Our View: The system works… mostly | VailDaily.com

Our View: The system works… mostly

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail CO, Colorado

It’s good to hear news from neighboring Grand County about a couple of new companies that are providing loggers with places to take beetle-killed timber.

One company is a proper sawmill, processing the blue-tinted wood of beetle-killed trees into building materials. The other is taking the smaller stuff and turning it into wood pellets to feed clean-burning stoves and heaters.

This has to be good news for loggers, who, until now, have trucked timber to Montrose, the only sawmill in this part of the state.

That’s a long trip from Grand County, especially since trucks are taking the Trough Road between Kremmling and State Bridge every day.

It’s also good news for free-market types, who believe that most of the time, entrepreneurs will respond to most situations if allowed to do so.

Most of the time, we don’t need government to come up with solutions to problems. The fact that most of the country’s alternative-fuel eggs are in the ethanol basket, thanks primarily to government intervention, is likely to come back to haunt us in too many ways to list here.

In many, if not most, cases, government is at least a step behind public sentiment and industry’s response to it.

That doesn’t mean entrepreneurs and free markets always have the best answers. You need look no farther than Eagle County’s housing market to see that.

In cases like ours, where the cost of land essentially freezes the private sector out of building affordable homes, and the rapid appreciation of “entry-level” homes means they become less affordable every year, government is justified in trying to find at least partial answers to the problem.

But governments usually don’t know how much intervention is enough. The forces that have caused millions of car buyers to forsake fuel-thirsty trucks and truck-based SUVs for more efficient vehicles don’t exist in the world of government.

The only way to stop government is at the ballot box, something we consumers do far too infrequently.

” Scott N. Miller for the Editorial Board

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