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Time for a new homestead act

Letter from Slim Wolfe

Rural Life – February 1995 – Colorado Central Magazine

Once again the American electorate seems to have proved itself about as intelligent as the glue that congeals in the nozzle of your glue jar. Not that the rest of the world is in any better shape, but we as a nation had a better historical shot than most at bringing about liberty and justice for all.

Republican suggestions to provide laptops to the homeless are about on a par with Marie Antoinette’s “let ’em eat cake.” No one is talking about slashing the budget of the State Department, which has blown more money than we can ever count on despots lie the Shah of Iran and Boris Yeltsin. Nor is there much constructive in all this chatter about a hand up rather than a hand-out; ask the question, hand up to where?

There are rumors that the Federal Land Trust is going broke and national parks may get sold off. Has anyone suggested a new Homestead Act to resettle the disadvantaged? There might be millions who could, with a few acres and a little boost, pull themselves up out of welfare. Land was given to cattlemen and other entrepreneurs more than a century ago as a strategy to gain control of the West; why not give it now to anyone needy enough to sign an agreement, as a strategy to relieve the deficit and improve the lives of those who can’t do it otherwise? What better way could there be to encourage good old-fashioned self-reliance?

Before you say “not in my back yard,” ask yourself whom you’d rather have taking up the federal slack — 40-acre truck farmers or the likes of Climax, Summitville, Weyerhauser, or Disney World?

Slim Wolfe


Villa Grove