I am now visiting San Diego, America’s 8th largest city and perhaps its most blessed. Ideal weather, beachfront setting, varied scenery and high tech economy make it a privileged home for many.
I have, however, learned how government meddling in the name of protecting the environment has killed off one of San Diego’s iconic industries, the tuna industry. San Diego was the birthplace of canned tuna fish, the most widely used item in making sandwiches in the USA. As such it is a “staple” of our national diet. This was the home of “Charlie the Tuna” and his competitors.
But the entire industry has gone away, crushed under a mountain of rules and regulations imposed on the fishing boats, canneries and processors. The catching and packing of tuna has moved to the Far East and South Pacific leaving little evidence of what once was a major employer in the San Diego area.
The important lesson to learn here is that tuna fish remains a popular item in American homes, it just comes from further afield. Thus what was once a major source of employment and income in the USA has become an export of American funds. As a staunch defender of the global economy I have no problem with this since I am only concerned with supplying the market with the best product at the best price.
But I am sure there are many who lament the loss of jobs and income as well as the export of funds to import the product. In essence we have a compounded loss, the income from domestic production and the export of funds to buy the product from abroad. Cast against a lackluster economy with a questionable future the loss looms larger.
Once again we must remember that in our attempts to improve the quality of life, for fish and fowl, as well as for mankind itself, we should weigh the costs of new rules for doing this against the economic loss that the rules incur. And here is my main complaint about my “environmentalist” friends and colleagues, they seem to suffer a lack of balance in their attempts to “Save Mother Earth.” We all want a healthy environment with clean air, clean water, and clean food, for man and beast, but we must be ready to accept the cost of doing so and, if that cost is excessive, approach the matter another way.