Friday, September 21, 2007

Power and government

And government power...

A federal rule, made in reaction to a 2003 blackout that started by trees sagging onto power lines, will mean that many folks will be losing trees in their yards, as utility companies who once trimmed trees (well, some would say butchered) will now be cutting them down.

Property owners, understanding that the value of their homes will decrease, are not happy. Of course, they would be unhappy if their power went out for a few days, too, but in their view, that's a risk they're willing to take. Big trees take decades to grow, but a power outage is a short-term problem that occurs infrequently.

I understand why a rule like this comes to be, and I understand why the property owners are upset. Some group of government functionaries have now substituted their judgment and their calculations of risk vs. reward for those of the effected people. That's their job, and they've been granted, for better or worse, the ability to do these things.

Lesson? That government is not your friend. It isn't concerned about you as an individual, or even you as a part of a larger group. Government has its own concerns, and when they conflict with yours...

Yours will lose.

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