My good friend Walt Bonora of Lakewood wrote a letter to the editor of the Denver Post a couple of weeks ago to express his disgust with the free market. Walt wants civil government to make it illegal for people to move to the area where he already lives and he hates the fact that the free market continues to develop land in his neighborhood. But don't take my word for it. Here, in its entirety, is what Walt wrote:
"I was deeply saddened by Colorado Parks and Wildlife's recent decisions to kill two bears and two mountain lions, in the name of protecting people's safety. What about the safety of the animals we are disturbing? The older I get the more disgusted I get with people. We overdevelop, encroach, and tear down natural habitats to build more suburbs and golf courses and then get angry when an animal is doing what it has been genetically predisposed to do for millions of years. One solution is to stop over development. We don't need another strip mall. Stop building near wild natural places. The bears and mountains lions are searching for food. We don't have a population of a billion people in the US. There is plenty of room in this country, but far too many Americans are too accustomed to excesses, and that is a sad statement on our culture."
Well there you have it. Walt loves animals, especially bears and lions, and hates people, especially people who do things he does not want them to do like building new housing communities and strip malls. Walt feels free to speak for me every time he uses the word "we." I don't know who his "we" consists of but it most certainly does not include me. In fact, I disagree with everything Walt wrote. Let me dissect Walt's arguments here today.
The policy of the state government is to kill any large wild animal that consistently interacts with humans. It is true that in many cases it is the fault of the humans that the animal needs to be killed. Ignorant people who want to have their own personal zoo put out food to attract bears and lions so they can watch them from their back windows. Unfortunately for the animals, once they become accustomed to the presence of humans their life spans become very short. I would agree with Walt if he was asking people to allow wild animals to remain wild and not make any attempts to feed them or help them in any way. But that is not what Walt is asking. Walt wants human beings to relinquish their real estate holdings so animals can live there in our place.
"We" overdevelop, encroach and tear down natural habitats, according to Walt. I don't know who makes up the "we" he writes about but I have never developed, torn down or encroached upon the thing he calls a natural habitat. Or at least I think I haven't. I did buy a new home once. That home was built for me and located on a place that did not have any home on it before. In the course of building that home, which was in the city limits, I suspect spiders, maybe some snakes and possibly some prairie dogs were killed. My guess is that Walt does not care about that. My guess is that Walt only cares about prime mountain property when he accuses me of developing, tearing down and encroaching upon land that he evidently believes is owned by animals like lions and bears.
Entrepreneurs operating within the free market build the hated suburbs, including the golf courses that I like to play and that Walt writes about, in response to consumer demand. If consumers did not want homes in the suburbs and golf courses they would not be built. If blame needs to be placed upon someone for encroaching, tearing down and developing land allegedly owned by bears and lions then it should be placed squarely on the shoulders of consumers. I guess that is who Walt's "we" is. I wonder if Walt is a consumer. I would bet a pretty penny that Walt spends more money on consumption than I do. We will have to discuss that sometime.
Walt says the solution to the problem that does not exist is to stop building strip malls. Although he does not say it outright, I believe Walt wants the government to make a law to force developers to stop developing. The problem is people want strip malls, otherwise they would not be built. So in essence what Walt is saying is that he disagrees with people who want strip malls and, quite importantly, he considers himself to be morally superior because he does not want any more strip malls to be built. Walt believes that strip malls are being built in places where bears and lions are searching for food. His solution is to have evil, profit seeking developers build strip malls in the middle of BLM land in the outer reaches of southern Wyoming. There are no bears or lions in that part of the country. The problem is no humans live their either.
Walt's argument is an interesting one and that is why I decided to comment upon it today. Walt believes, if I am reading his letter accurately, that prime real estate should remain undeveloped because it belongs to lions and bears and human beings should be segregated, consolidated and isolated upon waste lands that nobody wants. Walt really takes the "animals first" position to the extreme. Walt believes new housing developments, strip malls and golf courses should be constructed in the middle of the Nevada desert where nobody wants to live so as to preserve prime mountain lands for the animals that live there today. Walt believes that it is a "sad statement" about our "culture" that human beings prefer to live in nice places, the same nice places where Walt's favorite animals live. I wonder where Walt lives?
Walt believes that animals should not be removed from places where humans decide to live because evolution has designed them to live in those areas. It seems rather clear that Walt believes in at least some of the tenets of the religion of evolution. The doctrine he clearly does not believe in is the survival of the fittest. Human beings are more fit to survive, thanks to Walt's evolution, than lions and bears. The dispassionate and amoral scales of evolution have spoken and human beings have won. That means that a practitioner of the religion of evolution should rejoice in the fact that human beings are raping and pillaging the planet, including the animals we come into contact with. But Walt is not happy. He is sad.
Walt needs to become a big boy and realize that human beings are on the top of the food chain. He also needs to realize that the free market is the greatest thing to ever happen to the people who populate this immoral country. The free market has provided material goods in abundance rarely seen throughout human history. We live in great comfort and security thanks to the free market. I, for one, appreciate that fact. I do not want to go back to the days when grizzly bears would attack my wagon train and kill half my animals. I like it when animals run from me in fear. I must disagree with Walt. I believe human beings must always be put first and animals must be put second. Although Walt says he would rather put animals first I suspect that his complaining is really more related to the fact that he has a nice home in Colorado and he doe not want anyone else to move here. I wish he would just come out and say that rather than confuse the issue by writing about lions and bears.