1. What are your thoughts on pollution and the environment? What, if anything, should be done about it?
I'm into conservation, not preservation. Most of the envirowhackos are preservationists who want to put shrink wrap over the area and put it off
limits so no one can enjoy it. Most sportsmen and hunters lean more conservative. Believe it or not, they are extremely interested in responsible
husbandry and land stewardship. They have no wish to see the animals they enjoy go extinct, so they a vested interest in responsible practices like
eating what they take or catch and release and helping to preserve the environments their game lives in. Ducks Unlimited is a good example of an org.
that sportsmen heavily support because it invests in and helps manage wildlife habitat.
We tend to believe there is a way to balance what we need with conservation. And it's a myth that we believe in wholesale dumping or things of that
2. Are large corporations trustworthy?
I'd say it depends on the corporation. Just like with countries and their governments, each corporation is a different large entity with a different
culture and practices. Some will be honorable and interested in long-term customer satisfaction believing that is the way to remain viable over time
while others are going to care more for maximizing profit at any cost.
It's our role as consumers to do our due diligence just like we should at election time and know what we're getting in any transaction. Buyer beware
is still the mantra of the day.
3. What should the role of public lands be?
There are a few places that are special enough to be deemed national treasures (Yosemite, Yellowstone, etc.). They ought to be placed into national
However, I question the need for the federal government to own over 50% of some western states. Is the western desert so special it ought to be made
into federal land? And I absolutely disagree with some of the pretexts that are used to put some lands under federal control to become "public" land,
4. Do you care about organic food? Why or why not?
No. I don't necessarily think organic means better. If I'm hitting the farmers' market where all the food is locally grown, then I'm pretty happy with
it whether it's organic or not.
5. What is an ideal health care system?
The ideal health care system is one where people recognize that, as a skilled service, health care is not and never will be free. Therefore, we should
have a system where people pay for their care. What we need is a system where insurance stops paying for most things so that the services are priced
into the pockets of the average consumer again instead of into the pockets of the insurance company and government.
The middlemen have created market distortions that help to keep the prices of even routine care prohibitively high.
There is a role for insurance, but it should be limited to policies that cover catastrophic care and chronic care instead of routine care.
As for drug costs, the problem is more global there. The pharmas are all global companies, and the same market distortions that the government and
insurance companies create on the national level for medical procedures play a role there too, but it's global. Every country that has socialized care
bargains down and undercuts the drug prices to get those special low cost drugs for their citizens. They pay less, but the extra ends up getting
foisted on countries that don't do that ... like the US. It's not fair, and it's a global distortion this time. Our prices end up subsidizing the
prices everywhere else.
I'm not sure how you solve that, but the answer isn't to institute price controls here. The actual cost of producing new medications does need to be
met. The burden should be shared equally.
6. Is "Buy Local" worthwhile?
If the product is worthwhile, sure. When I set out to make an important purchase, I investigate all my options. If it turns out that the best choice
is the local one, I'll buy that, but if the local one doesn't measure up, I'll go with what best meets my needs.
In other words, I don't just buy local or buy organic or whatever to make some kind of statement or virtue signal. I buy what best meets my needs.
That doesn't mean I am going to simply buy the cheapest option. Frequently, I end up with something mid-range, honestly, because I'm trying to balance
quality with cost effectiveness and the cheapest option is usually not the best way to go, but I'd be lying if I said I never look at things like
local v. foreign too.
7. How much education do you consider necessary for a decent living?
It depends on what the individual in question considers a "decent" living. I have a cousin who never went beyond high school. He's a truck driver who
sidelines auto restoration and detailing. He has a generous piece of ground in the country and has his boat and camper, ATVs, nice house that he had
built, etc. He and his wife and family are doing just fine.
I also have an uncle who pitched in with some guys fresh out of the military when Silicon Valley was just starting. They got a little startup off the
ground, had something to do with the laser scanners they use in grocery stores and everywhere else these days. He easily made several million off that
with just a high school education, retired early, got bored and went back to work as a higher up in Apple - that Apple. Now he's in his second
retirement and living in Hawaii.
So I also think it rather matters less how much education you have as it does how much ambition you have to make something of yourself. There are
plenty of examples of people who do quite well with as little as a high school education and lets of drive.
Yes, there are some things that will demand a college level education, but if you have the ambition, you will find a way for it.