Thursday, September 10, 2009

Who The People?

There never seems to be an end to the lengths that politicians will travel to gather more power unto government in the name of "the people."

Seriously, what facet of our lives is not currently regulated by our benevolent overseers in service to someone else's vision of who "the people" are?

If you can grow it, eat it, smoke it, smell it, wear it, drive it, trade it, sell it, raise it, breathe it, buy it, earn it, rent it, own it, catch it, or burn it, you can bet there is a regulator of "the people" in service to "the people" hired to make certain "the people" aren't being endangered, endangering another member of "the people," or that is available to work behind the counter so that "the people" know where to pay the proper fees. (As we all know, these layers of bureaucracy must be financed by someone, and "the people" seem like good candidates.)

Water may become the next "it," not because water usage is currently unregulated here in Michigan, but rather because legislators have found another area in our lives in which we still maintain a certain amount of individual control.

[...] State Representative Dan Scripps (D-Leland) laid out his vision for protecting all of Michigan's waters, including lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater, by affirming they should be clearly defined as a public resource, giving them the same protections against privatization as the Great Lakes and all surface water.
That's right folks. My tasty tap water, drawn from a sixty foot well directly underneath my home, should be the providence of Dan Scripps, at least according to Dan Scripps.
"We're surrounded by 20 percent of the world's fresh water, and with that blessing comes an incredible responsibility," Scripps said. "We must act as responsible stewards of our waters and preserve our lakes, rivers and beaches for future generations. Our waters are not only part of our heritage, but a key part of creating and protecting thousands of jobs across Northwest Michigan and a cornerstone of Michigan's tourism industry."
Obviously the only reasonable way to accomplish responsible stewardship is to put Dan Scripps and company in charge. We homeowners and property owners would never practice enough self restraint to take care of our own water. We need Dan Scripps!
Scripps will introduce legislation this week to clarify that Michigan's waters are subject to the public trust, placing them under the shared ownership of the people of Michigan for the benefit of present and future generations.

"This legislation will erase any doubt that the waters of Michigan belong to the citizens of Michigan," Scripps said, "and that Michigan citizens must continue to have a say in protecting this resource."
That is unless a Michigan citizen such as myself might actually want to have an individual say in the water underneath my own land, the waters that travel through my property, or any mud puddles that might happen to form out back after a warm summer rain.

Clearly Scripps is talking about a different kind of citizen, you know, the kind that has a legislative office down in Lansing.
[...]"Our state relies on healthy waters to sustain jobs in our three largest industries," Scripps said. "We need to protect these jobs as we work to pull Michigan out of this economic slump. But this plan is about more than that. The Great Lakes are part of what makes us who we are here in Michigan. They're a defining part of our state – Michigan's crown jewels – and that's a history and legacy we must fight to preserve."
No kidding, Einstein.

I'm not certain if Dan Scripps has a legislative map of Michigan, but if he does it might help to look at the coagulation of power in the heavily populated areas of Michigan. We hicks have little power politically, but what we do have is land and resources--lots of both. Why would a northern legislator want to cede local and individual control of water (a resource that historically the legislature has no reason to even claim) largely to urban legislators who have performed so horribly when attempting to govern any facet of public or private life in their own back yards? Sure, lets put them in charge.

Furthermore, Scripps talks as if Michigan's current laws leave Michigan waters completely unprotected. If you listen to him long enough you might even become convinced that individuals interested in personal property rights are in league with Simon Bar Sinister to destroy the Earth. (After reading Scripps' enlightened speech I nearly turned myself into the authorities for running too much rinse water.)

It is becoming increasingly difficult to find any area in our own private lives where the government has not shoved its big fat bulbous nose, all ostensibly in service to "the people" whose private lives they have invaded. However, whenever I try to find out who any of these people are that Scripps says "must continue to have a say" as it relates to any issue, all I ever get is a hopeless shrug and a slight nod toward the Capitols.

So, enjoy that tall glass of cool and refreshing tap water! It might not taste quite as good once "the people" begin running it through a meter.

cross posted at Right Michigan

1 comment:

Janet Brown said...

Our leaders in Washington must seriously consider new and innovative policies that promote a better, more confident, prosperous, and secure America in the 21st century. One of the things I think we can do to help make that happen is support American businesses and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (http://bit.ly/oanAT). They're doing things to reach out and show people that they can get involved, too.