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Cognitive Dissident

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Re: How would the free market handle forest fires?
« Reply #30 on: July 08, 2012, 07:30:22 PM »

That is a ridiculous copout.  Even in a free market you can expect a contract for health insurance to be fairly illegible and should seek professional advice.
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alaric89

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Re: How would the free market handle forest fires?
« Reply #31 on: July 09, 2012, 03:01:20 AM »

Then I would start a insurance company with short legable contracts in plane English. The beauty of a free market is I don't have to put up with the bullshit.

Cognitive Dissident

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Re: How would the free market handle forest fires?
« Reply #32 on: July 09, 2012, 06:50:07 AM »

I think that falls into the "you can't have utopia" part of the deal.  I'll just say "good luck with that" because it would be good if possible.  Just don't think it is.
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Turd Ferguson

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Re: How would the free market handle forest fires?
« Reply #33 on: July 09, 2012, 12:40:38 PM »

In a world where medicine itself were deregulated for the most part, I think simplified, plainly written insurance policies would be commonplace. Look, medicine is not magic.  The reason everything is so complicated is because of Medicare, Medicaid, malpractice laws and endless piles of govt paperwork...... not because medicine itself is just "so darn tricky".  It is a service, just like any other. In a true free market in medicine, the real cost of care would go down dramaticaly and the insurance companies would have a more favorable risk/reward ratio to deal with and that would be reflected in their rates as well.

I doubt any of us are likely to see this happen anytime soon, but its a point worth mentioning.
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mikehz

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Re: How would the free market handle forest fires?
« Reply #34 on: July 09, 2012, 02:39:11 PM »

The assumption of the initial question is that the government does a crack job of handling forest fires. Not being in the fire-fighting buz myself, I'm not sure what solution the market would come up with. But, whatever it is, it's almost certainly going to be better than having government handle the matter.

If you're really concerned about forest fires, then I am sure you will be one of the many people willing to volunteer to help fight them. People do volunteer. In fact, I'm a member of the Amateur Radio Emergency Services, and one of the functions of that organization is to help out with such disasters. Just about every year, the local group gets called out to help provide communications for fire fighting services.
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jerry

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Re: How would the free market handle forest fires?
« Reply #35 on: July 12, 2012, 08:53:42 AM »

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phonon

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Re: How would the free market handle forest fires?
« Reply #36 on: July 12, 2012, 09:39:56 AM »

Sorry all. I started this thread and then forgot all about it.


We send people to outer space and have cell phones that can perform more tasks than a whole room IBM computer could do just 40 years ago for fucksake, surely someone has the ingenuity to develop an in home system to perform the simple task of putting out a fire.

Well, "we" send people to outer space (actually low earth orbit) using the force of government. Cell phones are economical because they're manufactured using cheap labor in foreign countries.

A home fire suppression system would be quite expensive on a home-by-home basis. It would be worth it to people living in high risk areas to install one. But if the system doubled the price of the house, then there's no point, especially if the system required vast amounts of water or some sort of fire retarding foam or something. Anyway, it would very likely be prohibitively expensive.
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phonon

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Re: How would the free market handle forest fires?
« Reply #37 on: July 12, 2012, 09:45:39 AM »

One of them benefits of living in an urban area (and not next to streams, rivers, lakes or swamps) is it keeps mosquitoes away.  I also don't live in an area known for horrible earthquakes, lots of tornadoes or tons of hurricanes.  Gee, I love how the market works.

I live in Washington DC and the mosquitoes here are terrible. I've lived in Louisiana before and they are worse in DC.
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phonon

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Re: How would the free market handle forest fires?
« Reply #38 on: July 12, 2012, 09:54:21 AM »

The assumption of the initial question is that the government does a crack job of handling forest fires.

I'm sorry if I gave that impression, but I was not assuming that while asking the question. It just seems they are the only people that mobilize a large amount of resources to fight forest fires, but they still mostly suck at it. No one else seems to step up to show them how it's done.


If you're really concerned about forest fires, then I am sure you will be one of the many people willing to volunteer to help fight them.

I don't live anywhere near the trouble spots. If I did volunteer, what would I do? Rent a pressure washer?

People do volunteer. In fact, I'm a member of the Amateur Radio Emergency Services, and one of the functions of that organization is to help out with such disasters. Just about every year, the local group gets called out to help provide communications for fire fighting services.

That's great. Does the government give you any trouble in exchange for helping them out since that's their usual SOP?
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phonon

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Re: How would the free market handle forest fires?
« Reply #39 on: July 12, 2012, 10:24:23 AM »

Government forest fire fighting is another example of the government "helping" you by giving you crutches after breaking your legs.

http://libertarianstandard.com/2012/07/10/wildfires-government-praised-for-solving-problem-it-started/

http://www.perc.org/articles/article1410.php

http://www.perc.org/pdf/Forest%20Policy%20Up%20in%20Smoke.pdf




Your second link gives an example of poor forest management by the US government by comparing it to the way the Apache manage their adjacent forest.

Quote
Like so many other examples of centralized versus diffuse planning at work (East and West Germany, North and South Korea, etc.), we have been blessed with a side-by-side experiment on the ground. The Wallow fire burned deeply into Forest Service-managed lands, but practically stopped at the borders of the San Carlos Apache reservation. Comparable forest ecology and identical terrain, yet the flames simply did not do to Indian lands what they did to public lands. Why not?

In 2002, after a devastating fire that ravaged public and Indian-lands alike, the Apache reservation began a concerted campaign of timber harvest, forest-thinning, and prescribed burning. A preventive blaze was set one year ago just west of where the Wallow Fire ignited and tribal workers completed major fuel-reduction campaigns along the reservation border. Because of that, even flames that crossed into Apache lands burned mostly along the ground, with minimal damage to the environment.

Prevailing winds (blowing away from the reservation) certainly played a critical role, but would anyone really care to accept a counterfactual bet on the outcome of the fire had the winds been blowing onto the reservation?

This is weak sauce.

Presumably the US government was not managing the forests on Apache lands, but a 2002 fire took hold in both forests just the same. After that, the two governments took two different approaches to their adjacent forests. A new forest fire came through and burned mostly US land and not so much Apache land, because:

a. different land management techniques
b. prevailing winds
c. central planning vs. decentralized human action

You could pick between a and b, I guess, but there's no way to prove which one is correct. But, you certainly can't pick c because both were examples of central planning.

The argument continues:

Quote
Central planners with access to the finest scientific tools and incalculably large budgets were bested by relatively poor natives who knew and understood their lands, and had no fear of vigorously using their resources. Sounds a bit familiar, come to think of it…

Oddly enough, wildlife apparently picks winners too. Elk, spotted owl, mule deer, and any number of less charismatic species vote with their feet (and wings), consistently spoiling the expectations of conservationists who think they ought to live in the more “hands-off, pristine” environments. The San Carlos Apache reservation is known for harboring the world’s finest trophy elk, an indicator of both ecological and economic health (they routinely charge outsiders $25,000 for the privilege of taking the fruits of their hard-earned management success).

The land resources owned and managed by the Apache tribe is of course communally managed as well, but to a far lesser extent than that of national public lands managed by a central bureaucracy. The number of competing demands is smaller, the boundaries to access clearer and more defined. The tragedy of the commons simply isn’t as tragic.

Why is the land management by the Apache tribe not considered central planning? They may be better at forest management than the US government. Ok. But are they not managing the forest?

What kind of argument are they making here? It's not one against land management and it's not one against government. It's only saying that Apaches are better at forest management than the US.

Quote
The land resources owned and managed by the Apache tribe is of course communally managed...

Instead, we have collectively decided that west of the 100th meridian, forest resources are to be held in common, managed by central directorship.

Ok.


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Private Forests?

This is a bridge far too far for many, but I cannot help but recommend significant privatization of western forestlands. By allowing management to diffuse to individual actors, it is clear that land management will more neatly align with today’s set of values.

How big a plot of land would one actor own? What if he/she/they owned millions of acres? What if it were an organization that owned millions of acres? Even if it's an individual, guess what? Management of that huge forest would be centrally planned.


Quote
If one landowner decides that thick timber is important to him, then that judgment is confined to a small area.

Says who? Who defines the size of this owner's property? Why can it not be millions of acres? What if prevailing winds take the fire onto other land? I guess those owners managed their property poorly too.
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alaric89

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Re: How would the free market handle forest fires?
« Reply #40 on: July 12, 2012, 04:30:14 PM »

The answer to your question is "I don't know." The fact is people care more about stuff they own and are responsible for more then stuff they are temperarely the steward of. How would they protect their land? I don't know. Its just another who would build the roads question. Maybe Wallmart, maybe a electrical company would run one of those solar power highways. My favourite answer is we wouldn't need any roads because we would all have nuclear powered monster trucks. The real answer is, "I don't know". The free market works better then the state at everything except that whole "killing of innocents" thing. Governments are definitely better at killing.
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