A nice volunteerism-ish story from my communitySubmitted by tasmlab on Tue, 10/22/2013 - 11:37
For years in my town in Massachusetts had a dilapidated center park with old playground equipment that was broken and wore down. My kids called it 'splinter park' because the play equipment wood was so rough, they would often get splinters in their hands..
Many parents in the town started asking the mayor to repair it, but his persistent answer was that there wasn't money for the park lest the town government would have to fire employees*.
So, a group of volunteers decided to raise about $300K on their own to rebuild the park. And they did. And it turned out great. They just finished the second build (mostly volunteers) and it is easily the nicest playground in the region.
A common criticism of the libertarian (and, specifically, voluntarism) worldview is that nothing in the public space would ever happen because self-interest and a lack of resources/planning would prevent it. How could light houses or beaches or parks or roads exist without a government?
Well, here's an example**. And a nice one too.
* A little telling that the priority is protecting their own over serving what the community is asking for.
** The park itself is still owned by the city. In this case, the town government cooperated nicely with the volunteer organization in the sense of staying out of the way and not adding undue approvals and barriers.