Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Poverty And Utilities

Such is the nature of contemporary life that, at least on Puget Sound, one must be able to afford country property to enjoy living without electricity, running water, and high taxes. Recently I became acquainted with a woman who mentioned that she had grown up without utilities. Her parents' house was located in a tiny European-American town surrounded by an Indian reservation. 

Louis communicated a sense of impoverishment when she shared her history, but I think she is mistaken. First of all, the Bureau of Indian Affairs was responsible for electrifying her piece of geography. Second, rural electrification was far from complete even as late at the Seventies. 

When the boomer grandchildren of rural families were old enough and well-educated enough to take a hard look at property taxes when they were setting up their own households, the first things they challenged were central utilities. Solar electricity and water salvage were and continue to be primary concerns in designing the independent freehold.

When I contemplate my city's utility charges, they look more like the cause of poverty than the effect of prosperity. I balance paying utility fees and counting them as a labor cost with time-consuming hands' on procedures that cut consumption. -30-

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