one of the "San Juan County Five."

We are ruled by people who live by illusion ... that the way to save the environment is to build government bureaucracies ... that the way to conserve land is to promote unbridled eco-tourism ... that the way to a healthy economy is to promote subsidies, grants, and loans but not jobs ... and that serving the public good means ignoring citizens while cravenly submitting to pressure from mid-level government planners, policy wonks, and their contractors.

The San Juans have the lowest percentage of wage earnings of any county in Washington. Only about one-third of our income comes from wages. The hourly wages of our working population are half the state average too, and many wage earners need to work two or three jobs, if they can find them. We have affordable housing but not affordable jobs, and those in public office see no irony in severely restricting one of our economic factors of production (land) while still wanting more subsidies from government and more taxes for government.

Preliminary analysis of the census demographics suggests our slight population increase over the last decade may have been driven by hispanics moving to the islands, largely to fill low-wage service jobs. The heralded tourism industry will only add to our low-wage woes since tourism also promotes low-paid service jobs. Paraphrasing Walter Mondale from 30 years ago, we shouldn't want an economy based on wrapping hamburgers and sweeping up around Toyotas, although in our case we might also reasonably include an economy consisting of summer interns, masseuses, yoga instructors, sustainability experts, and life coaches living in affordable housing.  But that's the economic vision of the San Juan County Five. As seeming confirmation of our anemic and pathetic economy, the latest GMA population projections from the Office of Financial Management even show the possibility of a population decline in the islands for the first time since those statistics have been issued. The reaction from those in power? Crickets. No change in the growth-killing agenda promoted by the San Juan County Five.

As far as the Five go, they want more of the same and at an accelerating pace to boot. More restrictions on land. More low wage tourist jobs. More subsidies and grants for affordable housing, more money for soft-science (dare I label it as "hoax" science?), and more for soft-agriculture too. And of course, we'll need a lot of coordinating committees and quangos of every flavor and stripe to manage all the inherently contradictory restrictions and handouts. That is the real reason for faux environmental hysteria: to provide a mock crisis that justifies the growth of quangos, NGOs, regulations, and all manner of needlessly restrictive government. The point isn't to solve anything. The point is to promote an ever-enlarging apparatus of stifling ill-qualified bureaucratic oversight and the unlimited exigent expense that goes along with providing sinecures for self-interested crisis-creating pointy heads.

Quite simply, our County is out of control and out of its mind. Talk about sustainability?!? Nothing about this picture is sustainable. It's a strategy of dependency and perennial crisis.  The viral CAO proposals do not solve problems; they create them. The policies of the San Juan County Five amplify every existing problem we have while addressing not a single demonstrable ecological concern.

9 comments:

  1. Shock the MonkeyJuly 1, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Moving on to Central Casting ...

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  2. I've always wondered why so much of our "affordable housing" seems to be allocated to people with advanced degrees and "experts" in various fields who are all too willing to tell others how to run their lives but somehow qualify for these subsidized units, which were sold to the public as homes for service workers and teachers and firemen. So far as the County records disclose, the highly-educated Executive Directors of the Lopez and Orcas programs each live in an affordable unit. (I guess the excuse is so they can better know what's going on, but couldn't a teacher or public safety employee serve as eyes on the ground?); two of our most vocal (one purportedly highly successful) "science" advocates live in a Lopez unit. Is there a surplus of affordable housing units? I know many folks who would love to live in these cute little communities with all sorts of breaks from County regulations.

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  3. I've always wondered why so much of our "affordable housing" seems to be allocated to people with advanced degrees and "experts" in various fields who are all too willing to tell others how to run their lives but somehow qualify for these subsidized units, which were sold to the public as homes for service workers and teachers and firemen. So far as the County records disclose, the highly-educated Executive Directors of the Lopez and Orcas programs each live in an affordable unit. (I guess the excuse is so they can better know what's going on, but couldn't a teacher or public safety employee serve as eyes on the ground?); two of our most vocal (one purportedly highly successful) "science" advocates live in a Lopez unit. Is there a surplus of affordable housing units? I know many folks who would love to live in these cute little communities with all sorts of breaks from County regulations.

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  4. I have it from a reliable source (by request per permission) that when the housing being built on Lampard Rd. was being bid out that...Browne Lumber bid $500 more per house so the powers that be went w/a a mainland provider. I see no justification for pouring that money off island when Browne Lumber is a major and respected employer for many people, some who have made literal careers of working there. That drives me crazy. Removing business that could provide jobs to build low income housing for people who need jobs. And removing income for locals who would then spend locally....and on and on. Outrageous.

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  5. I hope Kevin Ranker's stooges and quislings are reading these and reporting back to that pathetic fool and narcissistic bully. I almost hope he wins so he can be slowly roasted on the spit of derision and scorn he deserves. The reason we are in this insane mess is that he and his confederates set the bloody stage for it at the outset. Never forget that.

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  6. Band of Five Thieves is more accurate.

    SB

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  7. And then you have the Port of Friday Harbor Management and Board who just awarded a contract of over three million cash green to an OFF ISLAND contractor!

    Oh the excuses they will have. Meanwhile progressive models devise and execute methods to insure they not only get local bids, but also write bid request language that helps the local people win such bids.

    Will most of that 3 Mil now leave the Island? Visualize all the services and businesses that would have benefited if those funds had stayed here!

    So no excuses. From here on out do it right or get someone who can.

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  8. progressive models?

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  9. You betcha. Tall and tan and young and lovely the progressive model gets all your money.

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