June 2014

Montezuma County's debilitating condition

By Galen Larson

Montezuma County has a debilitating disease that surfaces every now and then, hampering our growth. Its acronym is PPLS.

Its symptoms include a lack of innovation and a lack of vision, a John Wayne mentality, a rough-and-ready individual lifestyle. We forget that type of lifestyle was fiction, displayed on celluloid film now slowly decaying in the archives of the movie industry. The guns shot blanks and the fisticuffs were staged; the actors portraying this lifestyle were paid handsomely. Yet we seem to believe it was all real and try to act like those Western figures in our own lives – as when people backed that stupid fool in Nevada, not caring that he is stealing from the very ones that support him. He is already getting a subsidy from us taxpayers through the low cost of grazing his cattle on our land – allowing him to profit from their sale – yet he doesn’t think he should have to pay any money at all for the privilege.

What is so ironic about the anti-government movement is it is promulgated by many of the very people we elect that get their livelihood from the government. Makes one think we are getting scammed. A goodly portion of Montezuma County is supported by the federal government through wages, subsidies and grants. Take all that away, and we’d be far worse off than we are.

I was informed by one of our elected officials that our debt is pulling us down. Well, the world runs on debt, from Africa to the Arctic. We the taxpayers (whom one of our officials states he represents instead of government) are the ones that pay off the debt.

Where did that debt come from? It started 14 years back when we were led into a no win war to bring democracy to a 6,000-yearold tribal people that didn’t want it. When one discusses democracy with local constitutionalists I find we are not supposed to have democracy, either. We are supposed to be a republic. So much for convoluted thoughts.

Taxes are not evil. Everyone pays taxes and they give us police, fire, hospitals, sidewalks, roads, food, and education. Unfortunately, sometimes they also support that scourge, PPLS, a disease almost fatal to small cities and towns.

We keep waiting for the cavalry to come riding over the hill to rescue us instead of rallying our forces here and bringing us back to what the early settlers left us. We have to use our government as it was meant to be used instead of fighting the president on every turn. As I see it, there is only one way to get out of debt: Put people to work. Not on that stupid pipeline that will provide 25,000 jobs for three years, but by starting to rebuild our infrastructure, which will put millions to work for years. Infrastructure like roads, bridges, sewers, schools, water, energy, and all types of manufacturing from rug to roofs.

That’s at the national level. Locally, we need to get rid of those that have PPLS, use our local resources and build our community again. We need to protect our meager water supply, keep our national forest healthy and garner its resources carefully, and work to cohabit with neighboring towns, counties and states. We need to expand our vision instead of shrinking it. And we need to elect some people not affected by PPLS, the Urinary- Deficient Guidance Syndrome. If you want the translation, give me a call.

Galen Larson writes from Montezuma County, Colo.