2 votes

A nice volunteerism-ish story from my community

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.

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If you were able to remove the healthcare costs, taxes, and regulations from the bill, I wonder how much less it would have cost.

I realize there are economies of scale in building cars, but it doesn't look like the $300k went into the materials...

(I just gave myself an idea: how about making a playground out of junker cars?)

What do you think? http://consequeries.com/

tasmlab's picture

Yea, I thought it was overpriced

I thought the budget seemed unusually large. Contributing factors:
- Playground equipment is almost exclusively sold to towns and schools, surely inflating the price
- Much of the heavy work such as excavation had to be performed by Massachusetts union scale workers
- Don't know the details, but the architects and lawyers may have charged a bundle. I'm not sure what kind of prophylactic legal stuff you need before putting up something that kids play (and get hurt) on.
- This picture only shows about a quarter of what went in.

Currently consuming: Harry Browne, Free Domain Radio; JT Gatto and Holt; Wii U

Nice job y'all :)

Good deal

Freedom is not: doing everything you want to.
Freedom is: not having to do what you don't want to do.
~ Joyce Meyer

tasmlab's picture

All the details



Currently consuming: Harry Browne, Free Domain Radio; JT Gatto and Holt; Wii U