Yesterday, my DIL posted photos of some of their family visits to the US National Parks on her Facebook site. My youngest grandson Sean, age 10, wants to visit all the parks (he can buy a patch in each park) and is well on his way. Every summer his family visits another magnificent place. I visited a number of these parks in years past, and I think Grand Teton is probably my favorite. What a magnificent piece of real estate.
Jacob, Richard and Sean
According to Ken Burns series on the national parks, old man Rockefeller had much to do with the acquisition of Grand Teton. The next time you feel like trashing one of the so-called ‘robber barons’ of the imaginary Gilded Age, remember Rockefeller.
Yes, revisionist historians have determined that no one can identify either beginning or end of the Gilded Age, although my reading for a class on the topic convinced me it begins with the US Civil War and the buildup of the railroads. It probably ends with TR. During the Civil War, the railroads took off along with the strong central government and the rest is history. But that’s enough history for today.
Of course not all extremely wealthy people are benevolent, but neither are all of them trying to influence national, state and local elections. The Koch brothers and George Soros are on opposite sides, canceling each other and boosting local economies during election cycles. Which goes to show that extreme wealth is not necessarily correlated with any particular politics.
Back in the 1980s, when I was working for Bell, the VP of my department (Finance) tasked me to determine which political party would rule in Virginia in an upcoming election, and how long would it be before ‘Northern’ Virginia became the tail that wagged the dog.
Later on, I discovered via a research paper at one of my professional meetings that the PACs associated with corporations and companies tended to throw their support behind established politicians, no matter what side.
I haven’t done this type of analysis in years, although I do keep a close eye on Virginia, and a half closed eye on nearby states. Oh heck, what am I saying, most years I watch all the state elections and have done ever since I gave a talk at the National Governors Association back in the 1980s. I am no sports fan, politics is more entertaining.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch (my kitchen) I have been baking cupcakes to celebrate David’s birthday. He will be 85 next Wednesday, and wants yellow cake with coconut frosting. Cakes are my specialty.
Mount Zion National Park (?)