Monday, December 30, 2013

There's Something About Josephine County Oregon

Reading a link in the comments section of Xenosystems, one can read about an interesting organic creation by a community abandoned by the government. In the southwestern corner of Oregon, Josephine County has seen their budget shrink, their federal subsidies removed, their sheriff's department be cut to the bone and their safety and security become a burden shoved back at them. The residents have created armed patrols to perform the same duties the sheriff's department formerly provided. This is different than Ashtabula County in Ohio that heard a judge warn of reduced deputies, and has done nothing of the sort. This is not the first time Josephine County has responded to a closing of a public good with a private endeavor. The county cut funds for the libraries in the mid-2000s and closed libraries across the county. Citizens responded by forming a nongovernment, nonprofit organization that does not rely on taxpayer money to reopen multiple libraries. Josephine County might be an example of what is possible in an area of higher trust and a homogeneous population as the USG retreats.

While the forestry industry was hit hard by the first round of environmentalism's gains in the '70s and the commodities bust of the early '80s, the ground was salted later to prevent any recovery. Josephine County is one of the many communities in the northern reaches of the US hit hard by the environmental lies about and court ordered protection of endangered spotted owls or declining forests. The USG is a huge landowner, which allowed it to decrease and stop logging through court machinations and the 1994 Northwest Forest Plan. You can see the nosedive in forestry activity that coincided with the court decision to stop logging in 1990 after the US Fish and Wildlife Service added the northern spotted owl to the "threatened" species list. Despite the shift from purple to blue in Oregon since 1980, President Obama only received 37% of the vote in 2012 per Dave Leip's election atlas in Josephine County. Josephine might be on of those communities with the old pioneer spirit that was found throughout the US not too long ago. Because the USG owns so much land within the large county, the 80,000 citizens are squeezed into an area much smaller than the county borders suggest.

It cannot all be small c-conservative politics or even the pioneer spirit to explain this because across the Rust Belt once thriving communities have seen their jobs leave and fallen into disarray. Other communities complain about the lack of a police presence or the cutbacks for libraries. Other communities cite police aggressiveness as to why they do not snitch on known criminals and do not want law abiding outsiders to come in and improve things. More education and funding is requested for social services from many small communities ruined by those heartless capitalists who left them behind for foreign labor. There is a definite need for police protection per the statistics on Grants Pass (JC's largest city), and the community has enough asabiyah to fill the roles that government took over in the last 150 years but are shirking now. Josephine County seems to be dealing with the rollback of the USG in their region with community based private measures. Must be something else in the water.

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