As I suspected, Gary North of LRC wants to auction off the national parks and use the money to cut taxes. He confesses that he wants to turn the land over to be raped by the developers and real estate speculators. This is precisely the dire scenario that I depicted in my last past about the subject.
Incredibly, North has the audacity to dress up this ugly scheme of his in faux populist garb. The National Park Service, you see, is just a restricted access scam by the super-rich to hold down the common man. In 2008, 8,188,561 visitors toured Alabama’s National Parks and Historic Sites. In 2006, 272,623,980 visitors toured the National Park System as a whole. The system is incredibly popular, relatively inexpensive, and open to everyone year round for a nominal fee. The horror!
The National Park System covers 84 million acres of land. The notion that anything remotely like this would be open to the public in a pure free market is, well, just absurd. At most, if he is lucky, the average citizen might be able to nab a few acres of land from the public domain, not unlike what he has now. That doesn’t remotely compare to the experience of touring a Yellowstone, Yosemite, or Glacier which would be carved up, exploited for every natural resource, and destroyed forever under the laissez-faire system North advocates.
This rant of his against the “super-rich” is a spectacular piece of nonsense. By all means, let’s get rid of property taxes, the income tax, capital gains taxes, unions, public schools, social security, child labor laws, trade barriers, the national parks, regulation of financial markets, all regulation and workplace safety standards whatsoever, and so on … oh, and while we are at it, add crippling the state to this wish list. That will have the “super-rich” trembling in their boots!
Note: As for PBS, I would rather watch an informative documentary about the National Parks, even a horrible one which ignores Madison Grant’s contributions, than the great entrepreneurs over at MTV.