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February 19, 2001

Fable of endless welfare

Fairy Godfather of Westlands

Once upon time, there were these Great Lords of Westlands: Giffins, Pecks, Harrises, Dieners, Stones, ONeills, Boswells, Southern Pacific, Standard Oil, Wolfs. They had many lands and an unlimited supply of water to make these lands fertile, or so they thought in the 1920s, when they were young and brash.

By the mid-40s they were running out of water. Pumping too much.They stormed the Federal Fairy Godfather demanding water to save their empires from disaster. Cheap water. Water paid 95% by taxpayers throughout the whole land. Water which was in limited supply. Water the supply of which Godfather could not guarantee... For long.

So it came to pass. Other Lords, Sub-Lords and Sub-Sub-Lords throughout the land became agitated by this proposed great largesse Godfather was giving to the Lords of Westlands. To quiet these objections, Godfather required that the Lords of Westlands sign a pledge to him that after they became rich from this nearly free water, they would share said water with Sub- Lords and Sub-Sub-Lords from across the land at the same prices they paid for the water. The Lords of Westlands gladly signed these pledges, all the while giggling behind their other hand, because Godfather had secretly promised them never to call in the pledges.

So it came to pass. Another glitch appeared. All of the Godfather seers foretold that more water brought to Westlands would pollute the lands and the waters therein. So the Lords directed Godfather to take away the pollution and dump it out of the Westlands...Without consent from the other places which were to be polluted.

So it came to pass. Godfather delivered much water at 5% of actual costs. The Westlands and its waters became polluted. Godfather tried to take the pollution away, but the other places to be polluted objected. Pollution spread to other lands and waters. Birds became deformed. People feared for their health. A great outcry across the land forced Godfather to stop moving the pollution away.

So it came to pass. Much land of the Westlands Lords itself became polluted and unfertile. And Godfather himself began to run out of water. So the Lords of Westlands directed Godfather to rescue them from mounting financial ruin.

So it came to pass. Godfather is buying much land of the Lords so they can move elsewhere to grow surplus crops. Godfather is not paying the Lords what the land is worth without the water. Maybe $200/acre. He is paying $2,000-$3,000/acre, a price which assumes the land is fertile and adequately watered. Neither of which is true. It is saline, polluted and desert.. Godfather does not really care about the price because it is not his money. It is our money.

So it came to pass. Godfather again lines the pockets of the Lords of Westlands... At our expense.

Many Westlands Lords are upslope from the pollution. They will remain with super cheap water and fertile lands. They will expand their riches. They will laugh all the way to the bank. They will whine about Godfather in public places because he likes birds and a few other Sub-Sub-Lords and tiny animals. However, all the while, they are plying him with $$ and other favors in private so he is readily available next time they have a great need.

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