Business “Wolves,” Business “Horses”

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

According to one report at the capitol rally put on by a coalition of environmentalists and unions opposing California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) reforms, Robbie Hunter, president of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California charged that the effort to reform CEQA was run by the “wolves of business.”

An interesting expression from a construction trades union chief whose members would surely benefit from a loosening of the CEQA abuses that serve to stall or prevent construction. Also, an interesting phrase coming from a coalition that includes environmentalists who are on a mission to rehabilitate the image of wolves as predatory creatures.

But “wolves” is not the only animal that has been used to symbolize business. I prefer Winston Churchill’s more astute analogy to that of Mr. Hunter’s attack—an analogy that I have referred to on this site before: “Some regard private enterprise as if it were a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look upon it as a cow that they can milk. Only a handful see it for what it really is–the strong horse that pulls the whole cart.”

Many in the environmental community see business as the tiger to be shot. Many in the unions see business as a cow to be milked.

Freeing the reins on the horse of business would pull the cart of California further and faster, creating jobs and filling the California treasury through productive means. Loosing the reins does not mean allowing the horse to gallop unattended. That is not the goal of those pushing for CEQA reform. The goal is to adjust a law that has been used sometimes maliciously via lawsuits, back to its original intent.

Important CEQA reforms can maintain the physical environment while at the same time improve the state’s economic environment, which is also important to the well being of Californians.

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