Monday, November 19, 2012

Gratitude II

photo of autumn foliage of pines, oaks, tamaracks, meadow
To continue on this Thanksgiving's week theme of gratitude, I'm grateful that, in 2008, my fellow Minnesotan's enacted the Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment to the state's constitution, adding three-eighths of one percent to the state's sales tax to protect and preserve Minnesota's natural and cultural resources. At the time, there was concern expressed by some about the combination of "hook and bullet" with ballet types and interests. In My Minnesota, life's quality comes from living in sustainable communities set in magnificent natural environments and enjoying literary, graphic, performance and other artistic activities necessary to add value to a sustainable life. I'm grateful that increasing numbers of Minnesotans are recognizing that economy versus environment is a false dichotomy. Conservative (read efficient and effective) use of natural resources makes business more competitive in a global economy. Business externalities often turn out to be social costs the rest of us must pay for. I heard a chamber of commerce leader on the radio yesterday note that "any increased tax (cost) to business will be passed on the the customer." I'd rather see those who buy the product pay those costs than have to subsidize them through publicly paid clean-up costs. I'm becoming convinced that the best way to protect My Minnesota's natural resources is by creating great communities where we want to live and great businesses where we want to work. I'm grateful especially to those who are leading the way there.