This article appeared in an issue of the War Street Journal: Regan, Shawn. 2016. “National Parks: Lost in the wilds of neglect.” April 25; http://www.wsj.com/articles/national-parks-lost-in-the-wilds-of-neglect-1461531553
Shawn Regan is listed as a “Research Fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) in Bozeman, Montana.”
I have long been a critic of PERC (see below). I have castigated it as a Milton Friedman-type outfit, more concerned with being an efficiency expert for the state rather than an advocate of private property rights and free enterprise.
Mr. Regan’s recent effort is, unhappily, par for that particular course. I searched in vain for the word “privatization.” Surely, this would be the libertarian, free enterprise solution to the problems faced by U.S. National Parks. But, no. All we get is suggestions for making the socialist, centrally planned National Parks more efficient. One approximation to privatization was this statement of his: “Tap the private economy to tackle infrastructure challenges and park operations. Lawmakers should look to public-private partnerships to shore up park infrastructure.”
But we have a word for “public-private partnerships.” It is fascism. The last thing that can be supported by libertarians are “public-private partnerships.” Rather, the goal should be full privatization. Under economic fascism, there is a veneer of private property rights. But the government pretty much controls the entire economy, but like under socialism. Stuka, BMW, Volkswagon, etc., were “private” firms under Hitler’s Nazi regime. But the government controlled them pretty much totally. Under PPP, which is the dog and which is the tail? To ask this is to answer it.
To be fair to PERC’s Regan, there is also this suggestion of his: “Create a franchising system for new national parks. Congress should establish a procedure whereby new parks could be owned and managed by private entities under standards and rules established by the Park Service.” But why only “new parks?” Surely, the free market position is that ALL parks be privatized. And, even for these new ones, our PERC spokesman offers, only, what is called “contracting out”: the evil state apparatus, responsible for the horrors he very adequately describes in the first place, would still have overall responsibility for these vast resources they have so mismanaged. It would merely hire private firms to do its bidding. This is hardly a ringing endorsement for private property rights and free enterprise.
For my past critiques of PERC, continue reading (Stroup and Baden have been associated with this group):
12:07 pm on February 15, 2019
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