Stan Brown's Guest Comment "Visionaries deserve our support" in your Aug. 28 edition caused me to remember my favorite Payson old timer, Gene Pyle.
Gene was a visionary who marched to a different drum than most of those listed in Stan's column. Gene was a true believer in individual freedoms, personal responsibility, private property rights, and self sufficiency.
In addition he had a wonderfully succinct way with words.
When I first came to Payson, Gene was raising Longhorn cattle on the Longhorn Ranch, east of town. to supplement the ranch income he was also operating a riding stable. A ride with Gene was more than a two-for-one experience. Not only did the customer get a great off-trail across-gully-and-up-land ride, but also some well thought-out basic wisdom.
For instance: One day Gene and I were riding and discussing the U.S. irrational tax and spending system. The fact that the federal government collected more in taxes than was really necessary to perform the basic duties assigned by the Constitution. Then, politicians being politicians, they decided to buy some voters by sending the excess funds back to the people it belonged to. However, they didn't exactly send it back to the people who had paid the money in the first place.
The people in the federal government sent it back to the taxpayers in various programs and grants. In blocks of money to be administered by other government employees, at all levels, to accomplish all sorts of "social engineering." In effect, to encourage people to behave, or not behave, in ways that some official or bureaucrat decided was beneficial.
Also, of course, because there were so many government officials, at all levels, involved in the process, this guaranteed that the process itself used up most of the surplus money.
After pondering this for a while Gene opined, "Yeah, it's kind of like giving yourself a transfusion, with your own blood, through a leaky tube, ain't it?"
Would that we had more people with Gene's clear vision around today.
Dan Adams, Payson