Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Government Firefighters Watch as Home Burns to the Ground

Wait, why was it that we have government? Like, because if all services the government pretends to provide were supplied by for-profit corporations, those who can't pay wouldn't get police or fire protection unless they relied on charity?

Turns out the government isn't very charitable. You don't pay your fee, they let your home burn. Nice.

So we pay monopoly prices, we get brutalized by fascist pigs, and we still don't get any services if we don't pay. What was the great idea about government again?

(One might say it's better than making the fee a tax and forcing people to pay it and buy fire protection at gunpoint, but it still isn't what we're always told about government: that the government protects you with basic services even if you can't pay.)

Right now we are advising all our clients to put everything they've got into garden hoses and fire extinguishers.


Maybe unsurprisingly, Fire Engineering, apparently the voice of government-funded firefighters, whose newsletter originally alerted me to the story, takes the opposite view: If all the taxes you're already paying don't buy you fire protection without an extra fee, well, make the fee another tax.

Necessary services — fire, police, health care and schools come quickly to mind — can't be delivered on an opt-in basis. Government, that much-maligned creature, actually does a few things well, including protecting the life and liberty of its citizens. What happened in Tennessee underscores again that we are all in this together, no matter how much we think we can go it alone.

Since when does government protect our liberty well? How do you protect somebody's life and liberty by brutalizing them for smoking weed?

I had thought outspoken collectivism of such an obscene degree existed only in Ayn Rand villains anymore. Even Obama minces his words.

I say, if a government that confiscates trillions of dollars can't even provide fire protection without a surcharge or a tax hike, it's time to abolish that government and let capitalism (and, if necessary, charity) take over. It can't get any worse, at any rate.

If I pay half my income to the government, I expect first-rate fire and police protection even in the last rural middle of nowhere, before they spend the first dollar on aircraft carriers (much as I love aircraft carriers) and Medicare / public school / socialism shit. If I pay taxes, the least I have to get is fire protection, no strings attached. If I don't get that, and have to haggle with a government or volunteer fire department anyway, then I don't want to pay taxes but negotiate with a for-profit fire protection provider right away.

BTW, one would think a capitalist provider would have accepted the higher, retroactive payment. Even in ancient Rome, private fire companies would buy houses on fire at rock-bottom prices and extinguish the fire instead of this waste.

In capitalism, you can buy any service for a price. Look at no-frills airlines. For a price, you can board first even if you arrive at the airport last.

Capitalism hates waste. Governments love to make examples.

The Roman firefighters got to keep the damaged houses. The mayor of South Fulton wouldn't have got to keep the late fee; it would have gone into city coffers.

So he only had his authority to preserve. By letting the house go to waste.

Yes, in capitalism some poor people would get no or shitty service. But the government has taken over half the country and some people still get no service.

And the statists' answer? More government.

You stupid, looting, slave-driving, murderous moon bats and wing nuts! The government could confiscate a hundred percent of our money and we still wouldn't all get fire protection or health insurance.

Because our dear rulers steal half of the tax money and waste the rest.

Why? Because they can.

Why can they do that? Because they have no competition.

And if there is competition, what is that called? Right. Capitalism.

Oh, and of course I cancelled my newsletter subscription.

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