Humans cannot live on information alone

Letter from Wayne Patton

Rothman essay – May 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Mr. Quillen:

I wanted to comment on Hal Rothman’s “Why do We Need the Rural West” essay. I find his comment that “information transfer is more important than the raw materials the West used to export…” to be ludicrous. I do not believe that humans can subsist on information rather then food. I remember at one time someone purported to live on air alone.

Perhaps Mr. Rothman should join forces with him. People on such a diet will certainly not have the problem of being overweight, but they will have a problem breathing after living on a diet of “information transfer.”

I also take issue with his belief that exportation of water will create jobs. The only jobs that it creates are temporary ones that follow construction of subdivisions that lead to sprawl. I have not heard of a business that did not locate in Colorado because of a lack of water. The Front Range wants water for subdivisions, not factories.

I greatly enjoyed your article about Census 2000. I have seen numerous ads that claim the reason the census is needed is so the local area can receive money from the federal government. Not one of those ads sets forth the true reason, as you did.

What is overlooked by most Americans is that the federal government has no money that did not first come from the pockets of citizens through taxes. I cannot believe that EVERY STATE can get more money back then it originally sent to the federal government. In fact, we get back less as the federal bureaucracy rakes off the large share needed to sustain itself. We would be better off keeping our money here then sending it to Washington D.C. so it can be sent back to us (minus the rakeoff needed to sustain the bureaucracy).

Keep up the good work.

Wayne Patton

Leadville