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Old 04-11-2013, 06:44 AM  
Loneiguana Loneiguana is offline
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Conservatives find Government does help them earn money

Wyoming locals pick up tab for Yellowstone snowplowing
Sequester cuts idled federal plows and threatened the park's opening day. Even though most here favor limited government, this isn't quite what they had in mind.


By Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times
April 6, 2013, 7:00 p.m.
CODY, Wyo. — For many, the federal budget ax that fell last month has meant a few nicks here and there. For Joe Kondelis, it's sliced a lot deeper.

After stewing for days, the 53-year-old opened his wallet and delivered a $2,000 check to the Cody Chamber of Commerce to help pay for snowplowing at Yellowstone National Park. It wasn't easy. Cash is scarce once Yellowstone shuts down for the winter.

But after automatic spending cuts idled the National Park Service plows and threatened to delay opening day for two weeks — two weeks that could cost his beer distributorship $100,000 in sales — Kondelis felt he had no choice.

"You live and die by the tourist market," he said beneath a framed picture of the Budweiser logo, which loomed overhead like a portrait of the family patriarch.

Fearing an economic disaster — people planning their vacations sometimes hear just the words "closed" and "Yellowstone" and there goes the whole summer — the chambers in Cody and Jackson Hole raised $170,000 to pay for the state to step in and fire up its snowplows. The work began last week and, barring a major storm, the park's east and south entrances will open on time in early May.

The story could end there, a happy tale of small-town pluck. Many in Cody are proud of how the community of fewer than 10,000 rallied to save the tourist season from sequestration, as the $85 billion in cuts are called.

"It kicked us right in the pants," said Mike Darby, a partner in the Irma Hotel, which was built in 1902 by "Buffalo Bill" Cody himself. "And thank God we rose up and kicked them back. We did."

But a weave of contradictions surrounds the episode, reflecting the tension between self-sufficiency and codependence, between these Westerners' stated desire for a smaller, more limited government and reliance on the services that people have come to expect from far off, little-loved Washington, D.C.

"We all want to cut the deficit but don't want to sacrifice the lifestyle that money makes possible," said Warren Murphy, a retired clergyman and one of the few avowed progressives in this deeply conservative part of a deeply conservative state. "Sequester is just a small sample of what you get."

Dan Wenk, the superintendent of Yellowstone, is the face of the federal government around Cody and his popularity underscores the truth that it's harder to dislike a neighbor than some faceless bureaucrat inside the Beltway. When the cuts hit, Wenk had to slice $1.75 million from his $35-million budget and do it with the fiscal year just about half-over.

He trimmed his payroll. He scaled back travel and training programs. Finally, he decided to idle the Park Service snowplows for two weeks, saving $30,000 a day and leaving it to the spring thaw to help clear more than 300 miles of roadway. The idea, Wenk said, was to ensure there was money left to keep Yellowstone open throughout the peak summer months. "We cut the budget in a way we thought was absolutely the least impactful," he said.

Locals were nearly unanimous in their praise for Wenk and the way he worked with community leaders and state officials to find a solution that got the plows rolling. It is a lesson, they said, that Washington should heed.

"We just talked it through," said Claudia Wade, marketing director for the county tourism office. "Everybody came to the table and said, 'How can we work this out?' Not, "Whose fault is it?'"

There are limits, however, to that goodwill. Wade and others insist the fundraising drive, or Park Service bailout, or whatever people choose to call it, was a one-time thing. "It was an important point that we'd only do it this time," said Scott Balyo, executive director of the Cody chamber.

Even so, many worry about precedent. Kondelis, who works alongside his wife and two sons in their beverage business, explained why he contributed: "I believe in this community and we need to step forward like everybody else. But my biggest issue was … the politics isn't going to change. So next year, they're going to say, 'Oh, you guys figured it out, you guys came to the table, so this cut was good.'"

The relationship between Washington and the West has always been fraught. The region's proud creed of independence ignores the crucial role the federal government plays in its prosperity. At the same time, few things grate more than the presumption that a distant landlord can better manage the land than the people who live on it. (The federal government controls about half of the acreage in Wyoming.)

People in Cody are used to dealing with natural disasters, like the wildfires or heavy snow that occasionally close Yellowstone and sucker-punch the economy. But this crisis felt artificial, man-made, and thus avoidable.

It's not that residents don't want to reduce the deficit. Washington needs "to grow the economy, not the government," said Jay Linderman, who owns an Italian restaurant on Cody's main drag and grudgingly gave $200 to pay for plowing. What rankles locals is the indiscriminate nature of the sequester, which cut programs across the board without weighing individual merits.

But therein lies the perennial rub: Cuts that are welcomed in the abstract are not always appreciated when they hit home. And everything the government does, however small, touches somebody.

"If it's a national park, it shouldn't be our burden to operate," said Bob Brandt, manager of the Cody Hotel, which sits on the main highway to Yellowstone, about 50 miles away. His business contributed $2,500 to the snowplow fund.

If not entitlement, locals at least share a feeling that Washington has obligations it mustn't slough off, even as spending declines.

"You pay your taxes to get certain services," said Bruce Eldredge, executive director of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, a world-class museum in the center of town, which delivered a $10,000 check to the chamber. "We would, I think, probably argue as a community that we pay our federal taxes to make sure the park is open at a specific time."

For his part, Wenk assumes the cuts made under sequester represent "the new normal." Yellowstone's budget has been shrinking for the last few years, even as the number of visitors has grown. Looking ahead to next year, Wenk said everything — including the snowplowing schedule — is on the table.

The state, meantime, has seized on the fundraising publicity to get an early jump on its summer tourism campaign. As a crowd cheered and cameras recorded the scene last week, big yellow tractors began chewing through the snow, bearing placards with the promotional theme "Yellowstone or Bust."

From: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...,5412062.story

/So I'm supposed to feel bad for the guy who had to spend $2,000 of his own money to help guarantee $100,000 in sales? Yeah, it sure does suck that the Federal Government wasn't there to help out that guys profit margin with my money.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:22 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
Did you miss this part?

"He trimmed his payroll. He scaled back travel and training programs. Finally, he decided to idle the Park Service snowplows for two weeks, saving $30,000 a day and leaving it to the spring thaw to help clear more than 300 miles of roadway. "

Now, compare it with this part:

"But after automatic spending cuts idled the National Park Service plows and threatened to delay opening day for two weeks — two weeks that could cost his beer distributorship $100,000 in sales — Kondelis felt he had no choice."

Now,let us think about it. An investment from the government into clearing roads has created and hopefully will create in the future up 100,000 dollars for ONE business.

Then, we read this "$170,000 to pay for the state to step in and fire up its snowplows." And we can assume that is around the cost of just snow removal. So, a government investment of 170,000 dollars into this one community can stimulate over 100,000 for ONE business. How many businesses benefit from this? I'd say from reading the article more than three. If only three businesses earn 100,000 dollars each from a 170,000 dollar government investment, I'd say that is a successful investment.

So in conclusion, we have learned from this article that government can stimulate local economies.

Also, before you congratulate the free market for solving this, ask yourself one question. Did every bushiness that will benefited from snow removal chip in to pay for snow removal? Can we be positive every business did? Because if just one business did not pay for snow removal, then that business is benefiting from others without contributing. That could be considered socialism, or worse, freeloading.
Do you really think you're making some kind of grand point with this?

1. Conservatives don't deny that government built (and maintained) infrastructure is a foundation upon which much private sector commerce runs.

2. Just because a specific piece of government built (and maintained) infrastructure exists and supports commerce, doesn't mean that that specific piece of infrastructure couldn't have been accomplished more effectively and more efficiently through the private sector.

3. Just because a specific piece of government built (and maintained) infrastructure exists and supports commerce, doesn't mean that it's an effective, net-positive contributor to our economy.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:24 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
Sure, if you can prove every business contributed to the payment for snow removal. Are you positive that happened? Also, read through the article again. How many different amounts were contributed? Did every bussiness contribute fairly? Did some more than others? Will some businesses earn more money than others while chipping in less? Can we be completely sure that no one is gaming the system?


Because through taxes and the government, I can be positive that every business that benefits from infrastructure helped pay for that infrastructure.
No, you can't be positive about that. Furthermore, even if they did, you can't be positive that they contributed fairly, evenly, or without gaming the system.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:25 AM   #18
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So in conclusion, you omit the part, that the govt took money from individuals to stimulate someone else's local economy to the exclusion of others (where some of the money was taken). All that does is move money around that could have and would have moved around privately. It simply crowds out private sector activity by denying it the funds it needs to recover making a bad economic situation last longer—just as FDR made the previous depression last longer.

You bought the smoke and mirrors.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:35 AM   #19
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Clearly this story proves that we need a 75 trillion dollar stimulus because it will create 750 trillion in job growth.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:35 AM   #20
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In other news
Today Detroit celebrates 50 years of being run by Democrats.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:37 AM   #21
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In other news
Today Detroit celebrates 50 years of being run by Democrats.
Well, to be fair, government spending in Detroit creates a lot of prison jobs.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:37 AM   #22
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Well, to be fair, government spending in Detroit creates a lot of prison jobs.
Because they created more criminals. Now, that's what I call govt stimulus!
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:39 AM   #23
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Its a beautiful city. Has some of the best art work you will ever see spray painted on.................Well everything
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:41 AM   #24
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Personally my favorite part of Detroit is the is the auto industrial complexes. Its full of broken glass,bums & wild dogs. I heard Mel Gibson is gonna film Road Worrier 5 there this summer
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:41 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
So in conclusion, you omit the part, that the govt took money from individuals to stimulate someone else's local economy to the exclusion of others (where some of the money was taken). All that does is move money around that could have and would have moved around privately. It simply crowds out private sector activity by denying it the funds it needs to recover making a bad economic situation last longer—just as FDR made the previous depression last longer.

You bought the smoke and mirrors.

Okay, in a free, private market, where roads were under private operation, individual businesses and owners would to bid independently on services. Let us ignore the problems of calculating cost for driving on the roads and focus on one service, snow removal. Would multiply companies be removing snow on the same street? If one business did not pay, would they not plow in front of the building? Or would the street be plowed anyway, because the whole street needs to be plowed to function effectively?

No, what would be wisest and money efficient for companies would be maybe to form some type of organization that represents the companies to bid on services, maybe collect some type of fee to put towards that fund. Maybe organized street? But one street doesn't get traffic to that street from out of town. Maybe by town?

Yea, by town might work. Some type of city utilities or something.
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:44 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Do you really think you're making some kind of grand point with this?

1. Conservatives don't deny that government built (and maintained) infrastructure is a foundation upon which much private sector commerce runs.

2. Just because a specific piece of government built (and maintained) infrastructure exists and supports commerce, doesn't mean that that specific piece of infrastructure couldn't have been accomplished more effectively and more efficiently through the private sector.

3. Just because a specific piece of government built (and maintained) infrastructure exists and supports commerce, doesn't mean that it's an effective, net-positive contributor to our economy.

1) see bep's post.
2) see response to bep's post. Please explain how.
3) I disagree: Let's get specific, and speak of purely transportation infrastructure. mainly highways.

• The Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways is in place and celebrating its 40th anniversary, must surely be the best investment a nation ever made. Consider this:
• It has enriched the quality of life for virtually every American.
• It has saved the lives of at least 187,000 people.
• It has prevented injuries to nearly 12 million people.
• It has returned more than $6 in economic productivity for each $1 it cost.
• It has positioned the nation for improved international competitiveness.
• It has permitted the cherished freedom of personal mobility to flourish.
• It has enhanced international security.

It is not an exaggeration, but a simple statement of fact, that the interstate highway system is an engine that has driven 40 years of unprecedented prosperity and positioned the United States to remain the world's pre-eminent power into the 21st century."

From: http://www.publicpurpose.com/freeway1.htm

I also offer this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1250886.html

"THE SPENDING GAP
China envy has its problems. The country's growth spurt is relatively new, so it's no surprise that its infrastructure is shinier. The innovative maglev train from the Shanghai airport to the center city isn't necessarily representative of facilities in the country's interior. The country's centralized, dictatorial leaders, meanwhile, often steamroll over environmental and safety concerns. But analysts from such disparate groups as the US Chamber of Commerce and major labor unions agree that our failure to invest is hurting the U.S. economy and U.S. businesses.

Indeed, that was the thrust of a September report from the American Society of Civil Engineers, which calculated that deficient and deteriorating roads will cost US companies $240 billion over the next ten years in lost growth potential. Between 1995 and 2009, according to the International Transport Forum, the United States spent less on inland transport infrastructure than Japan or Western Europe.

At the same time as these hurdles mount, 16.0 percent of construction workers are unemployed. So labor is cheap, as is the cost of construction materials, which are no longer in high demand in the housing market."

The point I am trying to make is that this is unacceptable: Unhappy Anniversary: Republicans Have Blocked The American Jobs Act For One Year

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/201...-act-one-year/

–Moody’s Analytics estimated the American Jobs Act would create 1.9 million jobs and add two percent to gross domestic product.
–The Economic Policy Institute estimated it would create 2.6 million jobs and protect an addition 1.6 million existing jobs.
–Macroeconomic Advisers predicted it would create 2.1 million jobs and boost GDP by 1.5 percent.
–Goldman Sachs estimated it would add 1.5 percent to GDP.


My Point is that the government does stimulate the economy through infrastructure, and I used a specific example, of many, that showed the positive amount of stimulus government spending has. I used a recent article to make an argument for increasing government spending in American infrastructure.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:18 PM   #27
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:20 PM   #28
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Okay, in a free, private market, where roads were under private operation, individual businesses and owners would to bid independently on services. Let us ignore the problems of calculating cost for driving on the roads and focus on one service, snow removal. Would multiply companies be removing snow on the same street? If one business did not pay, would they not plow in front of the building? Or would the street be plowed anyway, because the whole street needs to be plowed to function effectively?

No, what would be wisest and money efficient for companies would be maybe to form some type of organization that represents the companies to bid on services, maybe collect some type of fee to put towards that fund. Maybe organized street? But one street doesn't get traffic to that street from out of town. Maybe by town?

Yea, by town might work. Some type of city utilities or something.
I wasn't talking about roads per se or limiting things to roads. I was talking general principals regarding stimulus of local economies.

However, I could do a really good debate on how roads were once privately built in this country and paid for by businesses who would put their businesses on them. However, your questions about snow removal show that you abide by some central planning model instead of letting businesses and customers work those things out to their own mutual satisfaction.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:39 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
I wasn't talking about roads per se or limiting things to roads. I was talking general principals regarding stimulus of local economies.

However, I could do a really good debate on how roads were once privately built in this country and paid for by businesses who would put their businesses on them. However, your questions about snow removal show that you abide by some central planning model instead of letting businesses and customers work those things out to their own mutual satisfaction.
How would they work it out? What system would have everyone who would would benefit from a road contribute to the road? And building toll roads paid for by business on them is all well and good before we had globalization;but what about the necessary infrastructure to get people to that road that is needed now? Just because I have my business on a city street, doesn't mean I didn't benefit from the Highway that brings tourist to the city.

And then are we having multiple toll roads to the same area? Would we just let one company have a monopoly on toll roads? or would we need to have multiple highways between K.C./Columbia/St. Louis in order for a monopoly to not exist? Two, three, four 1-70's? If there are different companies handling different roads in the same city, what happens when I pay for one road that gets plowed, but I have to use another one that doesn't?

And if we only need one system of road ways (because that is cost efficient and effective), what benefit does having a company that has a road monopoly bring to customers? In today's world, what choice does someone have at using a road? Can a free market exist when consumers don't have a choice?
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:50 AM   #30
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I wasn't talking about roads per se or limiting things to roads. I was talking general principals regarding stimulus of local economies.

However, I could do a really good debate on how roads were once privately built in this country and paid for by businesses who would put their businesses on them. However, your questions about snow removal show that you abide by some central planning model instead of letting businesses and customers work those things out to their own mutual satisfaction.
Wow, I can't even imagine the horrible implications of roads competing against each other. Or businesses somehow deciding what infrastructure is in the best public interest for the city versus what will benefit the public at large. Or that we should trust corporations and businesses to invest in this planning. Or that we should allow corporations with bigger pockets even MORE competitive advantage over small businesses because they can essentially control what roads and transportation lead to their business or even destruct roads that lead to a competitor.
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