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Reader's View: Unregulated markets will destroy water quality

In light of Minntac's two decades-old violation of its water discharge permit, and in light of the prospect of copper-nickel mining near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, I'm reminded that 40 years ago, when George Perpich, a Chisholm de...

In light of Minntac’s two decades-old violation of its water discharge permit, and in light of the prospect of copper-nickel mining near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, I’m reminded that 40 years ago, when George Perpich, a Chisholm dentist, was in the state Legislature, he famously reportedly said that if the mining companies had their way, Northeastern Minnesota eventually would be “too thick to paddle and too thin to plow.”
Of course that was when an Iron Range DFLer was truly DFL. Now, in their utter deference to multinational corporations, DFLers appear to be IRL: Independent Republican Lite. Since the administration of President Ronald Reagan, our entire political infrastructure has bought into the fantasy that unregulated markets will provide all we need and correct their own mistakes. It’s a kind of secular mysticism.
But we used to think differently - and it’s time we did again. One thing that consumer capitalism does not care about is water quality: no money in it.
Peter M. Leschak
Side Lake

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