Friday, July 25, 2008

Sylvan Pass to remain open in winter

White House reverses experts on Yellowstone policy

That the White House would spend millions to prop up Cody businessmen is no surprise, especially when you can poke conservationists in the eye with the same stick. Another example of how much mercantilism* remains in our economic system, 232 years after Adam Smith. If the people of Cody can't afford to keep Sylvan Pass open, then it's just not producing a justifiable amount of economic activity.

When I was describing documents in the YNP archives years ago, I came across one letter than actually accused the NPS of bias because they were more willing to keep a road open to West Yellowstone than to Cody. You don't have to be an engineer to feel your jaw drop to the floor at a statement like that.**

Small potatoes in the big scheme of things, but a nice little illustration of how the "free market" really works.

* As an aside, Bloglines's spell checker doesn't recognize "mercantilism." Embarrassing.

**I don't think I have any readers who don't know Yellowstone topography, but if there are - West Yellowstone connects to the park via the Madison River valley, which runs through a wide glacial valley about as steep as Nebraska. Sylvan Pass is some 2/3 of a mile higher than Cody.


Heather said...

Unbelievable. What sticks in my throat the most about red-state "conservative" business interests is the alacrity with which they accept handouts and subsidies from the federal government. A taxpayer cost of $8000 per visitor, indeed. Forget about the environmental concerns for a moment - who will be blamed when somebody dies in an avalanche because of this decision? The Park Service, most likely.

James Hanley said...

Oh, them conservatives just luuuuuv to get their guvmint handouts. Just as long as they get their taxcuts, too.

Government shouldn't spend any money! But since it's going to, it's only right that it spends it on me!