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Old 04-17-2011, 02:13 PM
 
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http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/us...ml?_r=1&ref=us

Today's NYTimes discussed briefly the political and economic situation in Contemporary Wyoming. It portrayed Wyoming as a state economically driven by natural gas, mining, ranching, etc. that was not suffering from the economic downturn due to the descent state of such industries. Due to the reliance on such industries, which often does not have good relations with the environmental lobby, president Obama is considered to be quite unpopular in Wyoming. However, the relatively brief article has left many questions unanswered.

I AM NOT TRYING TO START AN ARGUEMENT OVER THE ENVIRONMENT OR ECONOMY. PLEASE DEBATE SUCH ISSUES IN ANOTHER THREAD. I,M JUST TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE SITUATION IN WYOMING MORE CLEARLY.

1. How much state revenue and GDP on a per capita basis of Wyoming's economy is derived from exploitation of natural resources?; industries such as timber, mining, natural gas, ranching that are often at head with the environmental movement. I am trying to see how dependent Wyoming is on such industries versus sales and retail, the government sector, tourism, etc.

2. The article portrayed Wyoming as one of the most pro-Republican states in the country due to the dependence on such extractive industries. IS that a fair assessment? Or are people in Wyoming anti-Obama due to having more socially conservative viewpoints, such as the "bible belt." What I am trying to figure out is Wyoming really very conservative due to just economic issues or is there a lot of social conservatism at play as well.

3. Where are the state's pockets of liberalism other than parts of Cheyenne, Casper and Jackson Hole? Just curious if the entire state is solidly red?

Once again, I am not trying to start a debate about the environment , politics or President Obama. I just want to know the why's and the accepted facts that everyone agrees on in Wyoming. Thank you.
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
16,791 posts, read 43,939,525 times
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I would not say that the state has not suffered. Unemployment has doubled and tripled in most locations in the last 3 years.

Even Gillette, which that article was about had unemployment of 2.0% in 2008, 4.0% in 2009 and 3.7% in 2010. //www.city-data.com/city/Gillette-Wyoming.html

Casper went from 2.5% 2007, 2.8% 2008, 5.7% 2009 and 5.8% 2010. //www.city-data.com/city/Casper-Wyoming.html

That article seemed deliberately misleading and slanted. It implied that no one in Wyoming voted for Obama when in fact 32% of the population did.

Last edited by CptnRn; 04-17-2011 at 02:50 PM..
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Old 04-17-2011, 03:09 PM
 
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From the stats I saw, of the 32% that voted for obama something like 95% of that is from voters in Cheyenne, Laramie, Casper and Teton county; with Laramie looking like a little Berkeley.
Laramie is a college town, Cheyenne is overrun with govt workers, Jackson is overrun with imported liberals. I dont know what the story is in Casper.
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Old 04-17-2011, 03:10 PM
 
11,381 posts, read 47,262,051 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lentzr View Post
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/us...ml?_r=1&ref=us

Today's NYTimes discussed briefly the political and economic situation in Contemporary Wyoming. It portrayed Wyoming as a state economically driven by natural gas, mining, ranching, etc. that was not suffering from the economic downturn due to the descent state of such industries. Due to the reliance on such industries, which often does not have good relations with the environmental lobby, president Obama is considered to be quite unpopular in Wyoming. However, the relatively brief article has left many questions unanswered.

I AM NOT TRYING TO START AN ARGUEMENT OVER THE ENVIRONMENT OR ECONOMY. PLEASE DEBATE SUCH ISSUES IN ANOTHER THREAD. I,M JUST TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE SITUATION IN WYOMING MORE CLEARLY.

1. How much state revenue and GDP on a per capita basis of Wyoming's economy is derived from exploitation of natural resources?; industries such as timber, mining, natural gas, ranching that are often at head with the environmental movement. I am trying to see how dependent Wyoming is on such industries versus sales and retail, the government sector, tourism, etc.

While I don't have specific numbers for your revenue/GDP question, the article you cite leaves out a substantial segment of Wyoming's economic base: TOURISM. Wyoming has significant national parks (ever heard of Yellowstone? or Devil's Tower national monument?)

Frankly, it's somewhat offensive as a premise to deride Wyoming's economy as "derived from the exploitation of natural resources". Unless you've sworn off consuming or purchasing the products that come from these sources, including metals, minerals, livestock, wool, and energy production ... you are as much of the inferred problem as anybody.

FWIW, one county in Wyoming alone ... if it was a country ... would be the world's third largest exporter of coal. Wyoming isn't shipping it to people who don't want it, it's going to satisfy consumer demand for energy around the country as well as out of the country. Fact: China is building coal fired power plants at a rate far faster than they can support with their domestic coal mining. Wyoming coal is under long term contracts to ship it to Canadian ports where it is then shipped to China ... for less cost than it would take to ship it to a domestic port and then overseas.

Try to keep it in perspective that approximately HALF of the land mass of Wyoming is US Gov't owned, and much of the mineral or oil rights are owned by the US Gov't, too. Wyoming residents may get jobs in the extractive industries ... but make no mistake, much of the royalty revenues go right back to the US Gov't.

Wyoming is also a headwaters state, where much of the water here is shipped out to other states for their use.


2. The article portrayed Wyoming as one of the most pro-Republican states in the country due to the dependence on such extractive industries. IS that a fair assessment? Or are people in Wyoming anti-Obama due to having more socially conservative viewpoints, such as the "bible belt." What I am trying to figure out is Wyoming really very conservative due to just economic issues or is there a lot of social conservatism at play as well.

There's a substantial attitude of self-reliance here in Wyoming rather than gov't being the be-all and end-all for every problem that has ever confronted somebody at sometime somewhere and hence needs to be addressed by gov't regulation/law at significant expense to all of society.

I would not label Wyoming as a "bible belt" area. From my exposure to the many followers of other than main stream religions, I'd say that a lot of Wyoming's rejection of the current administration is due to pre-exisiting socially conservative viepoints. It has nothing to do with race, as asserted by many in out of the area mainstream press ... but everything to do with being forced to pay for services for others that we don't believe is our responsibility to pay under threat of gov't force; ie, charity is an act of individual choice. We're not impressed by those who "feel good" because they tell us where our money should go in their efforts to assure equal outcomes or desired results in society which conflict with our beliefs. You should be aware that many of the religious groups here in Wyoming also reject a lot of conventional mainstream society, such as their education system, entertainment, or other activities ... they're pretty consistent in their values and it's not just about rejecting so much of what comes from Washington alone.

Other gov't policies that simply "don't get it" here in Wyoming ... illustrated for example, the Sierra Club and US Gov't agencies recently came up with a "solution" to the problems ranchers were having with the gray wolves introduced into Wyoming (which had never been here before, but that's another issue). The solution proffered was to capture the male wolves and castrate them, then return them to the wilds. An old rancher in the audience where this proposal was cast as pearls before swine observed: ..."you don't understand the problem. The wolves aren't fuc*ing our sheep, they're eating them!" This is the type of feel good ignorance that comes from the top down in Washington, and simply ignores the economic realities it imposes upon others who have to live with the decisions made by others without real recourse.

FWIW, the elk herds in some areas of Wyoming have been decimated by the wolves ... with an introduced wolf population now far in excess of what the authorities claimed was needed to protect the species. As a sheep rancher here in SE Wyoming, I'm dreading the day that the wolf population pressures will have them establishing all the way into my area. When that day comes, I'll be out of business ... and the pressures are already substantial with the coyote population here.

IMO, Wyoming conservatism is genuinely rooted in core values which are highly divergent from what we're being told is better than what we live by. This is not a newly developed awareness, but one of long standing ... since the territorial days and most certainly for well over most of the years of statehood.

I'd point out that Wyoming is one of the few, financially solvent states. Our state constitution requires a balanced budget and we put money away for our rainy days, too. If we don't have the money, projects don't get funded. Does that mean we do without some things that others, such as in Washington demand that we should have to be a better place/society? Yes.


3. Where are the state's pockets of liberalism other than parts of Cheyenne, Casper and Jackson Hole? Just curious if the entire state is solidly red?

In my view, the pockets of liberalism are in Jackson and Laramie, not Cheyenne or Casper. For the most part, the two biggest cities of Wyoming are railroad towns, working ranches/farms, or based in the extractive industries. For the most part ... IMO, the entire state is solidy red.

Cheyenne has a sizable percentage of gov't workers and union workers at the railroad; unlike most of the state where workers aren't unionized. While there's not an aggressive "anti-union" movement here, I do know that the economic realities preclude their formation. For example, the 3rd generation owner of a local plumbing/heating company in Cheyenne built a new house here, and his family business was a closed union shop. He found out that competing non-union plumbing/heating companies BID the systems in his new house for less total cost than he could do it with his own company ... so he contracted for that work to be done and then realized it was time to shut down his company. He did, shut it down, closed shop, auctioned off the materials & supplies, and sold the building.


Once again, I am not trying to start a debate about the environment , politics or President Obama. I just want to know the why's and the accepted facts that everyone agrees on in Wyoming. Thank you.
"accepted facts" are still a matter of opinion and perspective when discussing the issues as you present them and your inquiries, especially in view of the false premises put forth by the NYT (hardly an unbiased source of "news" and opinons which masquerade as such on their front pages). Others here may post differently than I ... but I believe that I am posting a fair representation of many I've met around the state. I've participated in the legislative process in the State, as well as been to many town halls from our Senators (esp John Barrasso) ... and the opinions voiced have been similar to mine. If anything, I'm not as "red" as some of what I've heard in the last several weeks, especially regarding the deficit spending by our US Gov't and the unearned entitlements handed out by them.

Last edited by sunsprit; 04-17-2011 at 04:15 PM..
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Old 04-17-2011, 03:30 PM
 
634 posts, read 1,405,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BennyPhoenix View Post
From the stats I saw, of the 32% that voted for obama something like 95% of that is from voters in Cheyenne, Laramie, Casper and Teton county; with Laramie looking like a little Berkeley.
Laramie is a college town, Cheyenne is overrun with govt workers, Jackson is overrun with imported liberals. I dont know what the story is in Casper.
Not quite...... The data shows that the 32% that voted for Obama was representative of more than a few counties, some of these traditionally more conservative like Goshen and Platte (agricultural)

Goshen County 67% McCain, 31 % Obama
Platte County 66% McCain, 31% Obama
Carbon County 63% McCain34% Obama
Sweetwater County 62% McCain, 34% Obama
Sheridan County McCain 67% Obama 30%
Fremont County McCain 63% Obama 34 %
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Cabin Creek
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Can only think of 2 jobs that don't require that they use items that have been extracted(mined , drilled or harvested) from the earth. one is a lecturer, the other is a prostitute.
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:09 PM
 
634 posts, read 1,405,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jody_wy View Post
Can only think of 2 jobs that don't require that they use items that have been extracted(mined , drilled or harvested) from the earth. one is a lecturer, the other is a prostitute.
ROFL!!!!!
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:36 PM
 
1,319 posts, read 3,875,654 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyolady View Post
Not quite...... The data shows that the 32% that voted for Obama was representative of more than a few counties, some of these traditionally more conservative like Goshen and Platte (agricultural)

Goshen County 67% McCain, 31 % Obama
Platte County 66% McCain, 31% Obama
Carbon County 63% McCain34% Obama
Sweetwater County 62% McCain, 34% Obama
Sheridan County McCain 67% Obama 30%
Fremont County McCain 63% Obama 34 %
There are a lot of ranchers who like the free government handouts they get in the form of free grazing rights on public land.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Cabin Creek
3,135 posts, read 4,970,029 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BennyPhoenix View Post
There are a lot of ranchers who like the free government handouts they get in the form of free grazing rights on public land.
it not free, time you pay the forest service, then pay to fix the fence, herding and salting, cost are equal or greater then renting private pasture.
apples and oranges.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:17 PM
 
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Per abuse of the Taylor Grazing Act some of the permits are free.
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