Growth, regulation can work together

Ridgefielders' letters to the editor should be emailed to:

Ridgefielders’ letters to the editor should be emailed to:

Macklin Reid / Hearst Connecticut Media

To the Editor:

I admire John Early’s energetic and lucid letter contributions, so important to the sphere of local public opinion. And I thank him for correcting my mathematical mistake. It is clear from Early’s letter of Oct. 8 that he cares deeply about our nation, harbors a reasonable fear of princes and brigands and advocates for human striving. Those, it seems, are the limits of our accord.

The clean air we breathe, the national parks we cherish, the pure medicines we rely upon—all are the result of progressive governmental regulation. So too our voting rights, a swim in the Hudson or Housatonic, and Ridgefield’s ability to sustain its rural character. The federal minimum wage; FMLA — need I go on? Dark Ages? I don’t think so. Indeed much of this regulation resulted from collaboration between Democrats and Republicans in the memorable era before Republicans threw in their lot with a destructive, erratic narcissist.

The economy expanded enormously during the time of this intelligent regulation. Growth and regulation can and should co-exist. The Trump administration has loosened regulation of toxic pesticides, imperiled our soil, air and water, and reversed hard-won protections for workers and voters. There are enormous costs tied to such turpitude. Do you want to pay them?

Early’s grandiose allusion to the sweep of history, while rhetorically impressive, cannot blind us to the obvious pitfalls of unbridled growth. The social and economic costs are too well known to each of us, personally and collectively. For the dystopia Early fears we need look no farther than today’s terrifying reality. Cast your ballot not for growth but for progress.

David Katz

Seattle, formerly of Ridgefield, Oct. 16