Sean Holman poses the question of the B.C. government: “Will wildfires burn a hole in the coming fiscal year’s budget?”
A: Yes, likely they will.
Which then naturally begs the supplementary question as to where the shortfall will be recouped from… And the answer to that, most probably of course, is discretionary spending — i.e., arts programs, environmental initiatives, or anything vaguely charitable that even remotely benefits the disadvantaged.
Or maybe not — but in any case, where is the “free market” when it comes to addressing problems such as this? Why isn’t the “free market” private sector collectively mobilizing its considerably wealthy means and abilities to combat wildfires? After all, for those who maintain that government is the nefarious root of all evil, shouldn’t independent businesses (including their investors and shareholders) immediately leap to the fore so as to protect their own feedstock?
Why should risk management, damage control, fire suppression, and other forms of hazard abatement be “socialized” activities where the cost is shared by everyone, but the profit and private enrichment from exploitation of those same resources accrue solely to corporate entities that evidently have little regard in terms of stewardship for their maintenance and long-term sustainability?