Getting Out of DodgenThe Founding Fathers intended then”Enumeration” (Article I, Section 2) notnonly as a means of assuring representationalnequality among the states but as angraph displaying the growth of the Americannnation in size and prosperity. For almostn200 years, the decennial censusncould plausibly be accepted as doingnthat. The last three censuses (those ofn1980, 1990, and 2000), however, need tonbe seen for what they really are: Thengraph-paper plotting of a plot, the conspiracynof an evil and mendacious overclassnto destroy both the nation and thensociety it controls. Census 2000 in particularnis evidence that the members ofnthe United States government no longernunderstand their custodial responsibilitv’nto be the welfare of their country andnconstituencies, but the realization of anplan so vast that the word “global” onlynbegins to describe it.nChrist’s several parables about goodnand bad stewards come to mind, thoughnif you exclude the vineyard keepers whonmurdered the landowner’s son, the sinsninvolved here tend to be more of omissionnrather than commission. Still, stewardshipnis a useful standard to apply tonour contemporary ruling class, since itnconcerns something everyone understandsnin a visceral way—whether we arentalking about the conditions of life on anwealthy Jewish estate in Roman-occupiednPalestine or in one of the sprawlingnnew Denver suburbs—and that is livabilit)’.nAn overabundance of riches of any sortnis possible, including the gifts of freedomnand mobilit)’. An absentee full-time employeenfor the past two decades, I’ve livednwhere I pleased and carried my housenaway on my back when it no longernpleased me to remain there. Everyone Inknow envies me this freedom (at leastnthey say they do), yet much of the time Infeel like the poor little rich girl in the story.nEighteen years there, 23 months innthe next place, 20 here … Wliere next? Incan live an)’where I want, but where do Inreally want to live? Western towns arenfew and far between, and Ryder’s ratesnaren’t coming down any, not even followingnthe late unpleasantness in OK Cit)’.nThe Hundredth Meridiannby Chilton Williamson, ]r.nI’m like the ass in the fable, unable to acceptnthe law—inevitable as that of gravity—ofntrade-off Wyoming has a smallnpopulation, great hunting, and no incomentax. Also, little social and intellectualnsophistication, no restaurants, nonspringtime. Colorado has all three —nalong with an income tax, world-classntraffic jams, and about a quarter of thenwhite population of California, circan1990. New Mexico is as beautiful asnWyoming—and warmer—but it’s essentiallyna Third World country where nativenpoachers have nearly exterminatednall the huntable game and once-pleasantntowns have been swollen to sprawlingncities by immigrants from north of thenRio Crande, armed with golf clubs andncell phones. Montana —with superbntrout fishing—in the last 20 years has becomenHollywood-on-the Yellowstone;nUtah, a slickrock paradise where outiawsncan (and recently have) disappearednwithout a trace (apparently for good), is antheocracy dedicated to converting thenpeoples of the world and gathering themnall in to Deseret (in container ships, ifnnecessary), witii a wink and a nod fromnthe INS. Obviously, I’m finicky, indecisiven… hard to please. Nobody to blamenbut myselfnRecently, though, I’ve begun to suspectnthe choice is not finally betweennwarm or cold, high or dry, town or city,nbut between Not Enough and ToonMuch—between one t)’pe of unliveabilit}’nand another. In this sense, America,ntouted by enthusiasts as the most diversennation the world has ever seen, in fact isnbecoming more and more a No Exit society,neven as the Entry door remainsnjammed wide open. There’s a connectionnbetween the two, I’m betting, thatnbodes ill for the future of the country.nnneven if I can find some assurance in thenthought that my malaise is not, after all,nmy fault.nTwo related stories landed, by coincidence,non my desk the other morning.nThe first, printed on the front page of thenState section of the Casper Star-Tribune,nwas a melancholy piece datelined Lusk, antown of 1,500 people situated 22 milesnwest of the Nebraska border in east-centralnWyoming, whose economy is basednalmost exclusively on ranching and railroading.nThree years ago, Microsoftnaired a series of prime-time 1″V commercialsnshowing Lusk in its most photogenicnaspect and ending with the question,n”Wliere do you want to go today?” Thenads brought plenty of inquiries to the localnchamber of commerce, but no businessnrelocations there. Instead, a smallncompany printing telephone faceplatesnfor phone booths and hotels picked upnand left. “They moved to Colorado becausenthey needed high-speed Internet,novernight shipping, and everything,” thenpast president of the chamber explained.n(And just imagine being 41 miles fromnthe closest interstate!) “This town is betternthan a lot of places,” one resident toldnthe reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune.n”It’s quiet. People kind of let peoplenlive.” There aren’t many places left innthe socially mobilized U.S. of A. you cannsay that about.nThe second stor}’, clipped from tiie localnpaper in Concordia, Kansas, arrivednlater in the morning from Ed Detiixhe inntiie neighboring town of Clyde. Entitledn”Dwindling Population Hard on SmallnKansas Towns,” this article was datelinednUtica, a town in the western end of thenstate where the population continues tondecline—and to age. “Ever)’ time somebodyndies, we never replace them,” anfarmer in his mid-60’s (whose grandfathernhomesteaded in the vicinit)’ in 1878)ntold the AP reporter. The Utica highnschool will close at the end of the schoolnyear; the elementary and high schools innnearby McCracken have been gone fornyears. “There will always be cattle out innthis part of the countr)’,” a young femalenveterinarian (married to another vet)nsaid. “Maybe fewer farmers, but thensame number of cattle.” Cows let peoplenlive and let live, too.nMost of the hangers-on do so fromnJUNE 2001/49n