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Author Topic: The Future of Parks  (Read 2011 times)

jimmywannadog

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The Future of Parks
« on: April 27, 2003, 09:36:21 pm »

I vote for Libertarians but am really just as frightened of their brand of ideological zealotry as anybody else's.  There is something very academic about the discussions we have about the future of government that makes me imagine Bolsheviks imagining the worker's paradise.

That said, I am thinking seriously of joining up with the project because I would like to see a constitutionally limited government given a real try (though I don't know that I can honestly commit until the state is chosen).  Also, I believe that successfully implementing the Free State Project will cause a cascade.  Many people will find themselves thinking of different role for the government because others in their vicinity are having unconventional thoughts.

That said, let me float one of my concerns.  Some of my favorite spots have been state owned parks or forests.  Would the Free State really auction of public lands at the first opportunity to the most eager purchaser?  I know what the logic of libertarianism demands but I guess that deep down I am not that dogmatic.  Could a conservationist bias be built into the privatization program?  What is the likelihood of that happening?  

What about currently public parks in urban areas?  I can appreciate the problems posed by government ownership and administration.  I am not convinced that an office building or parking lot would be a better use of the property.

Some of the places under consideration from the FSP posess tremendous natural beauty.  I would be interested in reading about free-market solutions to questions about park space.

Check out my home page:
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Rearden

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Re:The Future of Parks
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2003, 12:12:56 am »

Here in my hometown of Baltimore, the only public parks in decent shape are the ones that have nonprofits organized to take care of them.  Patterson Park is in great shape, thanks to the "Friends of Patterson Park."  Druid Hill has waist-high weeds and falling over pavilions, because it has no such organization.

The libertarian solution would be to deed parks over to such groups, and they could maintain them much better than the government does.  They can raise funds by soliciting donors from the neighborhood or corporations, or by holding events in the park.  Contrary to what Jason said in the NPR documentary, parks do not need to have fences around them.  

Many state and federal parks already charge for admission.  In a libertarian world, this fee could probably be done away with!  

Nonprofit associations are the way to go.  Voluntary, more efficient, and promotes civic interaction.

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Government can do only one thing: It can break your legs, hand you a crutch, and say, "See?  If not for the government you couldn't walk."

ZuG

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Re:The Future of Parks
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2003, 06:51:28 am »

Irish,

Agreed. The government does a much poorer job of keeping parks clean and nice than do private organizations. In the free state, there will be plenty of them. If I end up in a populated area, I know i'll be heading one of the committees =)

That is one of the things the NPR documentary butchered, IMHO. Nobody wants an industrial wasteland with miles of houses. People will work to preserve the things that they care about. Will there be pay parks? Sure. But I bet there will be free public ones courtesy of a nonprofit just as there are now.
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jimmywannadog

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Re:The Future of Parks
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2003, 01:28:04 pm »

OK.  I guess I assumed that privatization would result in the sale of park space to bidders.  And I imagined people interested in developing areas providing the most interest and funding.

But you will get no argument from me on the maintenance issues.  Naturally, private neighborhood oriented organizations would be more effective at maintaining these spaces than some govt park org.

All right, so that seems a little more workable in my head now.  Guess there are only a couple hundred more questions to work through...
« Last Edit: April 28, 2003, 01:28:20 pm by jimmywannadog »
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