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March 23, 2013 / jimnv

Mining Wants To Keep Things The Same Through Welfare

Nevada’s gold mining companies take what they want. They continually dig the land extracting non-renewable precious metals, and after they deplete an area, they move to another. This is an ancient story that repeats itself endlessly through time and place.

In Nevada there are no significant legal and social barriers to their profit. Mining companies know money buys loyalty and even fealty to them from their employees and communities near mines. Additionally, money is not a problem when there are millions of ounces of gold waiting to be extracted with a high net profit.

The state constitution written by and for mining more than a century ago works favorably for them today. It is their shield and strength.

Over the decades many have voiced their dismay at the way mining easily deceives communities with money gifts. For their successful ingratiation, they spread some of their wealth to balance county budgets, to buy a school bus or help with a community project. Further their employee wages are much higher than average which deepens the bond between people and mines. The that fact mines care more about gold and profit than they do for people is lost in any discussion.

The ingratiation process creates dependency one could call mining welfare. Counties and employees and their families will not bite the hand that pays them. And neither does the State which gets a small amount of taxes.

Nevada’s favorable legal environment means mining companies do not ask state government for anything except to keep things the same. They hire lobbyists to make sure nothing changes. This is their goal.

Mining companies are not afraid of efforts to change the state’s constitution. They know the dysfunctional and fragmented Nevada legislature will keep their legal and tax environment the same. Besides, a few lawsuits will ensure proposals will not make it to the ballot. A myriad of court delays and rulings dilutes efforts for change. Their legal obstruction is money well spent and is also a deductible business expense.

It is profitable to keep things the same and a heavy dose of mining welfare keeps the population quiet and compliant to their will.

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