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A state law here and there that makes people who activate their beacons liable for their, er, services would just about make this problem go away. Let the rescue agencies charge a markup over their marginal cost and it becomes a good thing.

It's not widely known, but we already have a religious opt-out clause in the US for social security. The Amish amongst other sects are exempt.

It's possible to form a new sect that is exempt, if you follow the rules. I have an uncle who belongs to one.

I'd be very surprised if the final health care reform bill does not include a similar opt-out clause for conservative religions.

About AARP:

Bloomberg reported last year that royalties and fees have risen dramatically since 1999:

"During the past decade, royalties and fees have made up an increasing percentage of AARP’s income, rising to 43 percent of its $1.17 billion in revenue in 2007 from 11 percent in 1999, according to AARP data."

Tyler's link shows those royalties and fees from marketing insurance policies and other products to now be $650 million, or 57% of AARP's revenue. AARP's claim to be "a consumer advocacy organization" would be laughable if they didn't hold so much carryover influence from the days when they did perform such a role.

aaa, I just read Tyler's links and the people he links to!

A great article was the NYT article What Women Want: www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/magazine/25desire-t.html

I think Tyler has been considering the subject for years and that he really has two books to write:

1. Sex and Status
2. Intelligence

Tyler, Bryan Caplan and Arnold Kling all understand that much of the 'status-seeking' discussions they participate in are centered around sexual desire and sexual competition. They are also normal guys, so they must have been analyzing their own brutally simple urges for a few decades.

But there's only so much a proper econoblogger with a family can say about it. Tyler probably hit that limit today by linking the article on hitting chicks as part of a relationship. No one but Sean Connery can get away with talking about something like that. (And, anonymous as I am, I still feel obliged to say 'whoa' to anything that normalizes bigger hitting smaller.)

Maybe Tyrone writes this book.

"Maybe Tyrone writes this book."

Hahaha, that would be hilarious if Tyrone started publishing books too. He could go on an Andy Kaufmanesque book tour and everything.

"AARP's claim to be "a consumer advocacy organization" would be laughable if they didn't hold so much carryover influence from the days when they did perform such a role."

The weird thing about it is that the AARP was founded as essentially a front organization to sell Colonial Penn Life Insurance. However, it eventually became the advocacy organization that it claimed to be and the salesman who founded it lost control. (This was partly because of media exposes.) Interesting that things may be coming full circle.

I have my doubts about charging a fee for rescue fixing the problem.

It might stop people like the group of 3 in the article from using SAR (Search and Rescue) as a concierge service. But, it won't stop people from using the devices as a substitute for experience and common sense in the back country. And it likely wouldn't stop someone who's having a panic attack (like the woman who was frightened of a thunderstorm.)

I'd imagine people in serious need would still hit the button, regardless of the cost. And the frequency of people ending up in these situation will likely grow as the devices get cheaper, and more people learn about them.

And, not all rescues are expensive. Most SAR in the US is volunteer, and doesn't involve helicopters. The issue with these rescues then becomes disruption of the SAR team members' normal lives, and the dangers involved in attempting some of these rescues.

There are only 2 real ends I see here: either access to the back country will become restricted (the public won't accept just not rescuing people who call for help, or rescuers getting injured, or dying); Or, the technology will advance far enough that you get true 2 way communication with your rescuers, so they can assess before mobilizing.

I hope that Michale can still understand that can engineers, entreprenuers, politicians or technocrats save lives in Africa? Africa needs more doctors and nurses, but i think there is massive need to have Health sector reforms which would trigger doctors and nurses scope and renumeration. Pakistan have done quite a good work in rural areas where doctors and para medical staff hestitate to stay, but incentives in terms of promotion and salary have siginificant impact. The development of Africa is the solution, but still the brain drain is big problem facing by continent.

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