Friday, January 16, 2009

Bizzaro World

The New York Times supports a change in New Hampshire law that requires hikers and skiers to pay for the cost of their own rescue, if the need for that rescue arose from negligence.

There has often been an appealing vein of common sense in New Hampshire, and that is true of its regulations for people who venture outdoors. The state has always done what it can to rescue hikers and skiers who get lost or in trouble. Since 1999, it has billed them for the costs of rescue if their behavior was reckless. But in July, the standard was changed. If you find yourself in trouble thanks to your own negligence, a lower threshold of responsibility, then you also may end up paying the cost for being rescued.

There is something a little peculiar about the need for a law like this. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is hoping not only to recoup some of its rescue costs, but also to warn hikers and skiers that their behavior in nature has consequences.

It’s hard to imagine Americans protesting about having to pay for their ambulance rides after getting sick at home, or injured in a highway crash. But most Americans live lives that are incredibly distant from nature. They often do not understand that venturing into the backcountry means entering a realm of purely personal responsibility.


So if I get this straight, those who venture into the outdoors do so at their own risk, but those who venture into finance or auto manufacturing should have their mismanagement paid for by taxpayers. Personally, I'm all for hikers having to pay for their own stupidity, but I just don't see how you justify sending a hiker a bill for a lifesaving rescue with one hand while using the other to dole out hundreds of billions of dollars to failing companies.

3 Comments:

Anonymous rose said...

something you might find interesting. you know how all these banks have taken the TARP money and hoarded it instead of lending? it must be true because they've said it so many times right?

well the numbers are rolling in with fourth quarter earnings results. many large banks are showing small INCREASES in consumer loans q/q. JP Morgan for example espite an economy that shrunk during the quarter, total consumer loans rose by 2% between September 30th and December 31st.

hilarious that the argument for revising TARP is being made on a completely false premise that has been made true simply by repeating it often enough.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will they also be providing pricing options for the resources used to save someone?

Can I get the economy-rescue plan? Instead of multiple helicopters and advanced technology, can I get a few homeless guys with dogs that try to track me down? How will I get to choose if I'm lost in the woods?

10:01 PM  
Anonymous rose said...

LL, whats your thoughts on this:

So we're gonna be doling out 150b over 10 years to alternative energy. I'm sure we both prefer the tax incentive route, but what can you do.

Anyway, what we funded government sponsored venture capital? Form 10 teams of business people and scientists, give em 1b a year to invest in altenergy. Weed down the # over time based on certain performance thresholds, maybe loss limits. At 10-15 years funding ends. If you are profitable you survive. If not you die.

What do you think? Has this ever been proposed?

4:49 PM  

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