Rugged individualism and Independence with a government safety net

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

“The standoff in Harney County Oregon highlights one of the great ironies of the rural West. More than any other people, western rural residents are more heavily dependent on government (read taxpayer) largesse than any other part of America. Yet the average rural resident sees himself/herself as a “rugged and independent” individual and by the way, “hard working” to boot. They may indeed work hard—but no harder than anyone else in this country, but more than other residents, their work and lifestyles are dependent on government and subsidies.

“From the pioneer days onward, the federal government has subsidized western rural lifestyles. The earliest federal military expeditions exploring potential trade route, military roads, and railroad routes as well as the military outposts that protected the “independent” western frontier communities from the Native people to the US Army expeditions which helped to subdue the “savages” and sequester them on reservations—all done with…

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1 thought on “Rugged individualism and Independence with a government safety net

  1. I guess some people are asking where they can send donation/supplies to the patriots in Oregon!

    A lot of attention has been paid to the cattle ranchers/loggers and their demand for land, as well as their deadly interactions with wildlife. However, not as much attention has been paid to the bison in Yellowstone and what ranchers and hunters have done to them. An interesting secondary issue is the Church Universal and Triumphant, which had a cattle ranch near Yellowstone. They apparently are no longer ranching but still hold land in bison territory.

    According to the Buffalo Field Campaign, the CUT is encouraging hunting, focusing mainly on helping children get started and helping the elderly to continue. Yeah, make sure the geezers can go killing a few more times before the Grim Reaper harvests them.

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