The subtext of Paul Gessing’s recent article espousing the power of free markets [Re: Feature, “Righting the Left,” Feb. 18-24] is a clear concession to the inherent flaws of this system, yet he fails to follow his own observations to their logical conclusion.
For example, suggesting that “Free Markets = Cleaner Planet,” he cites the “tragedy of the commons” with an illustration of African tribes that are given “ownership” of certain endangered species, thus giving them a stake in their survival because of the profit motive generated by ecotourism. Yet, the acknowledgment that they have a collective interest in maintaining a robust population of these animals is, by definition, also an acknowledgment that they are part of the commons of that community, not any one person’s property. He stands reality on its head to claim a victory for property rights when the converse is the case.
The thing libertarians like Mr. Gessing cannot accept is that there is a legitimate role in our lives for government beyond national defense (the defense of private property, that is). Government is, after all, just a collective that exists by the mutual consent of the people for their common benefit. While his arguments illustrate the value of government’s influence on environmental and agricultural policies, he goes on to suggest, incomprehensibly, that free markets have, or [if] left to their own devices would have, accomplished these ends. The American experience proves the contrary. It was the free market, unregulated industrial and agricultural practices that created the near-disastrous environmental conditions that gave rise to the environmental movement of the 1960s, the Clean Water Act and the regulation of emissions from industrial smokestacks and automobiles.
To adopt Mr. Gessing’s brand of revisionism requires a myopia that is ill-suited to our times.
Decoding Gessing, Part II
"Everything you know about the right is wrong" [Re: Feature, “Righting the Left,” Feb. 18-24] is certainly a provocative lead line and some readers responded to various EFFECTS of conservative ideologies on economics, the environment, health care, etc. There was little or no discussion of the actual ideologies. What DO the conservatives believe? You may find the answers from conservatives themselves in Conservatives Without Conscience by John Dean. This book written by a certifiable conservative intellectual (former legal counsel to President Nixon) is a valuable and essential source for anyone wishing to understand what modern conservatism is all about.
[Re: Feature, “Righting the Left,” Feb. 18-24] Free (unregulated) markets always produce the greatest good for the greatest number at the lowest price. I challenge any of those who offered criticism to give one example of any other health care that does not enslave doctors and patients either by forcing them to work for free or at a lower price then they would like or by forcing those who do not want health care to pay for it anyway.
Liberty is always good thing.
Bill Koehler Press Secretary, Libertarian Party of NM Comment from alibi.com
Asleep at the Wheel
It was my good fortune to recently return to Albuquerque with a new job. I had not lived here since 2007, having worked outside the state in the meanwhile.
Albuquerque is a great place to live, and having been away, I'm all the more positive that it is chiefly because of the people. When I lived here the first time, my neighbors and friends tried to convince me it was a great place because of the great weather, or even the great food, but it is the people.
That long preface brings me to the main point. In the last month, no matter which route I took to work, I could not count the number of payday loans and check advance businesses along the way. It's terrible.
Can New Mexicans stop the federal government from bending over backwards and letting Wall Street and the big banking interests have their way? Probably not.
Can we get our own legislature and city government to break the backs of these local lazy profiteers? Absolutely!
Other states have succeeded in removing this plague. These bottom-feeding lenders contribute nothing to the local economy and are shameless in what they are willing to remove from it.
Contact your representatives. Tell them New Mexico is better than this. We don't need businesses that only serve to make the poor even poorer. We are a great state—let's legislate like it.
Captain America’s Hate Mail
Stop publishing Captain America!!! His opinions about music and the Albuquerque music scene are worthless. I want to read an article about a current band and what they are up to, not about what show some mediocre bands played many years ago and how cool he is for having been there. Everything seems to be "punk rock" to him too. That shit waffle doesn't even know the meaning of punk rock. If Scared of Chaka are punk rock then Taylor Swift sings for a Mariachi band. The last straw was his article last week [Re: Music, Dirty City Archives, “¡Un Grito Electrico!” Feb. 2-March 3] when he compared Chinese Love Beads drummer to that of Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham. He has no right being a music writer if that kind of amateur bullshit comes off his keyboard. The Captain needs to pull his head outta his ass, stick to writing his zine and stop reliving the glory days. And while you're at it, stop publishing so much Don Schrader.
Somethin' Strange in the Neighborhood
[Re: Blog, “Dan Aykroyd Will Be at Walgreens on Coors Signing Bottles of His Crystal Head Vodka at 4 p.m. on March 11,” March 2] So, I was at the stoplight at the intersection where this particular Walgreens is located (Coors and Sequoia). They have an electronic marquee with rotating messages: "Charmin, 2 for $6," "12 pack Pepsi, $2.99," etc. Then flashed, "Dan Aykroyd, Mar. 11, 4 p.m.." I was like, Guh wah?? There was no clarifying info ... I thought it was someone's idea of a joke; a weird, not-really-that-funny joke. I guess Walgreens is the premier fine wine and spirits promotional venue of Albuquerque. What celebrity distiller wouldn't want to showcase their product amongst Metamucil and Snuggies?