Saturday, November 06, 2004

What's the Matter with Kansas?

Here's a good letter from the November 3rd Wichita Eagle:
Thomas Frank's book "What's the Matter With Kansas?" describes the neocolonial-style situation in Garden City, where huge, out-of-state agribusinesses have exploited the land and cheap labor to create meatpacking and food-processing combines that have simultaneously despoiled the natural environment and created a mess of poverty and ruined infrastructure. That part of Kansas becomes a warren of trailer parks and tacky apartment buildings, while the profits drain to capitalist enterprises far away.

Now The Eagle editorial board thinks Kansas is "losing out" on wind farming in the beautiful, irreplaceable Flint Hills ("Wind: Kansas is losing out," Oct. 11 Opinion). For a relatively small amount of cash paid to some local communities, and a windfall for a few local landowners, the editorial board seems hopeful that the Flint Hills can be colonized by an out-of-state energy company that will despoil the hills -- our spiritual treasure -- and pipe the massive profits to outsiders. Perhaps the editorial board would also like to reconsider the pig farm colonization of north-central Kansas.

What's the matter with Kansas? For one thing, The Wichita Eagle.

Gaylord Dold
Wichita