Price Hikes for Government-Run Monopolies in Utah County

Prices for many of the services performed by the Utah County Health Department rose significantly in 2018, especially by their Environmental Health Department that oversees services for new subdivisions, as I was told at their front desk and by employee Jason Garrett.

These are monopoly services. Do you think licensed, free-market professionals could perform these services as they already do title work? Of course, they could.

Surely the taxpayers are subsidizing these services. I sent Commissioner Bill Lee an email today urging him to dismantle their monopoly. The government needs to get out of the business of monopolizing services.

I suspect knowing this would anger most taxpayers:
HealthDeptFeeSchedule

Utah County Commissioners Create Earth Extraction Pit Monopolies

At today’s Utah County Commissioners’ January 23, 2018 Meeting, Commissioners Lee and Ivie voted to rezone many sections of land on West Mountain to a new grazing zone where no new mining or earth extraction operations are permitted to commence.

By doing so, they literally elevated the operations there to monopoly status. Pits are now free to raise their prices without fear of newcomers. The BLM and federal landowners were all excluded from the change because they asked to be. The small landowner probably didn’t have time to respond.

Although packaged and presented under the guise of protecting West Mountain for its beauty and natural resources, proof that this move was always intended to create monopolies is found in the UTAH COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION STAFF REPORT November 21, 2017 specifically says, “This new zone would maintain the grazing of livestock on the open range and the location of activities and land uses not appropriate near urban centers in the dry mountain and desert areas of the county, while preventing any new earth extraction operations and other potentially incompatible uses with residential and agricultural uses from commencing operation.”

By preventing new earth extraction options to commence, Utah County created cooperating monopolies. As Commissioner Greg Graves said in last Tuesday’s commissioner’s meeting, “Expect prices to go up.” Commissioner Graves today cast the only dissenting vote.

Under Utah’s Anti-Trust Laws, anticompetitive activities are illegal.

I’ve heard of government-created monopolies but until today I never witnessed their creation. Truly, today was a sad day for Utah County, liberty and free markets.

by Robert John Stevens, January 23, 2018

Will Utah County Commissioners Break Utah’s Anti-Trust Laws?

Tomorrow, January 16, 2018, Utah County Commissioners will either embrace free market principles or break Utah’s Anti-Trust Laws, eliminate competitors and establish a monopoly.

The UTAH COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION STAFF REPORT November 21, 2017 specifically says, “This new zone would maintain the grazing of livestock on the open range and the location of activities and land uses not appropriate near urban centers in the dry mountain and desert areas of the county, while preventing any new earth extraction operations and other potentially incompatible uses with residential and agricultural uses from commencing operation.”

Now compare that to Utah’s Anti-Trust Laws: 76-10-3104 Illegal anticompetitive activities.

(1) Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy in restraint of trade
or commerce is declared to be illegal.

(2) It shall be unlawful for any person to monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or
conspire with any other person or persons to monopolize, any part of trade or commerce.


Update January 17, 2018

Utah County Commissioners Bill Lee and Nathan Ivie voted in favor and passed the new grazing regulation. Next week’s agenda is to move many land sections on West Mountain under the new zoning regulation.

This was a sad day for Utah County. Many citizens attended and spoke. When it was my turn to speak I handed the commissioners a copy of their own words proving the intent was to eliminate competition. Bill Lee said it wasn’t phrased correctly. Regardless, the outcome will make no difference if approved next week. Only Commissioner Greg Graves voted against it but he at least agreed with me that because of what they are doing, prices will go up.

Utah County, as well as cities, towns and villages, may legally pass zoning laws regardless of what our conscience says is right or wrong. Pre-1913 there were almost no regulations in the United States and yet we manufactured more than any other nation in the world. The wealth per citizen was greater than today and its distribution favored the middle class.

I suspect regulations were pushed on the American people and sold to them via propaganda regardless of the proven free-market principles that worked, because regulations grow government and bigger governments borrow more and debt was the essence of the private Federal Reserve shareholders’ business model.

Regulations, although not upheld by lower courts, began with this Supreme Court briefing in 1926:

Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co., 272 U.S. 365 (1926)
https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/272/365/case.html

You may want to at least read the summary.

I doubt the United States or Utah County will turn to its roots that free-markets will prevail without government intervention until a constitutional government is recreated after a major catastrophe or God returns to rule the survivors.