Growth and traffic go hand in hand | AspenTimes.com

Growth and traffic go hand in hand

Dear Editor:I pondered the Dec. 27 story on illegal immigration. Then, I read the editorial about the “traffic problems” on Highway 82, a repetition of discussion occurring throughout my native Colorado; my current state, New Mexico; throughout the West and a nation growing at rates exceeded only by China and India.In the Dec. 27 story a developer says he just could not make it without illegal workers. As one who has seen a beautiful region ruined by “rural sprawl,” trophy homes, a near-absence of planning and a short-sighted, self-serving view that says only now, today and profits matter, I ask, “So?” Why do the American people owe land development and land speculation or any other industry the subsidy of “soft slavery” through immigration? If this developer is desperate for laborers, I suggest he come to New Mexico, a state staggering under poverty made worse by high immigration, and hire native-born Hispanics or Native Americans, not on the cheap but at a living wage.And, isn’t it time that editorials call for solutions, not Band-Aids? Where is the solution of improving yet another highway in an attempt to accommodate a growth rate catapulting us toward a China-like billion Americans this century? Europe has stopped growing and has many countries with strong economies, exposing the myth that economic prosperity depends on population growth. All my adult life I have heard the mantra, “We must have growth, but it must be good growth,” more recently replaced by the politically correct oxymoron “sustainable growth” – impossible on a finite planet. Wildlife and beautiful mountain valleys have nearly disappeared from my native Colorado. Why should we continue a population onslaught – upwards of three million people a year -arriving to provide business with cheap labor at the expense of our nation’s festering poverty problem and at the expense of our environment? Kathleene ParkerRio Rancho, N.M.