Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Breaking the silence

I have been quiet for a while as I've been caught up in other matters in life:  personal, professional, political.

Today, with Obama reelected, I can move on. Not that I did enough to materially support his election, and I've felt guilt about that, but I've learned enough in recent months to know that it's not about me.

North Carolina is moving in the wrong direction politically. Oh well, we'll have to fix that.

Working with my mom up in Roxboro has been showing me how extremely complicated it all is. On the one hand, there are restrictive new ordinances put in place to protect lake watersheds from run-off (good) and to support the extension of water and sewer out into the county to facilitate development (good, but the same end could have been facilitated earlier by political leadership with greater foresight) that add to the cost of development. This makes it harder to get jobs into an area that is economically challenged and needs jobs.  Part of me thinks that argues for looser regulation.  Certainly the higher costs raise the barriers to entry for developers, which will in time lead to greater concentration of wealth.

On the other hand, I was surprised to learn that Person County (where Roxboro is located) is rated by the EPA as one of the 10% most polluted counties in the United States, because of emissions from Progress (now Duke??) power plants up on Lakes Hyco and Mayo. This indicates to me that there hasn't been enough regulation (new regs came online to help in 2009), and that the real costs of energy haven't been adequately priced in.  They have, instead, been externalized and passed on to a lower income population.

I could go on and on, but must get back to work. The point is that the situation and life are extremely complicated, and there are no easy answers. Fact is, even the stuff I'm talking about above, I have only the most thumbnail comprehension of.

Reelecting Obama won't solve any or all of this, but I'm glad he's in office. If the Republicans can be moved away from Grover Norquist, we may be able to get on with our lives.

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