An economic analogy.

We have been preventing and fighting forest fires for a couple of hundred years believing it was the best way to preserve our forests and our way of life. We were wrong.

Left to themselves, naturally occurring forest fires were frequent, slow moving and limited. These fires cleared the weak, dead or dying trees. These fires burned the brush and vegetation from the forest floor, which supports destructive insects and has become the fuel of the major fires we know today. These fires diversified the environment, made the soil richer and forced the trees to develop thicker bark, which protected them from the heat. Many types of trees require the heat from these fires to release their seeds. New growth occurs most often within a couple of weeks as the vegetation thrives in the nutrient rich and uncompressed ash left from the fires and the lack of competition for sunlight.

Since we have protected our national forests, fires are less frequent. They are also much hotter – often consuming the old growth trees and moving too fast for the forest animals to escape. With enough firefighters and money, we can protect some special sections of the forest, but the moonscape left everywhere else takes much longer to grow back.

Mother nature, nor mother economy, will not be denied. No matter how many trees you plant, or how much stimulus fertilizer you provide, it is just going to take a while – that is, unless, there’s another fire.

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Postscript: I was torn as to whether I should share this as it may have seemed that I was both uncharacteristically hopeful and suggest that I am anti-regulation or anti-stimulus. I am not. BTW, if there is another fire, it’s best to run like hell or jump in a lake with the other animals and the snakes.

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Lee Leslie

Lee Leslie

I’m just a plateaued-out plain person with too much time on his hands fighting the never ending lingual battle with windmills for truth, justice and the American way or something like that. Here are some reader comments on my writing: “Enough with the cynicism. One doesn’t have to be Pollyanna to reject the sky is falling fatalism of Lee Leslie’s posts.” “You moron.” “Again, another example of your simple-minded, scare-mongering, label-baiting method of argumentation that supports the angry left’s position.” “Ah, Lee, you traffic in the most predictable, hackneyed leftist rhetoric that brought us to the current state of political leadership.” “You negative SOB! You destroyed all my hope, aspiration, desperation, even.” “Don’t you LIBERALS realize what this COMMIE is talking about is SOCIALISM?!?!?!” “Thank you for wonderful nasty artful toxic antidote to this stupidity in the name of individual rights.” “I trust you meant “bastard” in the truest father-less sense of the word.” “That’s the first time I ran out of breath just from reading!” “You helped me hold my head a little higher today.” “Makes me cry every time I read it.” “Thanks for the article. I needed something to make me laugh this mourning.” “If it weren’t so sad I would laugh.” "... the man who for fun and personal growth (not to mention rage assuagion) can skin a whale of bullshit and rack all the meat (and rot) in the larder replete with charts and graphs and a kindness..."“Amen, brother.”