Thursday, December 16, 2010

Business vs the Public...and Ultrarunning

I think it was on BBC World Service news the other morning on the radio. I heard a story (but cannot find a BBC link for it) about possible corruption in Sweden involving the wedding this past summer of Princess Victoria to Daniel Westling, a former fitness instructor and entrepreneur. 

From the Monsters and Critics (M + C News website, evidently the newlyweds...

…flew to French Polynesia on a private jet and then took a week-long cruise on a yacht after their June wedding. Both the jet and the yacht are owned by Bertil Hult, founder of the EF language schools company.

The anti-corruption unit said that several of the complaints had referred to reports in the tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet, which estimated that the cost of renting a private jet or yacht was several million kronor (hundreds of thousands of dollars). 

The money quote in the BBC story went something like this: This gives the perception that the monarchy will give preference to serving business interests rather than the public. 

I immediately thought of the good old USA, where it seems our representatives and senators in DC seem hell-bent on—and totally unapologetic for—serving business rather than the public.

If business triumphs and the so-called “invisible hand of the marketplace” is deemed to be the best model for allocating supply and demand for goods and services, how long do you think it’ll be until parks and public land are closed permanently because they don’t generate revenue? Or usage fees will be the norm for trail running?


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