December 13, 2019

Taxpayers Funding the Industrial Complex

This is nothing new, right? We all know that for a very long time us taxpayers have been funding just about every pet project of some corrupt, fascistic politician and all his or her crony buddies for personal gain and political votes. Here’s another look at the hegemony thriving in this country, when powers of the industrial complex wield their control over government, forcing the government’s hand, which then becomes the responsibility of contracted citizens (you and me) to pay taxes and more taxes to fund the criminal enterprise – and liking it. One such example is found in an article at the Wall Street Journal. Unfortunately this article is behind a paywall.

Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, it turns out, spends lots and lots of time and money lobbying the Federal Government to do things like TAKE more and more land from the states/people for the main reason to have more and more land where his customers can do things like hike and camp and rock climb, etc., which places him and his company in a position to profit monetarily. The Federal Government taking land is nothing new. But are they really taking it? I’ll leave that discussion for another time.

The problem with this scenario is that the contracted citizen is left with the bill to subsidize the company of Patagonia by providing its customers a place to play. The more places to play the more money Patagonia stands to make. In addition, if companies like Patagonia can continue to successfully lobby the Federal Government to restrict use of those lands to only the activities of which they provide gear for, all the more money and exclusivity.

The taxpayer’s responsibility grows however. We know that the Federal Government is seriously in arrears in maintenance and upkeep of the land they already have in direct control. The cost of such maintenance falls on the taxpayer. The Federal Government needs at least an additional $20 billion dollars each year just to keep up with the federal land maintained. It seems ridiculous to keep adding to the shortfall by taking over more land…unless of course the powerful Industrial Complex forces presidents, like Barack Obama, to keep creating national monuments, perhaps knowing full well that Congress would not approve taking over more land for more parks. Or maybe it’s not forcing anybody to do anything. Aren’t they all in it together?

We know that just before Obama left office he designated two new national monuments – Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine and Bears Ears in Utah. We now know that Chouinard lobbied Obama very hard to get the Utah national monument in order to pad his own wallet at our expense.

In both cases, Maine and Utah governments are working hard to get President Trump to somehow overturn the designation of the two monuments. It appears quite clear that the majority of the people did not want either of the two monuments but the Federal Hegemony cannot be reeled in.

In addition, the author of the WSJ piece suggested that a solution to this problem would be to implement an excise tax on camping, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, etc. gear, similar to the Pittman-Robertson excise tax on shooting and hunting gear, and the Dingell-Johnson excise tax on fishing gear, to fund the upkeep of federal lands and/or to get that section of the outdoor sports and recreation industry to begin paying their way. I’m not so sure that this would actually solve anything and might create more problems if not implemented properly. Otherwise, the present act of federal takeover of land and lobbying efforts would not bring into check the hegemony but might expand it even further. I would have to examine this very closely.

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