One of the greatest fictions ever perpetrated on the American people is that liberals care about helping the poor. Indeed, they seem determined to advance policies that limit opportunities created by economic expansion and growth. The latest example of this can be seen in retail giant Ikea’s decision to cancel plans for a 366,500-square foot store outside of Cleveland, due to environmental impact concerns. The store has no plans to pursue other locations in the Cleveland area.
After investing more than a year of effort in preparing for the store, Ikea chose to withdraw due to an anticipated rejection from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, charged with stewardship over the proposed building site, which includes 15 acres of wetlands. The Clean Water Act severely limits the private sector’s ability to develop such land, as Ikea is finding out to its cost.
In the midst of one of the weakest economic recoveries in U.S. history, environmental concerns about the well-being of a patch of swamp (a perfectly good word the left has abandoned in favor of the banal euphemism "wetlands.") should take a backseat to the economic development created by hugely successful companies like Ikea.
Cleveland’s economy remains fragile, its crime rate high; any efforts to grow the local economy should be met with open arms, not obstructed by government bureaucrats more concerned with protecting the habitats of potentially-deadly mosquitos than with helping actual human beings. It pains me personally to see these lost jobs. I may not live in Cleveland, but I still have Browns seasons tickets and love my hometown.