Letters to the editor, Feb. 25-28, 2017
Submitted by Park Record readers
Utah’s elected officials are on the wrong side of public lands issue
I am writing to oppose actions by Governor Herbert and our elected officials to do away with or shrink Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument.
These lands are a benefit to Utah’s outdoor tourism industry and a legacy for generations to come. Our politicians are driving away events like the Outdoor Retailer Exposition. The outdoor tourism industry creates over $1 billion in tax revenues for Utah. Tourism continues to grow in Utah. Visitors come from around the world. The abundance of natural wonders and recreational opportunities attracts many businesses to relocate to Utah.
Places like Comb Ridge, Valley of the Gods, Grand Gulch, Natural Bridges, Moki Canyon and House on Fire are Utah treasures. These areas abound with natural beauty. Sacred grounds and tens of thousands of archeological sites are amid the canyons and cliffs. Extraction industries directly threaten these places. Mining should take place away from our beautiful public lands. Public lands should remain public for all to enjoy.
We should be working hard to protect and preserve our natural treasures for future generations. Please don’t “take paradise and put up a parking lot.”
* * *
Economic data proves equal pay pays off
I appreciated the revealing point of view, published in The Park Record’s Feb. 15-17 edition, of an apparently sincere person, against SB 210, legislation now being considered to “study the issue” of paying women equal pay for the same work, because that stance has mystified me for years.
I suggest Mr. Green take two hours and go see the Academy Award-nominated movie “Hidden Figures.” The story, based upon the real lives of three remarkable women, demonstrates beyond words the unfairness of systematic workplace discrimination. It makes abundantly clear not only the immorality of discrimination (in this case both racial, and anti-feminine), but also how inefficient and costly it was to the employer (NASA).
Mr. Green’s view that workforce regulation and practice should conform with “Father Knows Best” style values, placing women firmly in the home, and discouraging their workforce participation with low wages, is not only ethically indefensible, it is based upon two invalid assumptions: 1) that working women compete against men for some fixed number of jobs, and 2) that paying them equally forces employers to reduce the pay of men to balance their books.
Abundant macro-economic data demonstrates that countries with full workforce participation of women experience significant growth, which increases both the number of jobs, and enterprise profitability, allowing all wages to rise.
Sadly, SB 210 appears to be conceived by Rep. Jacob Anderegg, R-Lehi, as just a baby-step, buying the legislature another year to “gather data” (readily available), while testing the political water (with both Church leadership, and voters) on this issue for some future session… maybe. That’s life in our theocracy.
Fact is, effective legislation reinforcing equal pay for equal work is long over due.
* * *
Mr.Green’s apology has a hollow ring
I’m still reeling from GOP Vice Chairman, James Green’s blatant discriminatory letter against equal pay for women. In his follow-up letter, he emphasized how he “worked his fingers to the bone so his Wife could stay at home and raise his two Sons” who are now doctor/surgeons. It made me question if he would have put the same work effort and emphasis on education into his family had those two sons been daughters.
As GOP Vice Chair, James Green implies he represents only his male constituents … ouch. He conjures up nightmarish impressions of women in Wasatch County as not having a voice, vote or education because mothers, grandmothers, wives and daughters should work only in the home whether they want to or not. Here’s a thought, If they were to be paid for their work in the home, the “Wife” would definitely earn more since her job is round-the-clock 24/7.
Wake up Mr. Green…all women deserve equal pay including your “Wife.” I vote that you NOT represent Wasatch County in any way, shape or form.
* * *
Here’s how you can help save Bears Ears
I oppose actions by our legislature to eliminate or shrink Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante monument. I’m sure many of you reading this feel the same way, especially after President Obama already shrunk the parcel by 600,000 acres.
Here in Park City, most of us appreciate the benefits of tourism and open space and believe they would serve the Bears Ears and Escalante communities better than mining, drilling and development. If you agree, here are a few things you can do to make a difference while having some fun:
1. Call and write to your representatives and the Governor.
2. Visit these areas. Talk with the locals. Spend a little money. Jumpstart the economic benefit that the local population may not yet appreciate.
3. Take pictures of the magnificent landscape. Post on social media. Educate your friends and family. Ask them to take action.
So when you’re planning your mud-season desert trip this spring, make sure you include Bears Ears and Escalante. Do your part to keep these areas pristine and pure for all. Be the change you want to see.
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“Proponents should be honest about what they plan to put in a landfill,” writes Thomas Jacobson, “and everyone should understand the consequences if the geology and hydrology have not been properly studied.”