Letter: Development denial

To the editor:

Every major U.S. right-wing ideology depends on science denial.

Some are motivated by religious extremism, e.g.:

• creationist denial of evolution, or

• antiabortionist denial that promoting contraception is the only proven means for reducing abortion.

Some are motivated by xenophobia, e.g.:

• racist denial that police tend to discriminate against black people, or

• nativist denial that illegal immigrants in America produce more than they consume.

However most are substantially motivated by profit.

• The gun industry supports pseudoscience denying that household guns endanger your babies.

• The fossil fuel industry spends hundreds of millions denying climate change.

• The lead and asbestos and tobacco industries at various times spent billions denying health risks.

• The genetic engineering/chemical complex denies that glyphosate kills people.

• Nuclear power companies deny that their profits depend entirely on the Price-Anderson subsidy.

• Health insurance companies deny that single-payer is far more efficient.

• The anti-terrorism industry denies that terrorism is a statistically insignificant threat to American mortality rates.

Meanwhile in Lawrence, our very own real-estate/construction/development complex denies the observable fact that unbridled retail sprawl is a negative-sum game. It has:

• stunted downtown retailing,

• driven older malls into the ground,

• increased tax costs for infrastructure,

• reduced average real sales per square foot of retail space, and

• on net, brought no detectible new sales tax revenues into the community.

Yet each developer claims his next mall will bring in new millions from somewhere. And City Hall rolls over and plays dead. And seems poised to reprise, south of the K-10 bypass.