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| | |-+  Why is the West so anti-government?
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Author Topic: Why is the West so anti-government?  (Read 1147 times)
A.G. Snowstalker
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« on: March 26, 2012, 06:03:51 pm »
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By any measure, they were the region which received the most government assistance.

*Homestead Act
*Killing Indians (not positive, but it settled the West)
*Railroad subsidies
*Desert Land Act
*Timber and Stone Act
*A million conservation acts passed under the Progressive and New Deal eras

...and they're the home of wild, anti-government militias. Why is this?
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shua
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2012, 09:54:44 pm »
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All that government assistance comes with regulations and restrictions. You mention here federal land and conservation policies that some people feel infringes on their property rights. You mention subsidies for things that benefited some people but other people feel led to their exploitation. You also have to think about the culture of the people who moved out there in the first place and what they were seeking, and to what extent that culture has stayed the same or changed over time.  I don't think too many people of a Hamiltonian view headed out to Idaho, for example.
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Rockingham
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 06:47:32 am »
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By any measure, they were the region which received the most government assistance.

*Homestead Act
*Killing Indians (not positive, but it settled the West)
*Railroad subsidies
*Desert Land Act
*Timber and Stone Act
*A million conservation acts passed under the Progressive and New Deal eras

...and they're the home of wild, anti-government militias. Why is this?
I don't see how the Homestead Act, Desert Land Act and T&S Act qualify as "government assistance", to the contrary they were land privatization. The latter two in particular were bungled and corrupt land privatization and it's possible that distribution of Western lands would have been better handled by local/state communities(more "on the ground" knowledge, actual accountability to the voters of the regions, possibly less corrupted).

Regarding Indians, their is one area that didn't have the federal government suppressing Indians: Utah/Deseret. The Mormons knew they didn't have the federal government to assist them with the Indians and so they avoided antagonizing them... consequently white-Indian relations were far more amicable in Deseret/Utah then they were anywhere else.

I don't know about the other Western communities, but the Mormons have every reason to anti-government. They set up their Deseret communes without any federal assistance whatsoever, and then the government came riding in and oppressed them for desiring to remain autonomous and for practicing polygamy, going so far as to strip of democratic representation and render them a minority through non-Mormon migration. The same federal government that had made no effort to protect them from prior pogroms in Missouri and other Eastern states.

Libertarians and Conservatives tend to to be apathetic at best to federally imposed conservation acts. Their general attitude is that they should be decided on a state/local level, because the cost side of cost/benefit equation of conservation acts is largely borne by the Western communities who would economically benefit from resource exploitation, whereas the benefit side is most heavily received by wealthy outsiders engaging in tourism.
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Phony Moderate
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2012, 07:04:43 am »
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A more logical question would be: "Why are so many in the West under the delusion that they are anti-government?".
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Lt. Governor TJ
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2012, 02:01:43 pm »
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I was always under the impression that the west is somewhat anti-government because of the conservation acts passed in the progressive era; they vaguely disdain so much land owned by the government all around them.
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LastVoter
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2012, 05:03:42 pm »
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I was always under the impression that the west is somewhat anti-government because of the conservation acts passed in the progressive era; they vaguely disdain so much land owned by the government all around them.
Lol, most government owned land is not suitable for economic activity, but more for recreation, and if its(like mining) it's whored out to the corporations.
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memphis
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2012, 05:50:39 pm »
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It's not.
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MooMooMoo
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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2012, 07:30:25 pm »
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I guess the question is why the West has that reputation?

My guess is that the majority of the land out here is DoI, DoA or DoD or any other plethora of Federal Departments.
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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2012, 08:05:22 pm »
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Except for the Pacific states, most of the West is sparsely populated. People are very self sufficient and don't like to be told what to do.
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memphis
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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2012, 08:27:50 pm »
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Except for the Pacific states, most of the West is sparsely populated. People are very self sufficient and don't like to be told what to do.
Land doesn't vote though. Take a state like NV. Even though it's most empty, just about everybody lives around Vegas or Reno, areas that are not sparse. The same is true in Arizona and Colorado. If anything, the West has the least percent of people living in low density areas. You need a new explanation
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« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2012, 09:24:22 pm »
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Lol, most government owned land is not suitable for economic activity, but more for recreation, and if its(like mining) it's whored out to the corporations.
Which is exactly what the Westerners want. Corporate exploitation of surrounding land bring employment and economic booms(look at North Dakota for example, doing better in this present recession then any other state of the nation, primarily due to the oil fracking boom.

You can certainly point to the environmental consequences of that... the problem is that it's mostly people outside of the mountain/praire states(in New York or California and so on) that cry about that, while prairie Westerners don't care. They see their regions being denied potential economic booms in the name of the sentimental concerns of distant individuals with no financial stake in the potential boom.

Land doesn't vote though. Take a state like NV. Even though it's most empty, just about everybody lives around Vegas or Reno, areas that are not sparse. The same is true in Arizona and Colorado. If anything, the West has the least percent of people living in low density areas. You need a new explanation
You've just hit the nail on the head here. Settlement in the West is highly concentrated, Vegas being a fine example. Which means that, unless more land is opened up to enable urban sprawl, they are prone to housing inaffordability and bubbles. This is precisely what happened in Las Vegas, and has led to it being one of the most devestated cities in the nation- and the reason that Vegas couldn't expand outwards is that the federal government owned all the land surrounding Las Vegas and refused to open any up for development(primarily due to pressure from the real estate industry whom favour higher property prices... ).
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memphis
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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2012, 09:54:48 pm »
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You think that the problem with the Las Vegas real estate market is lack of supply? That's an odd take....
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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2012, 10:41:32 pm »
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You think that the problem with the Las Vegas real estate market is lack of supply? That's an odd take....
Of course. More supply would mean far lower prices. It would mean the bubble and burst would have been both smaller and smoother, and by definition their wouldn't be such affordability problems.
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memphis
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« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2012, 08:52:53 am »
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You think that the problem with the Las Vegas real estate market is lack of supply? That's an odd take....
Of course. More supply would mean far lower prices. It would mean the bubble and burst would have been both smaller and smoother, and by definition their wouldn't be such affordability problems.

Vegas doesn't have an affordability problem. They have extremely reasonable prices and a huge oversupply of vacant houses. You can get a very nice home there for $100,000, which is less than they cost to build. That's why nobody is building anymore.
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Mechaman
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« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2012, 08:58:37 am »
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You think that the problem with the Las Vegas real estate market is lack of supply? That's an odd take....
Of course. More supply would mean far lower prices. It would mean the bubble and burst would have been both smaller and smoother, and by definition their wouldn't be such affordability problems.

Vegas doesn't have an affordability problem. They have extremely reasonable prices and a huge oversupply of vacant houses. You can get a very nice home there for $100,000, which is less than they cost to build. That's why nobody is building anymore.

Holy wow.

I'm moving to Vegas.
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memphis
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« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2012, 01:22:41 pm »
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You think that the problem with the Las Vegas real estate market is lack of supply? That's an odd take....
Of course. More supply would mean far lower prices. It would mean the bubble and burst would have been both smaller and smoother, and by definition their wouldn't be such affordability problems.

Vegas doesn't have an affordability problem. They have extremely reasonable prices and a huge oversupply of vacant houses. You can get a very nice home there for $100,000, which is less than they cost to build. That's why nobody is building anymore.

Holy wow.

I'm moving to Vegas.
Good luck finding a job. Now that many states have gotten on board the legalized gambling train, Vegas is in a world of hurt. True story: In the 80s, my dad and his girlfriend flew 2000 miles to go gamble there. Today, you can gamble all you want just a couple of counties away from here. The feds were even kind enough to build a interstate spur to make the trip even faster. And Vegas is running low on water too. That probably won't end well.
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