Personal generosity is not the same as personal greed.
Recently Roxanne Quimby, the founder of Burt’s Bees and a major Maine philanthropist, was featured in Forbes Magazine. The interview was about the Maine Woods National Park she wants to create by gifting 70,000 acres and $40 million. In the context of how the park would bring jobs, economic diversity and a healthy lifestyle, she was quoted saying:
"We have the most aged population in the country…. I believe we have one of the highest adult obesity rates in New England. We have… oxycontin abuse… [and] Maine’s the largest net receiver of Federal funds, even though we supposedly hate the Feds…it’s a welfare state."
This statement about welfare is now being used against her to detract from the real issue of whether a national park is good for Maine.
But haven’t we heard about Maine’s “welfare problem” before?
Oh, yeah. It was the platform that most of the Tea Party Republicans ran on and won in 2010, including Maine’s current governor.
Immediately, Senator Cynthia Dill (D-Cape Elizabeth) is trying to set out her philosophy by picking a fight with Republicans. So let me mention that I am a registered Republican who voted for the President in the past election and Eliot Cutler for Governor in 2010. And I am opposed to a national park in Maine’s north woods.
"That is a blatantly false claim that is something that should infuriate all Mainers!"
"She has a great deal of disdain for the people of Maine!"
How dare she “denigrate the people of the state of Maine!”
Allow me to convey that, while I don’t enjoy the Governor or his party (after his election I changed my Facebook poliitcal views to ‘Democratic Party’), I agree with them right here.
Ms. Quimby doesn’t get why these comments were recieved negatively, and neither do you. She boldly declared that the people of Maine - not some, not a part, but all of them - were degenerate, drug addicted, overweight, slovenly, hopeless idiots. There is absolutely no call or excuse for that. She could’ve politely pointed out the problems, but she didn’t. And she had no reason to in the first place - her park wouldn’t stop drug abuse. It wouldn’t end Maine’s dependence on Federal dollars. It wouldn’t even curb obesity - we already have a national park, a small part of national forest, the largest state park in the northeast, the longest coastline in the continental United States, etc. etc. etc.
Let’s pass on the pie. Maine really does have an obesity problem, and this is why we should occupy the park.
But… no no see what I just said was that… I don’t think you’re listening, Senator.
This party of “small government” wants a bureaucrat in every woman’s examination room, and a gun in every holster. The hypocrisy is maddening.
Again, I know plenty of liberals and moderates - myself included - who are opposed to the park. Thanks for that, Senator Dill.
It would provide enormous economic diversity and opportunity that doesn’t exist now. Prosperity begins with small business, with committed, passionate people and communities and families that care about each other. And that’s still intact up there. It’s pretty amazing…I’ve organized rural America…before, in Guilford, where I started Burt’s Bees, and I had up to about forty-five women and we got the business up to about $3 million in sales. It was like a sheer miracle.
Ms. Quimby isn’t talking about the park. She’s takling about Burt’s Bees. Where is she talking about the park? A rational argument might point out how the Acadia region is fairing economically, but instead she talks about her business which was successful… without the existance of a national park anywhere near her.
It’s time the rest of our federal delegation hears from the 74% of Maine people who favor the creation and study of a Maine Woods National Park.
I’m not doubting that this is possible, but I’ve got to see this survey. 74% of Mainers polled favored the creation and study… the… creation of a study? The study of a Maine Woods National Park? I’m not sure what you’re saying here.
I assume it should be “74% of Maine people favor the creation of a study for a Maine Woods National Park,” which is quite possible. I’m proud, in fact, that Mainers would want to base their decisions on an impartial study rather than on political campaigning.
Of course, if its “74% of Maine people favor the creation of a Maine Woods National Park,” I’d need to question that. I would think that our two senators, and Congressman Michaud, wouldn’t be so opposed of 74% really favored it. Hell, it’d be bad form for the Governor, even a Governor who often seems in bad form - 26% opposed? That’s fewer than the number of people who voted for him. Seems like a no-brainer.
Ideology that believes government is bad, and that public institutions and places are not valuable is as destructive as corporate greed. An unfettered unregulated “free market” can’t be completely trusted to provide a healthy and bright future for our kids, and neither can the privatization of all places. Erosion of public institutions and parks will be the downfall of the American way of life.
I have before pointed out that I believe Ms. Quimby should donate her land into the National Forest system, not the National Park system. National Forest lands allow for limited commercial uses while still providing the same preservation and protection. The White Mountain National Forest is among the most frequently visited public lands in the United States - ranking well ahead of Acadia National Park - and I’m sure, although I have no data to prove it, that much of that is because ski areas and other private businesses are allowed access to National Forest land.
I also note, however, that you didn’t address how Ms. Quimby offered to buy snowmobile clubs off. If anything sounds anti-Occupy, wouldn’t it be a wealthy businessperson trying to buy the favor of another group?
Wouldn’t it be a wealthy businessperson telling a major magazine that the people who were opposing her ideas lived in a welfare state? The tone of that article struck me as a child having a tantrum, upset that the parents are saying “No.”
I don’t want to see Governor LePage re-elected. I don’t want to see Maine continue to pass over the lower class, the laborers, and the unions. You can raise my taxes in a fair, equitable way. I’m okay with it. I want a future, Senator Dill. I oppose the Maine Woods National Park.
I keep seeing this thing “One die, millions mourn; millions die, none mourn” talking about Steve Jobs. Honestly, I disagree - I think that both are tragedies, but to think that no one is worried about the issues we face everyday is silly.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for example, leads in the fight against malaria and hunger, and helps organizations across the world campaign for literacy…. Its $33.5 billion endownment makes it the largest private charity in the world, and its founder has pledged to provide at least 50% of his wealth to charitable causes.
Mark Zuckerberg has also made that pledge, as has investor Warren Buffett, who recently argued in favor of raising taxes on the wealthiest 1% of Americans.
In 1997, Steve Jobs shut down Apple’s corporate giving department. It has never reopened. The company posted a $14 billion profit in 2010. Jobs was its largest shareholder; he also owned 7% of The Walt Disney Company. It remains to be seen what might be done with his earnings. Maybe The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation could find a home for them.