Jim Hightower has a great column decrying the cuts being made to state parks all over the nation as budgets fall prey to the slumping economy. Click over and read it. It's a national shame that our country spends as much money as it does on things like war and locking people up in jail while starving schools and national parks of proper funding and resources. I get mad every time I drive into a state park and have to pay a few dollars because some conservative state senator voted in a tax cut for the rich at the expense of parks funding.
Here's a bit of Hightower's piece; click over and give the whole thing a read.
More than 6,600 of these jewels draw some 700 million visitors a year to their grand vistas, historic sites, abundant wildlife, majestic forests, cascading waters, expansive beaches, nature trails, campgrounds, educational centers and lodges. Parks are a tangible expression of America’s democratic ideals, literally a common ground for every man, woman and child to enjoy, learn, absorb ... or just be.
Especially for the middle class and the poor — the great majority of our people who can’t jet off to luxury resorts for a getaway for vacation — these spaces offer a form of real wealth, something of great value that each of us literally “owns,” knitting us together as a community and nation.
Yet so many short-sighted state officials are snuffing out this invaluable, uniting social force. They are stupidly treating parks as nothing but a budget number or a piece of the “nanny state” to be axed in the name of ideological purity.
Are you on Twitter? Follow me (@sheagunther) there, I give good tweets.
And if you really like my writing, you can join my Facebook page.