Posts Tagged ‘free market’

By R.C. Seely

DONALD TRUMP SENT OUT A DIGITAL warning to any holdout Republican Senator that if they voted against the Graham-Cassidy healthcare reform bill, they could be branded as “the senator who saved ObamaCare.” He also singled out my first choice for President in the 2016 campaign Rand Paul in the tweet. 

    At times, I have to give credit to those who act in a manner that I approve and this is one of those few exceptions that Senator McCain may have done the right thing.

    I’m no fan of McCain and ObamaCare should be repealed–but not replaced–and McCain voted no. He voted against bipartisanship, for once, and not with Senator Lindsey Graham but with Senator Rand Paul. Graham even cosponsored the bill and McCain still couldn’t vote for it. His rationale was kind difficult to follow, claiming it’s not enough of a compromise, but kudos for doing the right thing for once. And going against both his friend Senator and his party, a point that Trump hammered him on Twitter. He “voted his conscience” as he replied to the president’s Twitter guilty trips.

    Two other Republican Senators join Paul and McCain on Trump’s naughty list, Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have also said they would vote no.

    Tom Price, Health and Human Services Secretary, told Fox News that this isn’t over yet and a deal could still be reached before the September 30th deadline. If this plan doesn’t get passed, repeal is not dead anyways, another option by Senators Lamar Alexander if Tennessee and Patty Murray of Washington and is also bipartisan.

    Senator Paul has always stood behind a “repeal only” stance, Senators Collins and Murkowski are probably holding out because it would defund Planned Parenthood (when did the GOP allow radical feminists in?) and Senator McCain wants everyone to get along. In a statement McCain said he “believe[s] we could better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not really tried.” 

    Senator Paul seems to be the only one who recognizes the consumer is the one that should making these decisions. The Graham-Cassidy plan would at least put the funding fully in the hands of the state’s but is that enough? Not really, if the government wasn’t subsidizing Healthcare to begin with, the prices of medical care wouldn’t have spiked to begin with. 

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books about pop culture the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

APRIL 22ND HAS BEEN DESIGNATED TO BE yet another holiday an evergrowing list of pointless identity holidays–Earth Day. A day specifically put aside for environmental activists to remind us what horrible people we are, not like the other 364 days of the year, when they are so silent. As I’ve made clear in previous written works–in both articles and in books–I have little respect for the current pop culture variety of the green movement, in no small part because of its take over by groups like the EPA. At one time these organizations did perform legitimate acts of public service and make the environment cleaner and safer, with regulations that made sense, now it’s all about creating division and maintaining power. The extremists​ in the movement have taken control. Green Peace, the Sierra Club, EPA, were on the right track at least, others like, ALF and ELF have always been essentially eco-terrorists. 

    Then we have celebrities in Greenism, Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio, John Kerry, Barack Obama and Micheal Moore, as only a small sample of environmental profiteers. The ones that would demand the rest of us live green but demonstrate an aversion to it themselves, I applaud activists such as Ed Beagley Jr and Darrell Hannah for living their principles even though I disagree with them. Not only does not doing so make the others hypocrites, but it appears the sense of urgency is entirely manufactured for them. Live according to your principles or sit down. This year the green elite have a new platform as well, in the March for Science, a “nonpartisan” March for environmental justice–but you’re not invited if you support Trump, real “nonpartisan!” On the website March for Science displays this loudly stating an “American government that ignores science to pursue ideological agendas endangers the world.” And what of an organization that does the same? The group says support “evidence-based policy making” and government funding for scientific research, so essentially state sponsored scientific endevours are the only ones that will considered valid. Maybe another round of eugenics​ will be in the budget as well, getting rid of the deplorable critics of Greenism. A 2010 editorial in Nature magazine calls attention to “a growing anti-science streak on the American right” and it needs to be cured, which “depends on more education, science and technology,” all taxpayer funded too, I’m sure. In an article for Scientific American, author Shawn Lawrence Otto comments that “it is hard to know exactly when it became acceptable for U.S. politicians to be anti-science” since so many of our previous presidents and founding fathers were men of science. Many were also men of freedom, and a few of the men of science, who occupied the white house were borderline Authoritarians. To be fair Trump did call climate change a hoax, promised to continue with the Keystone Pipeline, and gutted Federal agencies involved in environmental issues. 

    Headlining the March for Science are Bill Nye, Mona Hanna-Attisha, and Lydia Villa-Komaroff, none of which are climate scientists. Nye is a mechanical engineer, Hanna-Attisha is a pediatrician​, and Villa-Komaroff is a molecular and cellular biologist, so their opinions on the matter are no more valid than yours or mine. NASA on the other hand, is full of experts on the climate and there is no common consensus on the human impact on the planet. 

    Whether they truly believe it or not, all of them are missing an opportunity, the chance to be more effective and return to the path of sane, rational environmental policy. Make the movement more about economy than ecology, capitalize on green capitalism. There are a few environmental policies that can save the individual, and in certain circumstances whole companies, money such as certain recycling programs. Control seems always be the agenda, whether it’s controlling how we live or population control. That’s what many also advocate in the environmental movement, lower the population, like they have the moral authority to do so.

    While researching this article, I saw a glimmer of hope from earthday.org with a common sense suggestion for activism–reforestation. “Trees for Earth… it’s goal is to plant, or inspire the planting of 7.8 billion trees worldwide… one for every person projected to be on earth,” is one of the proposed initiatives on the site. Finally, pushing an agenda that makes sense and encourages individual effort. Unfortunately they couldn’t help but cater to the extremists: “The scientific evidence is clear and irrefutable–human activity is causing our planet to warm at an alarmingly high rate. Not only is this warming climate trend happening right now, it could have serious outcomes on our food supply (especially if they want to outlaw GMOs), lead to mass migration and conflict, and without being an alarmist, it may very well threaten the future survival of the human race.” That doesn’t sound like an alarmist. Oh, by the way don’t forget to donate. Also it seems they want to silence their critics, but Earth Day was created for the zealots. Starting out as a United States holiday it was proposed by peace activist John McConnell in 1969 and sanctioned by the U.N. in 1970. A month after that, Wisonsin Democrat Senator Gaylord Nelson, founded a separate Earth Day and started a tsunami of new environmental activism. He could have started a green capitalism movement but that wasn’t his goal, which he made clear when he said that “the economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around.” What? That’s absurd, the economy is the key to human culture, no matter what form it takes. It’s also the methodology to get a green economy, many corporations went green because their customers wanted it and went beyond the EPA guidelines, at least if it didn’t hurt their company. That’s all the EPA does anymore really, create economic stagnation but that’s what happens when the agenda is control and not prosperity.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV and has written books on pop culture. For more on environmental issues read Unconventional Wisdom: Behavior Modification For the Modern Age and Victims of White: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society both available on Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

LAST WEEK SOCIAL MEDIA WAS IN AN UPROAR over the forced ejection of a passenger from United Airlines. Dr. Donald Dao was removed from the flight by police after he was asked to leave due to overbooking and was offered $800. The doctor was not the only passenger asked to leave but he was the only one who refused to do so. Many critics of are using this incident as “another case of the evils of capitalism.” Are they right or is the story simply inaccurate?

We all know how reliable the initial reports are, full of accurate details that aren’t rushed or incomplete… if only. Point of fact the initial reports are generally full of obvious errors and entire narratives that are incorrect. Take the 1999 Columbine shooting, the first reports didn’t get anything right. The police and media got the number of shooters and victims wrong, the accounts of what happened wrong and the motive wrong. There was no connection to Satanism, violent video games and movies, or the NRA. Both assailant’s families were normal and vanilla Rockwellian, who raised their children as many of us do. Everything was considered except for the most obvious–they were just a couple of mean violent teens with no respect for human life.

Could that be the case here? Yes, and as the details are coming to light, the images of the good, dedicated Dr. Dao is starting to change.

From a Daily Mail article:

“An official report detailed the findings of medical exams performed on Dr. Dao and spelled out concerns over his mental state. A court case brought by him would inevitably have to consider whether the documents could be used by United.

Among the findings were:

Dr. Mary Gannon ‘noted that Dr. Dao “lacked the foundation to navigate difficult situations, both interpersonally and in a complex profession”. Dr. Gannon noted a need to control, avoidance, withholding information and magical thinking as problematic.’ 

The report went on: ‘Dr. Montgomery noted that Dr. Dao appeared to have difficulties with information processing. Neuropsychological screening did not suggest gross difficulties. 

‘However, in reviewing records, it was noted that Dr. Dao tends to have poor decision-making despite his overall level of ability. 

‘His choices have resulted in significant consequences over the years yet he continues to function in this manner. 

‘He is generally not forthright regarding details of events unless challenged and at times he will tell different versions of a story to different interviewers. ‘

Later in the report it found: ‘As far back as April, 2002, Dr. Brady notes ” … he would unilaterally chose to do his own thing’. 

‘This remains a concern to this day and without a high degree of structure and accountability he is at risk for further boundary related practice issues.'”

    Along with his propensity towards bad judgment in general, he has had charges of ethics violations from patients, including sexual assault charges. Normally I would agree that these are immaterial, but in this case it does question his state of mind at the time of the incident. Why didn’t he take the money like the others? Do the airlines have a right to remove you in the case of a voluntary transaction–such as this–as long as you are compensated? And where does the fault go as for Dao’s injuries, with the airlines or the police? Or possibly with Dao himself for resisting, since that is how he was injured.

    Before judging the airlines to harshly, you might consider the report of Dr. Gannon, it sounds like Dr. Dao was a possible risk to the other passengers, that should be in the discussion as well. Not everyone with mental disorders are inherently dangerous but Dao sounds like he could have been. Thankfully the Daily Mail wasn’t the only outlet to raise the question of the doctor’s past. TMZ, The New York Daily News, the Washington Times and the Chicago Sun Times are only a few that did, and they should. It’s all part of the story and the only way to state an unbiased report.

    Dao will need extensive reconstructive surgery, suffering a concussion, a broken nose and missing teeth, all from the trauma of hitting the headrest in front of him. He said the incident was “scarier than fleeing Vietnam.” United has lost $800 million in market share and will continue to lose business because of the negative publicity. It’s unclear if the police will be included in the lawsuit, but United will be and will surely settle. At this point it probably won’t do them much good.

    All this is bad enough but it’s what to follow that is really scary. Already there is talk about government action, Chris Christie has already proposed legislation making overbooking illegal. Christie is not alone and there will more than likely be further calls to “fix this problem” to come. Of course, all the calls will be federal intervention and not free market solutions, so don’t expect any positive results. If you like the way the TSA handles things, that’s the future if this goes that way. Such incidents are rare and occur because a lack of competition, something that only seems to get exasperated by government.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. His current book Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

PRIVATIZATION… IT’S A WORD THAT MANY find down-right ominous, much of these sentiments have to do with the perception from the industrial revolution-a time supposedly rampant with corporate greed and corruption. The common consensus is that when corporations are free to do as they please their hunger for profit outweighs all else, we advocates of the free market know better. One area that even free market champions do get wrong is when it comes to privatization of parks. The mere suggestion makes them nervous. Are their concerns legitimate?

Many parks are already private or at least partially private. This includes ones of the most centrally planned states in the country, New York. And this private/public effort was pushed by their own Napoleon-Michael Bloomberg, no less. The effort is called PlaNYC and was introduced in 2007, but the financial problems of New York started in the 1970s and something had to be done.

The City Journal.org covers this:

“In 1980, landscape designer Elizabeth Barlow Rogers and others founded the Central Park Conservancy, whose original purpose was to raise money, stop the park’s decline and restore several of its major landmarks. The city eventually gave the Conservancy the lion’s share of the day-to-day control of the park.

About 85 percent of the Conservancy’s annual budget comes from private donations, mostly from people who live within a ten-minute walk of the park.”

This is not the first time such public/private partnerships have been implemented in New York, in the early 1980s, Bryant Park was another necessity for privitization. With an ill concieved design, the park had many hidden locations making it perfect for criminals. It was reported to have 500 felonies commited per year. Then It was closed and remodeled thanks to this partnership.

New York at least recognized the need for this move, according to parkprivatization.com,  California wavered:

“Due to the state budget crisis, (in 2011) California State Parks has been forced to cut millions of dollars from it’s operating budgets. To make ends meet, California has proposed closing 70 state parks.

‘It doesn’t have to be this way’ says Warren Meyer, president of… Recreation Resource Management (RRM), a 10M company that manages public parks throughout the U.S.

‘With a public-private partnership model used by the US Forest Service (USFS) for thirty years in hundreds of California parks and campgrounds, the government retains ownership of the land and control of the use and character of the park, while handing over operational tasks that are time, money and labor intensive to a more cost-effective private company.'”

California is not alone in its reluctance to relinquish even a little bit of control to save its parks, Arizona has been downright hostile towards the idea of public-private partnerships and would rather let the parks go to ruin.

Out of desperation the totalitarians of the Big Apple had to acquiesce for the good of their beloved parks, but that’s just an isolated area and couldn’t possibly work across the rest of the nation-could it?  Eventually greed would cause those private landowners to develop and destroy the land. They have no incentive to protect the areas for everyone else’s enjoyment, right? Actually, they do have a big incentive and act on it, according to Alyssa Ravasio co-founder of HipCamp. HipCamp is a website that is like an Air BnB for nature lovers, listing camp sites that both public interests and private landowners offer for patrons.

In an interview for Entrepreneur magazine Alyssa discusses the lessons she learned when creating HipCamp:

“We started reaching out to private citizens who own tons of land… They don’t want to subdivide, sell or develop their property, but they would like to make money off it, so we partnered with them to create entirely new places for people to get outside-camping, hiking, fishing, you name it. The property owners set a price, which ranges from $10 to $300, and we facilitate the transaction and take a commission.

Website traffic also tells us a lot about where people want to camp, so we can focus on finding private lands in that area… And that’s why out biggest initiative for 2017 is reaching more landowners… [using HipCamp] some ranchers… made more than $40,000 this year.”

 

The private landowners were acting out of self-interest, they desired extra income from land not being used, but what was Alyssa’s purpose? Was she being altruistic, voluntarily giving for others? Nope. She was looking “to spend New Year’s Eve of 2012 somewhere quiet and beautiful… by the ocean.” Her search for the perfect spot to ring in the New Year was time-consuming and left her exhausted, and still didn’t yield the results she wanted. Alyssa came across a need that others didn’t adequately meet and filled it. She saw the need for herself and thought others could use it as well. So she went into fundraising mode and kept steady in her pursuit until it became a profitable business. 

    The business HipCamp did more for more land preservation than the federal landgrabbers have-offering 1,700 private land locations and more than 285,00 listings which includes state and national sites-because it was built around the private landowner’s self-interest to protect and efficiently use their property. As Alyssa put it,”It creates great value for them-and we hope, doubles as conservation effort. When people can make money off open land, there will be more open land for everyone.”

    Along with practical economics, another advantage to such an agreement is that privately operated parks are immune to government shutdowns, since the labor and expenses are covered by a private entity. During the 2013 government shutdown the Forestry Service, under the Obama adminstration, illegally shut down the parks, bringing calls from attorneys. An appropriate action since they broke their end of the contract.

    Once again it appears that government-state as well as federal-has not been the savior for the people against those “big bad greedy capitalists.” Even when the private interests are doing the nation good, they are rarely given their due credit. They’re not pillaging the land but instead perserving it. They are doing what they can to protect from federal incompetence and corruption. They are trying to protect it from government mismanagement and shutdowns. We have more places to go for recreation because of them, not less. And they did it all without having to steal the property from it’s legal landowner. No using legal force, just market incentives. So, welcome to Private Park.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV, he has also written books about pop culture. He latest is Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society, is available at Amazon.