You can watch the whole thing, but I have excerpted a six minute section to set the stage because Benson, Arizona is an interesting place.
Rachel Maddow does a good job of setting the stage, but she does not go quite far enough. Yes, Benson had just about 5,000 residents in 2010 and the census people calculate that in 2018 it had less. Moreover, if you let Google maps show you, it is obvious that most of the subdivisions are home to either trailers or recreational vehicles or (at least two of them) full of vacant lots that are likely being flogged by the insurance/title companies that have them as investments.
Benson also has a dozen churches for those five thousand souls:
Living Faith Fellowship
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church
First Baptist Benson
Grace Chapel Benson
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Benson Seventh Day Adventists
Community Presbyterian Church
St.Raphael Episcopal Lutheran Church
San Pedro Valley United Methodist
Benson Heights Southern Baptist Church
Christian Science Society
Grace Lutheran Church
All of those are housed in substantial buildings even in the outskirts. In addition, at some time in the past, Benson managed to get the Interstate Highway rerouted around the north end of town and served by FOUR exits. No doubt, somebody was prepared for a significant amount of growth and much of the land north of the highway is owned by the town of Benson.
The golf courses Rachel mentions have already been built, along with several reservoirs between the San Pedro River and the town. There are, however, no houses around the links and lakes and no evidence of the Country Club at the end of Country Club Road.
By now it should be pretty obvious that “if you build it, they will come” simply does not work in real life. The evidence is all over the country, including right here in Glynn County, Georgia.
So, why have the lessons not been learned? Part of the explanation seems to boil down to the fact that planners and consultants keep earning a living off things that don’t get built. So, it is not surprising, for example, that Benson just completed a long-range (five year) water and sewer plan, based on projections that in five years they could expect to add 200 houses. That’s perhaps realistic, but a very long way from the 28,000 The Secretary of the Interior is pressuring subordinates to approve.
Why would he bother? Well, we keep forgetting that Republicans have mastered the art of failure by design. Of course, you can safely give the go-ahead to a project that is virtually certain not to work. Why deny a six year old the opportunity to climb the Eifel Tower when he’s sitting on a farm in Kansas? You see, that “opportunity” schtick is not without a purpose.
Did the sports team owner get suckered? What are an event at a presidential inauguration and a visit at a hunting lodge with the Secretary of the Interior worth? Never mind that not just anyone gets covered by Rachel Maddow.
Which is not to say Rachel is wrong. What they are doing to our country needs to be attended to. What is the message that is going to go out from all those churches?