to Nicholas Johnson main Web site, www.nicholasjohnson.org
to Nicholas Johnson blog, FromDC2Iowa.blogspot.com
A $2.20 Gift to Our Great-Grandchildren
Iowa City Press-Citizen,
October 30, 2008, p. A15
The conservation bond offers
one of the best returns on an investment of public money we're ever likely
What's it worth to bike or cross-country
ski along a trail? A fishing trip with grandchildren? It's Mastercard "priceless."
Economists say recreation's
value can be measured. It's at least what we're willing to pay for outdoor
equipment, travel costs, and related expenses. Clearly, more than $20 million
over 20 years -- including profits for local merchants.
Savings. The 2008 flood cost
UI -- one institution from one flood -- more than $200 million, 10 times
the bond. Conservation's reduction of flood damage may be its largest pay
If matching funds materialize,
$80 million of conservation for our $20 million bond is a better bet than
any in Riverside or on Wall Street.
Increasing values. New York's
$50 million investment in Central Park in 1853 is now worth $500 billion.
Imagine what our $20 million investment will be worth 150 years from now.
Of course, those who oppose
all public expenditure -- whether for libraries, schools, or parks -- oppose
the bond. Why wouldn't they? But they can't deny either its ecological
benefits or these returns on our investment.
Land and water stewardship is
supported by all major religions and denominations. They know it's essential
to continued life on Earth for all, including humans. That's another "priceless."
For detail see http://FromDC2Iowa.blogspot.com
("The Economics of Conservation").
And when their RoboCaller
tells me the added $2.20 a month is going to increase my property tax by
25-30% I think they must be living in a smaller house than my son, Gregory.
For $2.20 to be a 30% increase
would mean I'm paying $7.33 a month in property tax, or an annual total
property tax of $88. I don't know about you but my bill runs a good deal
more than that. Sufficiently so that I don't think I'm going to miss that
$2.20 gift to my great grandchildren.