I am writing to you in response to your “Highway to Hell” article in NUVO (Cover, March 15-22). I would first like to commend you on the creative and interesting basis for your article, comparing Dante’s Inferno to the current political situation in Indiana. Unfortunately, your article left me confused.
The tone and subject of the article inclined me to believe that the main theme of the article would be to condemn the “Major Moves” initiative and prove that the politicians behind it were corrupt and evil. Almost the entire article praised the “Major Moves” initiative with all of the evidence supporting the economic gains in Indiana. Just glancing at the article, I find statements such as “creation of jobs (4,415), generation of new wages (approximately $1 billion) and increased sales output ($12 billion).”
As for corrupt politicians, all you do is show that Tom Delay is guilty of helping his brother out by giving him a high-paying job, Gov. Daniels is guilty of going against public opinion when he believes that all of the economic benefits outweigh the cons, political lobbyists invested money to get a bill passed that they found beneficial (which, this system of lobbying is the basis for the support of the majority of bills ever passed), the fact that the politicians made efforts to privatize a large part of the investment in order for the tax payers to foot less of the bill (it takes evil people to save us taxpayers money) and, of course, let’s not forget those terrible engineering, construction and other groups that contributed $300,000 to promote the positives of the “Major Moves” initiative to the public (shame on them for trying to promote something they believe in!).
After all of these statements are made, you try to eliminate all of the positive benefits of the initiative with one sentence talking about the “destruction of 5,500 acres of farmland and forests, the Patoka National Wetlands and Wildlife Refuge and God knows how many endangered species.” This statement is made without any supporting evidence and you seem to forget that two paragraphs earlier that you state that they have not yet decided on a route for the road. Without a concrete route, how can you make statements about the destruction of specific areas of property by the project?
But, for argument’s sake, lets say you’re right. Let us say that 5,500 acres of farmland is bought from farmers and a road is put in place. Is 5,500 acres of farmland going to cripple our agricultural economy? I think not. Is 5,500 acres of farmland going to cripple the farmers who will be compensated? How about the National Wetlands and Wildlife Refuge? Is the creation of 4,415 new jobs and endless economic gains not worth the development of the area?