Clearing the Roads in Yellowstone

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
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While politicians continue the budget cut stalemate, entrepreneurs are quick to provide goods and services to the public.

Covered with a winter’s snow, the roads in Yellowstone National Park are typically plowed beginning in March. This year, the federal budget sequestration has cut park funding and postponed road clearing. Local communities, however, depend on tourism dollars from park visitors that won’t come until the roads are clear. In response, business groups, tourism boards, and local chambers of commerce have quickly raised funds to help clear the roads in Yellowstone.

Unlike many politicians, entrepreneurs are innovative and willing to negotiate to get the job done. They respond to profit and loss signals by finding new ways to satisfy customers and meet the bottom line. As the Yellowstone case demonstrates, when government can't get the job done, entrepreneurs often find a way.

See the Wall Street Journal, “Businesses Pay to Plow Yellowstone National Park,” for the full story. 

Holly Fretwell is a Research Fellow at PERC and an adjunct instructor at Montana State University where she has taught  introductory economics, macroeconomics, natural resources and environmental economics. She works with the Foundation for Teaching Economics, giving workshops for  high school teachers to improve their skills in teaching and using...
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