Rugged individualism and Independence with a government safety net

“The standoff in Harney County Oregon highlights one of the great ironies of the rural West. More than any other people, western rural residents are more heavily dependent on government (read taxpayer) largesse than any other part of America. Yet the average rural resident sees himself/herself as a “rugged and independent” individual and by the way, “hard working” to boot. They may indeed work hard—but no harder than anyone else in this country, but more than other residents, their work and lifestyles are dependent on government and subsidies.

“From the pioneer days onward, the federal government has subsidized western rural lifestyles. The earliest federal military expeditions exploring potential trade route, military roads, and railroad routes as well as the military outposts that protected the “independent” western frontier communities from the Native people to the US Army expeditions which helped to subdue the “savages” and sequester them on reservations—all done with tax money from others citizens to largely benefit the western frontier men and women.”  From:

GR:  Ranchers I’ve known often boasted about how much money they got from the federal government.  Money they could use to buy guns, hunting dogs, and vehicles for recreational killing of coyotes, mountain lions, foxes, deer, antelope, and really, anything that moved. Guns they could take to public meetings whenever the BLM tried to control grazing to preserve the public land it leased at token rates to the ranchers.

3 thoughts on “Rugged individualism and Independence with a government safety net

  1. Excellent comments–thank you!! This is most helpful. These criminals are receiving help from the government while protesting government policies. The more we expose these moochers/killers the better, and what is needed is a resurgence of the anti-grazing effort, if we want to save public lands for wildlife.

    Liked by 1 person


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