Today I was thinking about a conundrum that befalls many of today’s progressive christians (as well as progressive secularists as well).
Many environmental reforms that have been, and are being, put into action today have a negative effect on the poorest here in America. What is more important in progressive circles? Is it protecting the poorest in our country, or is it making sure that the environment is safe?
Maybe you’ve never thought of this before, so I’ll give you an example. In many places in California, communities are enforcing environmental protection laws that prohibit housing development in many of the nicest areas to live. These laws are trying to protect green areas from encroaching suburban development. What they also do is create a concrete supply of housing, which, in essence, raises property values to levels that prohibit any middle and lower income level families from moving in. If you don’t believe me, check out average housing cost in the San Francisco area. In some places, a house with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths is 800,000 dollars . The same house in Nashville would not cost more than 150,000 dollars.
Another example is the ridiculous air pollution standards that liberals want to impose on industry end up costing companies lots of money. Money that doesn’t end up coming out of the pockets of the execs, but out of the pockets of the working guys and girls. Its the same situation with raising income taxes (or creating windfall profit taxes). Things that are designed to help the poor actually hurt them.
But that’s beside the point. The question is… if you know that environmental regulation is going to hurt the poor… do you choose the Earth or the Poor?