As it turns out, we don’t really need the government to take care of us.
If it were not for the government, who would build the roads? Who would educate the children? Who would keep the parks clean? These questions usually are posed by progressives who think they have taken libertarians to task. We have already seen pizza companies maintaining the roads and private schools and homeschoolers doing an admirable job teaching students. Now, we’re learning that the free-enterprise system can keep parks, including government-run ones, clean.
These tourist dollars are essential to the survival of small businesses…
Keeping Yellowstone Clean
Because the government has been partially closed for nearly three weeks, several national parks have been pretty much abandoned. Without staff on hand, the trash is piling up, and bathrooms look like they’re managed by an uncouth teenager working at 7-Eleven. Access is now free since no one is available to collect the $35-per-car fee. The trade-off, however, is a dirty park.
Well, except if you’re visiting Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming or Montana.
Yellowstone attracts roughly 30,000 visitors every month, even in the middle of winter, contributing $18.2 billion to the local economy. These tourist dollars are essential to the survival of small businesses, from restaurants to tour guides to snowmobile rentals. Just be careful of that guy in a wagon claiming that Yellowstone will be the epicenter of the apocalypse!
In other words, private enterprises in the area have an incentive to ensure Yellowstone continues to be accessible to tourists. So, what are they doing? These companies, led by Xanterra Parks and Resorts, are gathering funds to ensure the roads are maintained, the restrooms are packed with toilet paper, and the trash bins are emptied. They are even paying staff to work in the park.
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