Sunday, November 26, 2006

Tax and Spend Progressives

It seems the new Anderson County Economic Development Director Heather Simmons Jones has been on the job for a mere few days but has already warmed up to the idea of adding another tax to the good citizens of the county.

Among the various projects she is batting around in bringing sewer service to the S.C. 24 exit 11 area. Of course to actually make this work the road and bridge must first be widened - to the tune of $130 million.

Lee Luff (Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce) and Holt Hopkins(Transportation Director) are all for this notion and will push again for a 1 cent sales tax in 2008.

Mrs. Jones said of her new job and the possibilities in Anderson - "It's like an economic developer's dream."

That maybe true Mrs. Jones but the short-sighted vision you and other progressives in the county are holding out as a dream is to many decent folks little more than a nightmare come home to roost.

The Greenville urban outgrowth that the progressives see as opportunity many see as blight and the visible represetation of cullture dying.

James Howard Kunstler describes this blight thusly -

Just returned from a road trip to a couple of small towns in Minnesota. The spectacle of chain store sprawl along Interstate 94 from Minneapolis to St. Cloud is an amazing and appalling sight, a late-stage cancer of the landscape. It isn't any different or necessarily worse than thousands of other sprawl corridors around the nation, but it portends a destiny just as dark. On the whole, the public does not apprehend the danger it represents to our future.

He uses another term to describe this - it begins with cluster.... I will not complete the rest but it is an accurate, if profane, description.

This nonesense is occuring all over America - why must we encourage it here? Back in the 1970's when Harold Smith, Jim Beson and Cecil Bracken worked to bring water services to the Powedersville area did it occur with county funds? Was there a sales tax to encourage the project? NO. In fact the project only worked because enough existing citizens joined together to incorporate the water company. This was "Just-in-time" growth.

The idea of "building it and they will come" looks good on paper - the result is however something much less appealing.

Anderson will, and should grow. It is the nature of things. However, we have a real chance to shape the nature of that growth. Reacting to percieved immediate needs while fundementally ignoring that which is important and permemant is wrong - it is the product of a failed ideology. Progressivism has and will never produce anythg of great or lasting worth.

If Anderson County is to have a sales tax let it serve the purpose of reducing another tax - not as a means to expand governemnt. Reduce or eliminate property taxes and let the citizens of Anderson be truly free to own their own homes. A sales tax for any other reason than the reduction of a current tax would simply be wrong.

Perhaps Joshua is correct and folks like this ought to read a little Wendell Berry before attempting to fundementally change the nature of a place and the people that call that place home.

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