Ep 471 – Wildfires and the Free Market

The free market has something to say about wildfires. Even though wildfires occur in nature on their own, humans now live in areas that need oversight so our homes don’t go up in flames. Unfortunately, it is the government who manages that land, not private landowners, which leads it to be especially prone to wildfires.

Landowners often purposely burn their land to prevent actual uncontrollable wildfires, but government land is not taken care of in the same way. It is neglected, leading forests to be filled with dry dead wood, perfect for fueling record-setting fires.

At the same time that California is battling wildfires, they are facing increasing homelessness, and some are blaming Silicon Valley for driving up prices. In reality, it is the restricted supply of housing, caused by land use laws and open space laws, that is driving up prices. Rent control laws make sure that no new housing is built unless it qualifies as “luxury” housing.


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