You Have To Pay To Play

Every year people from around the world gather in the Nevada desert to show off art, demonstrate their self-sufficiency, and just generally have a good time. This even is called Burning Man and it has been going on since 1986. Because all property is owned by the federal government the organizers of Burning Man have to beg for permission from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in order to host the event in the middle of nowhere. Anytime you have to beg the government for permission there’s a payoff involved. Usually this payoff is wrapped in bureaucratic paperwork and terminology such as permit and license. Seldom is the government blatant about what it wants and why it wants it. But this year the BLM decided toss off the thin veil of officialdom and just demand the luxury air conditioned trailer and unlimited ice cream for some of its agents:

Lavish requests by federal authorities for flush toilets and 24-hour access to soft-serve ice cream at Burning Man are putting Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Nevada Republicans on the same side as hippies.

The Bureau of Land Management is denying a permit to hold the music and cultural festival on public land unless organizers pay more than $1 million to house “VIP” agents in an air-conditioned compound with couches and hot water, reported the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Why do federal agents need 24-hour access to soft-serve ice cream, flush toilets, and air conditioned trailers to keep an eye on a bunch of hippies who have managed to host a yearly event since 1986 without nuking a portion of the Nevada desert? Because it’s not about ensuring safety, enforcing environmental protections, or preventing the violation of federal decrees. The BLM’s involvement, like all government involvement, is about transferring wealth from the people to the state and stroking the egos of state agents. State agents often receive inferior pay to people who hold similar jobs in the private sector. In exchange for lesser pay they demand certain benefits such as pensions and obedience from serfs. All of these demands by the BLM are about forcing serfs to kowtow to the king and his knights. But it does give us a rare glimpse of the state outright demonstrating its true intentions instead of trying to make them more palatable by wrapping them in bureaucratic nonsense.