Today's Paper Obits Weather Community Calendar Newsletters Readers' Choice: Best of the Best
story.lead_photo.caption Richard Mason

Today our country is enjoying a booming economy. The economic improvement has sent the stock market to new highs, and the average American has more money in their pockets than ever before. But, as you know, we Americans can’t be satisfied. No, we’re always striving for more, and that equals high productivity. American productivity has had a big part in making America the superpower we are today. We are the most powerful nation on earth militarily and economically.

However, it seems, even with all the progress we’ve made, some folks aren’t satisfied, and they want more, and the problem is, they want more anyway they can get it. Barriers have been conveniently pushed aside in the rush to make as much money as possible, and to accomplish that goal, many of the laws and regulations that stood in the way of their rush to make more money have been eliminated. It’s sad to say this, but a large number of Americans have become obsessed with the goal to make as much money as humanly possible.

I’m an American capitalist, small business owner, and I want to make a buck as bad as anyone, but in today’s America I’m shocked at what lengths some Americans will go to make money. In other words, while we are having the best of economic times our greed is setting the stage for the worst of times. It’s the rush to make money, a hell-bent-for-leather quest, to use an old Texas comment, and we seem to believe there are no consequences for our actions.

They’re too modest to say, “Yeah, we need to get out of that climate change stuff. It’ll keep me from making money.” No, they conveniently ignore and trash the facts presented by 97% of the World’s scientists to denounce what the rest of the world’s countries and the Pope are calling global warming. We are the only country in the World backing out of the Paris agreement and they did it simply to make money, and they’re lying through their teeth when they try to justify not believing the obvious. And what’s worse, they know they’re lying. Or maybe the lust for money has clouded their mind to the point where they actually believe the lie.

The EPA is going to let the states handle coal fired plants discharges, but what they don’t say is they’re doing it to allow the coal companies and the coal fired energy plants to continue to make more money at the expense of clean air. They gut the Endangered Species Act, but don’t say, “To make more money.” But, it’s true! And when our National Monuments are reduced in size and the Arctic National Wildlife is opened up for exploitation, they’re too modest to cheer, so they cross their fingers and say, “We need the oil” even though they know the world is awash in oil, and renewable energy is moving into the energy picture. Yes, the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, one of the last pristine places on earth, will be crisscrossed with roads and after numerous rounds of drilling, and even the possibility of open pit mining, the once vast herds that roam the tundra will be a thing of the past. Yes, they know that is a fact, but they won’t stop. It is the rush to make every dollar they can at the expense of our health, our environment, and our children’s and grandchildren’s future.

Sure, clearcutting a 10,000-acre swath of our National Forests will make some folks a lot of money, but it and the hundreds more that will be allowed under our congressman’s bill will leave scars on the land that will haunt our children and take a generation to recover. But that doesn’t stop Bruce Westerman, our congressman, from offering a bill that would let that happen. Multiply the 10,000-acre clear-cut by a 100 and a clear-cut the size of a large county could happen under his bill.

Of course, they conveniently try to ignore the Buffalo National River as a hog farm pollutes it, because they wouldn’t want to be associated with the group of folks who would try to stop someone from making money.

Money is not the root of all evil. No, but the Love of Money probably is.” And the evil lust for money at any cost is setting our quality of life back a full generation, while our elected officials brag about getting rid of regulations. Those regulations are there for maintaining the quality of life everyone wants.

Yes, they give lip service to draining the swamp, but in reality, they’re not draining the swamp, they’re poisoning the swamp, clearing the swamp trees, polluting the swamp water and killing the swamp fish. As a government official brags about reducing regulations, what he or she is really saying is, “Have at it boys. Whatever you want to do to make money is okay.” Every time we look a bit deeper into a regulation that has been removed, we find out its being removed to let a company or individual make more money while the environmental impact is ignored

And speaking of companies making money, the recent huge corporate tax cut, which will add a trillion dollars to the National Debt, is the ultimate giveaway. I’m no accountant, but the chickens will come home to roost on that greedy grab. The fiscal irresponsible addition of one trillion dollar to the National Debt just highlights the greed for more money.

I hate to say it, but a lot of Americans have so ingrained the desire to make money at any cost into their mindset that they must believe the sole purpose of life on earth is to accumulate wealth. It boggles the mind. They must be living under the mantra; “Who dies with the most stuff wins.”

I guess the real shock to me is the denial by a lot of people about what is going on. When a person talks about the future of his or her grandchildren, it’s always in a glowing and positive manner, and if you quiz them further, they would tell you their hope for the future is that their grandchildren and great grandchildren will have a better quality of life than they did.

But how can a person say that knowing the dismal world that they are creating for their grandchildren to live in? A world of endless wildfires, super hurricanes, tornados, and a drought that will create a worldwide famine. A child born today will easily live to see the cities of New Orleans and Miami become unlivable due to massive flooding caused by global warming, if we don’t reverse it. But those same children’s parents will scoff at the 97% of the world’s scientists who tell them that. It’s an overriding desire to make money that taints the minds of a large number of people to the point that they won’t believe the facts. And the facts are evident.

Lord deliver us!


Keep turning in those cougar sightings! Great response so far. The sightings report, complete with pictures, will be in my September 16th column. It will surprise a lot of folks.

Richard Mason is a registered professional geologist, downtown developer, former chairman of the Department of Environmental Quality Board of Commissioners, past president of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation, and syndicated columnist. Email

Sponsor Content


comments powered by Disqus