Private property rights don’t just go away because we feel like it, that’s why I was saddened to see the attempt to ban billboards along highway 101.
The case is not complicated. A billboard company has an agreement with a property owner to advertise on a billboard. So far so good, but a recent heavy storm managed to topple a couple billboards along highway 101, and seizing the opportunity, local anti-economic growth types have demanded that the billboards not go back up. Hopefully the property owners will take this to court, and that justice will score a win for private property rights in California.
The Humboldt county stubbornness about not allowing free enterprise and holding back economic expansion is one of the common themes you hear me talk about on the radio. Instead of branding ourselves as a redwood tree enhanced getaway and perfect destination, we have rebranded ourselves as an area where prosperity is not welcome. No new businesses need apply. Humboldt is not where you go to launch anything new and exciting, no-- better for us to just sit really still so nobody sees us. Remember that a couple trees in Richardson grove are still holding up progress on traffic safety and transportation of goods into Southern Humboldt and beyond.
If the US government ever wanted to find the group of dumbest people in America, it would be easy. Simply call a town hall meeting in eureka and announce that you want to have a new industry move in! Then poof, you would have an angry group of people that wouldn't like it one bit, no matter what the industry was. This kind of scarcity mindset is causing massive opportunity costs. We have no idea, just how many companies and new industries have quietly chosen not to consider investing in Humboldt. Our new brand of no welcome mat, our new brand of no growth, has turned away opportunities that we will never know.
It Reminded me of the city of Eureka’s recent attempt to kill LED signboards. In an area desperate for new industry and growth, the council did the unthinkable-- putting further constraints on the ability to advertise a businesses services and products.
How about a more recent example of misplaced priorities--instead of safely and quickly removing the many dead eucalyptus trees along highway 101, the coastal commission hit the brakes on safety in favor of preserving the large dead twigs. Last I read, there were over 30 dead or dying eucalyptus trees that present a serious potential threat to passing motorists. Instead of putting safety first, I guess the coastal commission wants to look good in front of their friends.