DEBATE OF '98- role of government and leaders

JimiFromMI jimifrommi at
Tue Apr 21 01:43:09 EST 1998

Forestry issues are too long term to be handled by the U.S. Gov't, whose
members have traditionally cared only about the vote (short term).  It is not
surprising that likewise, social security is also screwed up.

Perhaps the best way to get something done is closer to grass roots up to
various State Govts.  I'd love to see an improvement in the system with regard
to public reforendums.  I think it is the only way to take care of our
important issues; most politicians are afraid to do whats right for the country
in the long term.  Who knows?  Now that 40 years of dominance in congress by
that one party has ended, maybe we'll  see real solutions offered for some of
our major problems.

With regard to public lands:  It would be cool to have 7 or 8 different land
use management proposals on the ballot to choose from.  The goals could be
relatively broad and easy to understand (and of course printed in Spanish). 
You forestry experts can figure out the details.  Pick your favorite 3.  Have a
run off to pick the final poison.  This would happen only after a massive
educational campaign identifying all interests, agendas, etc.

The internet would be a great forum for debating (and perhaps 'voting' on
provisions).  Of course, we have to wait for Al Gore to "put a computer in
every household".

Lets take it a step further.  Eliminate most of our federal politicians and do
everything by public reforendum!  Of course President Clinton and the FBI won't
allow us citizens  secure communications to do these sorts of things over the
web (wasn't encryption use just banned?).

We as a people need to decide what our long term interests are (in the name of
generations to come).  While a trade deficit is not necessarily a bad thing (it
allows us consumers, "the people" to afford products that otherwise would be
too expensive) we need to decide, for instance, whether cheap clothes imported
from afar is worth the tortuous child or slave labor practiced in a particular
country.  We need to stop bashing morality as a "freedom FROM religion" issue
and instead embrace it.  Even though many scholars disagree, I believe that
laws are basically rooted in morality.  Of course in effect, many laws in the
U.S. are down-right immoral.

We as a people need to decide just how much special protection we need to
provide to our forestry related industries and pleasures.  I think I'd like the
U.S. to manage timber more on a self-sustained basis.  This may mean limiting
exportation of timber.  Green light for the importation of raw logs to fill
voids in our own production (except from those countries that our new-found
moral high ground dictates not worthy our American dollars).  Tax breaks (or
abatements) for those private landholders who implement desired (whatever that
is) forestry practices.

I'm not suggesting government involvement to the extent that they regulate oil
and gas (notice though, how we tend to "save" these resources?) after all, a
forest is grown over night in comparison to an oil field!  But shouldn't we
vere a wee bit towards isolationism/protectionism with regard to our trees,
which don't really grow over night?

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