A local rural Tennessee fire dept let a home burn to the ground when the homeowner didn't pay his annual fee to them.This almost sounds like "protection money?..I think it's a crime to do this
I saw that yesterday and I was disgusted. They let 3 dogs and a cat burn in that fire too. Imagine if the man was still inside, would they have let him burn too?
"Privatized" fire fighters, yes!!! That is the way to go! Despicable people they are, putting money over life. What kind of person or peoples could say to a man whose house is burning down with 3 dogs and a cat inside, "Sorry, you are not on my list."
They make me so angry!
Listen, it costs money to put out fires and be ready 24/7.
If I don't pay money for my groceries, then I don't get the groceries. That's how life works.
Although, as I said in an earlier post, i think it would have just been much more reasonable to have reached a quick agreement that with the victim and say something like "we'll put it out if you pay a full year's worth of fire protection, and then pay religiously for the next 12 months", and then put it out.
Think about it this way - if the victim would have had a better system for putting fires out, he shouldn't have to pay. I'm sure that, up until that morning, he was thinking to himself "oh man, i'm saving a fortune by not paying the fire insurance fees!"
Everything you say in this and the above post is true and more or less reasonable, but apply it to real life and real people and real everyday struggles and I think you realize quickly that a more.. forgiving(?) human(?) approach is absolutely going to be necessary.
What you suggested is fair enough I'd think, but I also don't see anything wrong with a sliding type of scale on this either. Larger, higher-valued properties are charged (I would hope) a larger fee, which might help offset a lower price for lower-valued properties.
If the privatization was justly regulated by the government with an approach of being accessible to all and merciful to nonpayers requiring human assistance -which would be after all in the collective taxpayers' interest- then this would be fine. Unfortunately, however, right alongside the privatization movement is the deregulation movement, so we'll be having none of that, given their way.
If you really want to take this back in history, someone rang a bell or set off some other sort of alarm and everybody came running to help. Afterwards, nobody got a bill, and most of the 'volunteer firemen' would show up again soon after to freely help you rebuild. They'd even pitch in some supplies.
I understand such is no longer feasible, or exactly legal, but the same human spirit behind it ought to remain.
Pay or burn is no good for me. It leads too easily to pay or die.
We all mostly collaborate. Those not wise enough or strong enough or just plain moneyed enough to keep up, we occassionally have to carry along with us. The stronger help the weaker.
It's only fear and political lies that make us forget that very basic human principle.
Go ahead and be charitable I you want. You are making my point for me.
I'm merely pointing out that it costs money to perform any service, even charity.
The fire department in the stoy obviously wasn't feeling charitable. And why should hey? They have families to feed!
OK, Mr. Rogers, now put yourself in that mans shoes, and tell me that you would still feel the same. Who in todays economy can afford to feed thier family as well as pay taxes and pay for fire fighters, thats something that your taxes are supposed to cover. Ya know, like the cops that protect you are.
THE FIRE DEPARTMENT WAS A GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT!
This means that the government can't even provide the "basic" governmental services! But you're asking me to admit that the government can't provide services (which i agree with)... But then you ask me to say that it's good!!
You're telling me that taxes are too high and that the government isn't providing the fire dept service....... But then you tell me that I need to want more government!!!!
I feel like I'm in Orwell's 1984!
First of all MSNBC? Come on, I am think that story is slightly rigged. Just saying.
The official think that money is better than human life. Violates human right and leaves duty. Punishment will come.
that title should have read, local fire dept does let home burn...my bad!
I am trying to locate the article I saw, but there is a bit more to this story. First, the man had previously been notified about having to pay the fee when the fire department responded to a different call, which they handled. As far as the animals inside, the man could easily have let them out himself since he had tried to put the fire out before it spread throughout the house. It is a sad thought, but I think he left them inside hoping that it would influence the fire department's decision to help.
With that said, I do disagree with privatization of public services. If such a situation is required, I think it would be reasonable to establish a set of fees that can be selected from. If a person chooses not to pay the monthly or annual fee, then they will be billed for the amount of the actual services provided.
I was shocked when I read about that. I think it was his grandson who started the fire, and now the poor young guy has to live with that for the rest of his life! It seems ridiculous that a service that saves lives would refuse to perform a service because the fee hadn't been paid. They should just charge an exorbitant fee after the event, if the annual fee hasn't been paid in advance. In Australia, there is an ambulance fee. If you don't pay it, an ambulance will still take you to hospital, but you'll pay through the nose for it afterwards. Still, at least they just don't refuse to take you!
I live in the UK and I've never heard of anything like an annual fee to the fire department. Is this something that happens all across America?
It's a movement towards less government, and the privatization of public services. In general fire departments in America are public and it's included in your tax bills, one way or another.
The Tea Partiers, Libertarians and Republicans wish to privatize everything. Less government, less regulation, unlimited capitalism, every schmuck for him or herself, that kind of thing.
The town where this happened is one such secluded haven where privatization was 'achieved'.
So over a $75 unpaid payment, this family is now homeless. Ideally -according to the down with government crowd- there'd also be no other societal options available to help them either. No welfare, no disaster relief, no hardship relief, etc, except for of course our so very loving and charitable churches.
Ideally -according to the less government crowd- this family could now turn to their local church and ask for help. As long as the church leaders feel they are deserving of the help, they will receive it. If the particular church leaders choose not to help them, then they must not have been a good christian family anyways and so who cares?
Church leaders. Yeah, that's who we want running America.
The good news is that this movement hasn't entirely succeeded YET at creating this governmentless utopia, so the family in question will receive some governmental assistance to get back on their feet. This will of course cost tax-payers much much more than the original missed $75 payment.
Unfettered capitalism -however- is just good business. (They claim.)
The truth is that this movement is backed by a bunch of people who simply aren't happy with the way government is going. The wheels of government do sometimes grind slowly, it's true, but nonetheless government has managed to put an end to slavery, child-labor, open discrimination, the continued oppression of women and other so-called 'minorities' and various other practices these people still deem admirable.
Since the government -backed by majority sentiment- is working against their particular and outdated practices, preferences and interests, they've decided they don't need it anymore.
And until the firetrucks fail to show up at their own time of need, the vast majority of the less-informed members of these movements will continue to be misled by the endless rhetoric of the less-government leaders and their own fears and prejudices.
If I'm starving, and I go to the store with $100, and then I go to the check out counter with food... but I refuse to pay for the food...
YOU'RE TELLING ME I SHOULD GET THE FOOD BUT NOT PAY?!
Wake up. The guy didn't pay his fees, and, although there was most likely a better solution (i.e., quickly draw up an emergency contract, and then put the fire out), he got what he deserved.
Nowhere did I say or imply anything so ridiculous.
And you nor I know anything about this man, or any other person who might be thus affected by such a merciless system.
You also probably have a choice of which grocery store you go to. That is capitalism.
So do you think the police dept should be privatized as well?
Quite a few prisons have been privatized with horrible results. Public facilities should not be privatized, except for functions such as lawn maintenance and perhaps garbage collection.
Bah! The public prison systems have had horrible results! The governmen can't even keep drugs out of the prisons, there are police beatings on a daily level, etc etc.
The only difference is that when a private system screws up, there's a huge fuss in the media and that company loses money. When the public systems screws up, not much changes
Heck yeah it should. So should the courts!
Why does the government get a monopoly on those industries.
On another note my day care clients try that all the time... "You mean I have to pay you to watch my child... that's just outrageous..." I think I'll use your example next time about going to the grocery store and demanding free food. Unfortunately for some people they might go from ripping me off to ripping of the local grocer... so maybe that wouldn't be such a good idea but I get it totally.
if the guy is unemployed he would have food stamps to pay with...how would he pay the $75 fire fee if he were unemployed? Does this mean someone who can't afford the fees doesn't deserve a home due to an inability to pay the fees??
yeah, IF the guy were on food stamps.
Listen, I don't hate people, I just want to point out that "having a force of people with ready access to a lot of water at all times, who also have to drive around the city in a time of emergency, and also have to have a lot of other equipment" costs money.
If you can't afford to buy something, then you will need to, i suppose, rely on charity.
Government is NOT charity, it's theft. For proof of this, stop paying taxes and see what happens to you.
We do indeed now have cities here that bill you for fire department and paramedic visits. I didn’t know about the cities doing the yearly fees.
Do you mean:
Or do you mean:
"No, not yet."?
Most of the towns I've lived in over the past 30 years or so have had volunteer fire and ambulance, and we have paid for the services that we use. It's nothing new. We're always going to pay for it one way or the other--directly to them for services or through property taxes. However, I've never heard of an annual fee. So no--that doesn't happen across America and I don't foresee it on a widespread basis in the future.
It comes out of our property taxes that we pay twice yearly.
If that juristiction went onto that system, then the homeowner should have paid. If they didn't want that system they should have lobbied against it. You don't get to not pay for your cake and eat it too.
Should have paid. Yep. That's what mobsters used to say before they broke your legs.
Unfettered capitalism. It might costs us more in the long run, but gee you just gotta love it. Anything else would be unAmerican.
Whether via tax, or via an option fee, if he wants the service he should have paid. It is nothing like mobsters unless it was the fire service that set the fire. Like any professional, firemen are not obliged to work for free. And in a democratic society we decide whether/how to pay them. Jursitiction decided to pay via optional fee, dude decided not to pay them at all. Bad choice.
Indeed! Nevermind the fact that if he hadn't been able to pay his property taxes on time under the old system, the fire department would have still extinguished the flames, the firemen would still have been paid, and in the due process of time this family would have been given a chance to meet their obligations with late fees and interest or otherwise have been given notice to move their belongings elsewhere as renters under a landlord capable of paying the taxes and no disaster would have occured.
That system never worked!
Then they should have stayed on the old system. Which is indeed what I think. But if you don't tell your elected representative that, and don't pay the fee... well... *you can't have it both ways*.
In the old system the homeowner paid for the firefighter. In the new system, this one didn't and has to face the consequences.
The only one I have sympathy for is his pets. I think they should have saved his pets because his irresponsibility is not their fault.
no, he would have been cheating the system - if you can't pay taxes, but the fire service still gets paid.... THEN YOU'RE SIMPLY ROBBING YOUR NEIGHBOR because THEY have to PAY MORE!!!
i don't see how you can repeatedly ignore the fact that "fire protection costs money, and that man had a choice to make. He obviously made the wrong choice."
I bet you money that up until that morning he was thinking to himself "boy, I'm saving a fortune by not paying for fire protection!".
First of all, this isn't about this particular individual, it's about a system that overlooks the individual. Whatever his particular situation may -or may not- have been is essentially irrelevent to whether or not a privatization/deregulation policy would work.
Tell me you can't understand a person going through a tight period in their lives falling behind on bills, and all I can say is you must not get around much. A system that ignores the plights of the less privileged is not a system that works. In reality.
Unless you don't mind having a friggin crapload of starving homeless people all over the place.
Go ahead. Twist my words if that's all you've got.
Let's see, this man could afford a house, pets, children, and countless other luxuries... But he couldn't afford fire protection?
He made the wrong choice.
This simple lesson - marginal utility - is the same for all individuals in the world, for all governments in he world. If you choose to spend your money on X then you can't spend that same money on Y.
The system isn't ignoring the poor, it's simply asking them, as it's asking everyone, to make a decision with their money.
You mean, "pay us if you want to keep it". I still cannot believe that people have the money is more important mentality.
People with this mind set have lost their sense of morality. You know what their firefighters contract says about people that don't pay their fees?
It says that even if they don't pay the dues, it does NOT mean we cannot help because it is the right thing to do.
no we don't. quit making stuff up.
If I take my car into the shop, and it costs me $1000 to fix. I don't just tell him "WHAT!! that's extortion!! I need this car to get to work!!! You can't just CHARGE me MONEY for doing a service for me!! BAH!! you've lost your morals!!!"
I hope that you now see the folly in your argument.
Oh, and just a reminder - this was a CITY provided service. So, it's completely incorrect to chalk this up to privatization.
if it were truelly a municiple(city/county/state provided) service, his fees would have been covered by his property taxes.
Again, I challenge you to watch your house burn down, along side the firefighters, and still say that he had it coming.
But I`m sure you won`t, as you are one of those, it is written or I have spoken therefore it must be, folks, i`m sure.
I've said countless times on this forum: "there was a better solution".
You seem to be ignoring the fact that it was a GOVERNMENT FIRE DEPARTMENT, and that THERE WAS NO TRUE COMPETITION IN SERVICES.
I, myself, all alone, without the hope of making a profit, have already - within 3 minutes of reading the article - discovered a MUCH better system that would have left everyone happy: just charge the guy a lot of money and have him subscribe to the service for 5+ years with an emergency contract.
Boom. Problem solved. Any TRUE free-market enterprise in a fire-extinguishing service would have such a contract at hand for emergencies.
No, such a system is demanding that they make the right choice, all the time, and absolutely nothing ever goes wrong in their lives, and then they'll be fine. Maybe. Depending on whatever local powers rise to the top.
Not many people are perfect. I prefer a world with room for all, and I ain't talking about at the graveyard.
Mistakes DO happen, that's why people invest wealth into insurance and fire protection. That's what those things are for! For accidents! If you don't invest in accident protection, then you don't deserve it.
Even the bible teaches us of the ant and the grasshopper! The grasshopper DIES because he doesn't invest in the future
Actually, the guy forgot to pay them, big difference.
he CLAIMED he forgot.
Wouldn't you claim the same thing in his situation? I know I would!! hahaha
Either way, I DO agree that there could have been an "emergency contract" drawn up real fast that would have charged him more money for not having paid earlier. I think a truly privatized fire protection force would have something like that ready to go in emergencies.
I.e.: Someone's house is on fire, the company gets there, but realizes that the victim doesn't pay. They could have a contract readily available that says something like "I agree to pay for the equivalent of 3 full years' worth of fire protection in addition to subscribing for at least another year" (or SOMEthing like that).
that's nonsense. "because mobster beat people up for money, this guy is a victim of evil capitalists".
That's complete nonsense. If i go to a store and don't pay for food, then I don't expect to get the food... even if I'm hungry.
sorry to say, but even if he did lobby against it, he may have lost and would still owe the $75 fee.
paying an annual fee through property taxes makes sense...isn't that how the fire department is already paid for? (where there isn't a volunteer fire dept.)
Given how many people object to 'socialised healthcare', why not... Seem to me that the only difference is tradition.
It used to be:
Pay your property taxes; get your services.
Now it’s becoming:
Pay your property taxes,
Get your services,
Get your bill for services.
If the property taxes are no longer enough to cover the services, and the politician won't raise them, what is supposed to happen? The pixies pay the difference?
Human compassion. There was plenty of room for that when unfettered capitalism wasn't the rally cry of the day.
Well, the local politicians could stop paying themselves $600,000 a year; each.
I like your pixie idea. If I can find one, I’ll ask him; couldn’t hurt.
I fail to see how we're chalking "government is spending way too much money to even pay for fire protection any more" to "the evils of capitalism".
It's amazing how we are falling into the Orwellian Memory Hole.
Human compassion would involve finding a way to pay for the service for everyone. Firefighters don't feed compassion to their children.
This is why it was a terrible idea of Bush's to privatize fire departments. In the past, in this country, this is how it worked: you paid insurance to a private fire department, and they put a special mark on your house or property. If your house was burning down, if a fire truck from another company was going by, they'd just keep on driving.
I am sorry but I don't buy that. First of all there is no way that a passing fire truck seeing a fire would be looking for some kind of special mark to determine whether or not they should stop. Second of all if there even was this special mark do you really believe that if the house is engulfed in flames that it's not going to be buring where said mark is. Nope that is total BS.
The mans house wasn't listed at the fire department therefore, they said that he was not on their 'save' list and didn't recognize his home.
You believe that a Fire Truck on the way to a fire is going to look to see if the house has a special marking on it before getting out and putting the fire out? Oh yeah Nevermind you Lib's will believe anything especially if it makes Americans look bad.
If you didn't believe her that it happened, all you had to do was look it up.
Nice try but on the link you sent me it clearly say's and I quote from that link: They fought fires whether or not a building displayed a fire mark.
The 1938 publication "Fire Mark" by the American Reserve Insurance Company states, "The fire marks…were guides to the competing Volunteers in determining whether or not a fire was worth the effort of putting it out…..But if a piece of property bore no Fire Mark the gallant volunteers more often than not quickly left, for then as now, there was no small profit in gratuitous acts of benevolence."2
In another 1938 article, W. Emmert Swigart states, "If no insurance fire mark was seen the free-lancers [volunteers] would often declare a false alarm and calmly walk away from the scene, much to the chagrin of the uninsured owner of the burning building."3
All these stories about early Philadelphia are not true.
Next time you want to use a source to try and make someone look bad try reading it first, all it did was confirm what I said which was there is no way they would walk away and let some building burn just because it wasn't marked properly... but then I bet you figured I would look at the source you sent and assume that you had bested me with out checking it out first.
even if they were true, what's the big deal - if you don't pay for food, you don't deserve food.
if you don't pay for fire services, then you don't deserve them.
I agree with you, don't get me wrong, the only reason I responded in the first place was I knew it couldn't be true. I love it when someone argues with you though and their sources actually support your argument... Mr. TommyJ actually did all my work for me. On another note, I would almost think that in this recent Tenn fire instead of it being all about money, what if the FD showed up and it was too late, they knew attempting to put out the fire wouldn't do any good so they let it burn. But the New media isn't going to report on that, that is such a non-story, so instead they run with the fact that this guy didn't pay his dues, now everyone is fired up, they think the FD is evil when in reality money had nothing to do with it, it just wasn't worth saving the house at the point when the FD showed up.
that's nonsense - if they truly had a free-market on fire protection I'm sure that the company would easily have had an "emergency 'put out a fire for people who haven't been paying' contract" on hand.
i.e.: "You agree to pay us the equivalent of 2 years worth of services PLUS subscribe to our services for the next 2 years. All of this money will be collected over the next 2 years." or something. Someone with a burning cat in the house would SURELY agree to this. And, no, it's not high-way robbery to do something like this, it's high-way robbery to think "hey, i can get fire protection even if I don't pay for it!!".
I mean, come on - I'm not even in the business for a profit and I was able to think it up. A true market would surely find an even better solution.
If politicians aren't finding the funds and/or efficiencies needed for essential services, they need to get their ass kicked out of office.
Well they don't exactly have access to pixies either, lol.
It's not that simple. Pay or to heck with you, not that simple. Make everything right or your out of office, not that simple.
One thing that should have been simple. Firemen putting out a fire. A guy short $75 bucks given a bit of human grace. The stronger helping the weaker. S'posed to be a christian sentiment.
If i don't pay for fire insurance for 20 years, but then my house catches fire... and I pay the guys $75 to put out the fire....
... then the service-providers have just lost $1,425.
I'm not saying they shouldn't have put out the fire, I'm just saying that IF THEY DID put the fire out, they should've charged a lot more than $75 to do so.
Most rural fire departments in the US are run by volunteers and not professionals. People who live in unincorporated parts of a city are usually covered by services provided by the County they live in and the services are covered by the taxes they pay the county.
I've never heard of a fee that had to be paid directly to a fire department. I would think that the family that lost their house in the above link would have cause to sue the county they live in for the difference in what their insurance company will provide plus a little extra for the things that just cannot be replaced with money.
I can not speak for most of the U.S. but in my neck of the woods most rural fire stations are manned by volunteers, and the services provided are there because the community contributes to maintain them. They are not capitalist or rather if they are they are doing a very bad job of it as no one is reaping any profit from them.
Around here a local fire department almost went under because of lack of funding. One of the churches stepped up did fundraisers and were able to help, but you are right these small rural fire departments certainly aren't in it to make a ton of cash, even in my town where we have an actual regular fire department only one of the firemen is paid and that is the chief the rest of the individuals are purely volunteers.
I didn't know this still happened. This was actually the standard for fire companies back in the early days of America, but I thought it had died because it was, well, ridiculous.
You can still see plates on the front of pre-revolutionary homes saying they are paid up to the FD. There were ways around it though: if you didn't want to pay, live next to someone who did. The fire company would have to put it out anyways because it was a huge risk to the paying customer's house next door.
If this is how they do things in Tennessee, the owner should have known better. Not that somebody promised to him they would come if he does not pay, right?
On a side note, I am not used to that kind of firefighters funding, yet I am pretty much sure it is much cheaper than funding them through taxes, because of a lower overhead. Interesting concept, some real food for thought.
I've said it a million times on this forum already - there's obviously a better solution: have an "emergency contract" on hand. Charge the people a reasonable "trying to trick the department out of money" fee, and then have them subscribe to the service for a bit.
Then, when they sign it, which they surely would, put out the fire. But if they choose not to, then they have no excuse whatsoever.
I mean, even if I'm hungry, and I go to Wendy's, I don't expect free food.
Or....Why not have the fire department send a bill to the insurance company? That's what homeowners insurance is for, isn't it? Sounds to me like paying twice for the same service.... I'd much rather pay the fire department out of my taxes.
Isn't home owner's insurance for reclaiming the property lost during the fire... and "fire department" the actual cost of putting out the fire?
I think that if an insurance company wanted to get into the business of putting out fires, that'd be great, i just don't think that you're actually paying for "fire extinguishing" services with insurance.
it costs money to have fire fighters ready to put fires out 24/7.. it costs money to maintain fire engines... it costs money to care for axes...
it costs money to keep a fire fighting system running.
And if you don't pay for it, you don't deserve the service.
Although!!! - Before you brand me a heretic - I think the much more clear and reasonable thing to have done would have been to put the fire out and then bill the person with an additional "i didn't pay" fee; i.e., charge him quadruple the price.
The guy pays his taxes, firefighting through public funding doesn't play favorites and is a system that doesn't look at your personal attributes, your color, the location of your home. Everyone gets treated the same, everyone helps each other out.
This was clearly a system that either denied the public system in favor a private one, so their government is taking advantage of their community by denying them the coverage they already pay for in favor of additional privatized fees for something that may or may not protect them.
Like Misha said, "whose to say they would come if you did pay?" Personally I think it is wrong to turn a blind eye or worse just watch it burn when you knew that you could have helped.
I did not say this My Goddess, prolly just my bloody English. I am totally with Evan on this.
And if you read the article, it clearly stated that firefighting services are NOT included in the local taxes, and are provided by a nearby town fire brigade for a fee. Whether you personally like or dislike this arrangement does not matter - it is how they do things at that spot on Earth. Most of the people living there obviously are at least content with such an arrangement - or they would have changed it.
And the part you don't read is the part about people paying their taxes are also paying for public firefighters, therefore if the man was paying his taxes as no one as said he didn't do, then the man was paying to also have someone there to protect him.
Instead the state took the initiative to opt out of public services (which he would still be paying for) and privatized service because they wanted more money. Beyond that, the man said he forgot to pay, not didn't want to pay and even offered to pay anything to them to put the fire out.
Instead they let it burn. It's wrong and you know it is wrong Misha. But I suppose I did not fully understand what you meant however, clearly not all the people like the idea but do things because they 'have' to.
Now their message is "If you don't want to have your house burn down, then you have to pay us whatever we ask." It's more like a threat and since it is public, no one will be there to stop them from raising the fees.
In the eyes of people who didn't purchase protection, will suddenly start paying. So what happens when the fees are too much, as they generally do increase over time and an even larger of folks cannot afford it?
Should they let whole neighborhoods burn because they cannot afford it?
Where exactly the article says that, Your Majesty?
And here is what the article has to say on how the fire fighting is organized there:
And again, I do agree with Evan - firefighting costs money, and someone has to pay somehow. If it is not funded through taxes, it is funded through subscription, like in this case.
The rest of your post is a speculation I don't really agree to. There is a cost to everything in this life, and someone always pays this cost, one way or another. Usually direct payment is the cheapest. And if you have like three or four fire departments around, they will compete and drive the price down.
It doesn't say that Misha, that is why I said "what you don't read is..." You are right, firefighting cost money and essentially the argument you are making is that because this guys lives in a rural place they have to pay extra for service however, it is somehow okay that he is paying for the public protection of other communities outside his own but then using the argument that he didn't pay therefore he wasn't worthy of protection.
And I think you are wrong, three, four, five fire departments would not bring the cost down. They would monopolize it. In fact I am pretty sure that if there was a volunteer fire department in the area, they would find away to get rid of it because it would seriously effect their business.
Ah, so I misunderstood, I thought you were implying it was written in the article. As for the rest - let's agree to disagree, as usual - love ya ♥
as soon as you can show me one true monopoly that was actually bad for consumers, that wasn't created through government, then I'll bother to listen to your "monopoly" charges.
The truth is that harmful-monopolies don't form without government intervention.
And, by the way, the fire department in question WAS a government fire department
Sandra, I don't know what article you're reading, but we must be reading a different article.
What I read was that the city offers a "Fire Putting Out" Service for $75 a year. The person in question didn't pay the fee. And then the fire department, who didn't get paid, fulfilled their contract by not putting the fire out.
I'm completely missing this "he pays his taxes, and thus gets his fire protection"... that's NOT at ALL what this article discussed.
Once again, what the heck article are you reading?
Anyway, IF you think that "a group of people who provide a service for money" is the same as "a group of people who exploit their neighbors", then I guess EVERY STORE IN EXISTENCE is evil to you.
And about the entire "government workers have halos and regularly rush into burning buildings to save babies"-esque claim you make, give. me. a. break.
Yeah that's another extremely relevent point. Unregulated privatization can be so easily abusive. Someone in your town causing you trouble? Politically perhaps? Is there a certain demographic in your town you'd all just love to get rid of? Blacks maybe, or gays? Mexicans, atheists, muslims, jews?
Easy-peazy when everything is privatized, unregulated and conveniently handled by a particular few.
I fail to see how regulation fixes this.
The real fix to this problem is to realize that "racism is a horrible business practice".
If you're racist to blacks, then you don't get black-people's money. Also, if you refuse to serve blacks, then they'll likely start their own service... Now you have a permanent competitor!
See how that works? You make LESS money by being racist, and you make MORE money by being civil.
Without federal and state antitrust laws and mechanisms to enforce them the shops would be colluding to fix their prices.
Sure, things like that have happened.
But, just as you argue history to me, I must argue it with you.
Every example of non-government-enforced cartels ends with "but then one company decided to lower their prices by a few cents to get all the customers".
Actually, it doesn't. Evan, you have got to be only a couple of years out of school to be spouting all of this textbook if/then statements. Wait a few years buddy...things get much more complicated and what you read in class. I had the same classes, and I am older. You'll see.
Let's see... No example cited, a general condescending attitude... Need I say more?
I bet at my 50 I'm older than you - and I agree to Evan. So, grow up buddy, and you'll see the light
Where do you live? That may explain your trouble understanding my perspective. I live in the rural south. Things are kind of different here.
Frankly I'm with you on that, but I know my neighbors wouldn't agree.
By Evan's theory the Major Leagues wouldn't have waited to allow Satchel Paige to play until he was practically of retirement age.
And the Civil Rights Act of 1964 wasn't necessary to stop employment discrimination against minorities and women. General Motors had had a "longstanding policy of non-discrimination in employment," but just hadn't gotten around to hiring a single minority or woman engineer, accountant or skilled tradesman until the act was passed and goals and timetables were required of all government contractors.
According to Evan discrimination is bad business and will go away automatically if we are patient enough. Trouble is, history doesn't bear him out.
It all leaves out human nature, the worst of it and also unfortunately, the best of it.
And that was a really good post you wrote about the pensions and all.
The montgomery buses were against segregation - it was forced on them by the government.
Slavery wouldn't have been profitable if the costs weren't socialized via the runaway slave acts.
and all the companies that refused to allow blacks lost money. But the owners were still allowed to do with their property as they wished. However, if the blacks weren't allowed to create their own competing services, then that would have been by act of government.
I guess those are just a few example for my side
Ha! I love your idea Evan. Ad hoc service at ad hoc prices. I felt something was missing here, you filled the gap
thanks mate. I didn't recognize you at first!
This really isn't brain surgery, is it? Mr. "We wasn't on their list" didn't pay the price. It's really that simple.
There could EASILY be a system to incorporate the emergency into a fire-protection service, and the fact that this "company" --- ONCE AGAIN, IT WAS A GOVERNMENT FIRE PROTECTION SERVICE!!! THIS IS IN NO WAY A PRIVATIZED SYSTEM -- didn't/couldn't accommodate this customer shows that they have a pretty bad business model.
I'd love to go down there and compete! I, apparently, could do a much better job!
There has got to be a lawsuit in this somewhere. And it is immoral what that Fire Dept. did.
I would say animal cruelty since they did let three dogs and a cat burn in the fire.
Well, the homeowner really did that. They knew there was a fee, didn't pay it and still relied on the fire department to put it out. They also left the pets inside even though the fire started on the outside of the house. Maybe the homeowner should be prosecuted for cruelty.
I think so too. Wonder if their was a mortgage on the house. What about their interests here. How many bills were sent out?How many notifications were provided? Did any of them explain the company's no-mercy policy? Was the bank -if one was involved- ever notified?
And just as an aside, what if this was a house with victims asleep inside?
Too bad I guess, huh? Dumb-butt leeches should have paid up, children pets and all. Yeh I know, some people don't want to hear that 'bleeding-heart bullcrap'. Children shmildren, they should have had smarter parents.
Shoot, it keeps them from growing up and breeding anyways.
it's somewhat immoral, i suppose.
if I walk out of Best Buy with an iPhone, and don't pay the price... why do I deserve the iPhone?
If I walk out of a McDonald's without paying for the big mac I just ate... why do I deserve the Big mac?
If i get my house fire extinguished without paying for the service... why do i deserve the service?
Clearly the argument is incoherent.
Just a reminder- that group that was putting out fires was a GOVERNMENTAL group. So don't EVEN try to call this privatized.
I agree, there is a lawsuit in here. The parents should sue the child for burning garbage right next to the house.
If you live in an area like that, you need to pay. It's kind of hard to feel sorry for them. They have a kid in the house and still "forgot" to pay for such a vital service? I know people in a very rural area that has no real fire service at all, just two or three guys who are very part time volunteers. They were told when they moved in that if there were a fire, it could be an hour before someone locates all of them, and even then a bad fire likely could not be put out. You take a lot of precautions in a situation like that. At least, you do if you're not completely irresponsible. When you live somewhere with a yearly fee kind of service, you have to make the decision to either live there or not, and if you do, pay the fee.
Like the article said, if people could pay it on the spot, they would only pay it if their house was actually on fire and there wouldn't be enough funds to fight any fire. What the homeowner did was ridiculously irresponsible. Maybe he thought he was better than everyone else who did pay, but he soon found out that he isn't. It's a good lesson that will probably change his life. It's sad about the dogs and cats, though, they didn't deserve to be in that home.
Fire Insurance, geeze human beings just get sillier and sillier every year.
I like it way better (and it makes sense) to pay one tax and that tax is split to pay for local services, fire being just one of them!
Whats next.....Police Insurance? Ha some lil group is onto a good money spinner ...daylight robbery.
Isnt this so like the new nature of Insurance Companies now, greedy hungry maggots.
Yes! There is a large segment of the population who wants to privatize police forces as well, and everything else too. Less government/deregulation/privatization.
You make an amazing argument Kiwi. Daylight robbery says it all. I wonder also, if that were the case what would happen to the people who found it decent to help?
Hi Sandra-neat to see a familiar face,gosh last time we chatted you were packing for Hawaiiki-Nui !
Another thing that occured to me is that many people are up in arms and ready to condemn politicians (or who-ever may be President) and hasten the day they get to relect etc, but I think the demon called greed would be laughing since thats the real enemy here.
Many systems have good value ,even Capitolism but when greed moves through the minds and hearts of men, well we know what that means-big fat insurance bills that say -gimme,gimme,gimme....
Sometimes I wonder why we need Government at all ,if everything is moving toward privatisation.
Oh yeah, "expecting to be paid for a service",... that sure is evil.
Actually, i'd say that the evil one was the person who expected to get a free service without paying his fair share!
Also, I'd say that the GOVERNMENTAL FIRE DEPARTMENT IN QUESTION was wrong when they didn't have any sort of way of handling an emergency!! There is an easy solution - charge the guy for 5 years worth of service, or whatever.
If I were allowed to compete down there, I'd bet I could clean up!
I'd have to see how much it cost.
I bet I could do it for less than $75 per property per year!
And, also, I would clean up by providing fire-protection even to those who didn't pay me! I would simply charge them, like, 10 years worth of service if they hadn't been paying my company but needed a fire put out.
That seems reasonable.
Welcome to the new America. In the new America services that used to be provided as part of your taxes are now being provided at a cost. Get lost on a mountain hike or maybe hurt? If a search and rescue team comes to find you be prepared to pay the cost. I heard yesterday that in the state of Massachusetts if you want to fight a speeding ticket one has to pay a $25 court filing fee. Maybe that's because of all the judges and other people who worked at the court getting huge pensions. I have known since the 1970's that eventually the pension system for public employees was going to bankrupt the country. That's the real crime here. Some fat ass politician and a bunch of his associates are sitting at home with fat checks coming every month. Their medical insurance paid for life thanks to the taxpayer. I wish some politician with some testicular fortitude would propose an end to all pensions plans for national office. They are all millionaires. Why do we need to keep paying them once they've either retired or been voted out of office. Oh yeah there's another fee that is involved in speeind tickets in Massachusetts. If you get caught speeding in Massachusetts there is now $50 fee tacked on to the amount for the brain injury fund. I have heard that only $25 actually goes for brain injury research....where's the other half go?
who's fault is it that the government can't even afford basic fire protection?
Is it my fault? or is it the people who keep wanting our government to spend more and more money on things like health insurance?
.....I bet if the money that we spent invading Iraq were back in this country, that guy would have been able to afford fire insurance.........
You should probably talk to your republican candidates into not accepting money from other countries such as China to fund our government.
But you don't care about things like that because money is all that matters to you right?
I'm not a RepubliCrat. Don't equate me with either party, please.
Both parties are guilty of accepting out of country money.
What does it even matter if the money comes from out of the country?
Money isn't all that matters to me, but thanks for insulting me like that. That was really nice of you.
I'm glad to see your ideals lead you to judgement and insults.
Sandy, you are loosing your cool
When I am loosing my cool, it's a sign that I am wrong
Other disturbing developments in the current rush to privatization are charter schools supplanting public schools in many districts and public libraries being turned over to private, for profit corporations who fire trained librarians and replace them with minimum wage workers who are not equipped to provide the services expected from public libraries.
In my neighborhood the charter school is far superior to the public school. The charter school has to fight for it's funds and the students need to perform in order for the charter school to remain open. The list to get into the charter school is very long indeed. One of the reasons the librarian is no longer the trained librarian that you wish to have is because when pols make cuts they cut where it hits home. Police, teachers, fire fighters and yes librarians. They need to pay those pensions first.
Private schools are more efficient than the public school system. Their education is usually better as well. I don't think schools should be privatized, I think the public system needs to be revamped to save tax dollars and provide a better education. But a person should have a choice of which school they send their children to.
The comparative quality of charter schools and public schools has been studied and from what I've read charter schools aren't better overall than public schools. Some are better and some are worse. My recollection is that inner city parochial schools may be better, but the comparison isn't fair because the parochial schools (and charter schools) are selective and they can expel disruptive students more easily than can public schools.
Not sure about all that. But the local charter school in this more rural area, seems to provide a far better education than the public school up the street.
"But the local charter school in this more rural area, seems to provide a far better education than the public school up the street."
Its not in the best interest of democrats to have a more intelligent populace.
I think the simple truth is as was already pointed out. Charter schools are dealing with an entirely different class of children.
A la carte government. It is what the Republicans live for!
Government control from cradle to grave is better?
Not at all...There should probably be no government. Everyone should have to fend for themselves the best they can. Survival of the fittest sounds good to me! No police, no fire departments, no schools, no military, absolutely no government! So much better! Free to do whatever we choose. I think that is the best idea yet!
Anarchy wouldn't look like the picture you are painting.
Think about it - If you value safety, you would likely invest money in protecting yourself and your family (You just created a privatized police force)
Having trusted third parties to interpret contracts is another valuable service you would likely invest in (boom, a privatized court system).
You would also likely value "fire extinguishing services" and would invest in them (you just made a fire station)
And we just go down the list and find out that the only real difference between a statist-society and an anarchical-society, would be that you wouldn't be forced at the point of a gun to pay for services you don't value.
They only thing they seem to want regulated is our conformity.
i dunno about you- but a librarian doesn't need training. They just need to know how to point me into the direction of my books.
The librarians near my home are making 6 figures.
6- mother bleeping - figures. And all they do is put books on shelves, help me out when i need to find a book, and do a few community projects.
the people at "barnes and nobel" do that for much much much much much less.
And you're asking why the city couldn't provide fire protection to this guy? maybe it's because the government was paying librarians 10 times what they are really worth!
"i dunno about you- but a librarian doesn't need training. They just need to know how to point me into the direction of my books.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Librarian is a highly skilled profession. They select books for purchase, assist people with research projects, know how to repair damaged books and a variety of other duties that it would take a long time for a minimum wage worker picked up off the street to learn.
Not trying to start anything here but doesn't a librarian need a 4 year degree? And can't a minimum wage earner learn the above stated skill sets in those 4 years on the job training?
No doubt they can if there is a trained librarian at the library to teach them. I had a boss once with a 5th grade formal education who was one of the smartest men I've ever known who worked his way up from a Chevrolet assembly line in Flint in in the 1930s to Vice President of General Motors before he retired around 1972. But he was a quite unusual individual. He also shot par golf and was a killer bridge player. He got off the assembly line by coming to the attention of managers when he beat them at bridge and golf. His name was Earl R. Bramblett. Also, he was proud of being part Cherokee.
A librarian doesn't actually need a 4 year degree. That's like claiming that a truck driver needs a doctorate.
Really? I doubt you have a quarter of the skills required to be a librarian. The Bureau of Labor Statistics disagrees with you also: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos068.htm#training
Since you like sources and citations.
Nothing that was written there led me to believe that a librarian needs 4 years in college.
Not even the first sentence under Training and Qualifications which stated:
"A master's degree in library science (MLS) is necessary for librarian positions in most public, academic, and special libraries. School librarians may not need an MLS but must meet State teaching license requirements."
LOL OK. Not sure how this discussion led to librarians in the first place but since we're on it, would you want an uneducated unlicensed, un-certified librarian working closely and unsupervised with your young child?(hypothetically)
no, see you're saying that because "the government demands that you need a degree" then "you need a degree".
I'm arguing that even if "the government demands you need a degree", that it might not actually be needed.
The people at Barnes and Noble making minimum wage do the same job as most librarians....
... but the librarians apparently "need" a degree? what are you smoking?
If you come back and say stuff like "they help with research" or "they manage the library", then I can just point you, again, to people making under $20 an hour, and people without college degrees who do the same job.
And, to answer your question, ... what? IF i had children, then yes, the child would be interacting with "un-certified" people all the time! You don't need a certification to deal with children!! My brother would be a great babysitter, and he doesn't have any sort of "4 year babysitting license".
The sum of my argument: Just cuz someone claims that X is needed, it might not be true.
Even the stuff you listed doesn't qualify 6figure incomes.
Yeah, that would be an ideal. However, as all ideals, it is hardly achievable, this time because the overwhelming majority of people still want to be governed.
It's called responsibility. If you are a responsible person you should pay the $6.00 a month to protect your home incase of fire. Just like with the Health Care, should you only pay for the premiums when you get sick?..It's sad what happened to that home, but being an adult means looking forward, not just for the moment!
What of the their responsibility? Fire ,Police, Medical?
What was it like before insurance companies ever existed I wonder..
My parents never had insurance, my grandparents never had it ,yet they all paid taxes and all received care when and if they needed it.
I still stay with my original idea, greed with a capital 'G'
Taxes for those services are a great deal more than 75 a year.
Letting the house burn was beyond moronic but he knew what would happen if he didn't pay.
If the local government is not providing fire protection then its left to private business.
75 a year to protect ones home is minuscule compared to the cost of putting the fire out.
Greed doesn't even come into play.
I bet if we didn't invade Iraq and Afghanistan, or if we just didn't buy one of the drone planes now bombing pakistan, this guy would have been able to buy his fire protection!
All that this story shows us is that our government is spending SO much money that it can't even provide the quote-unquote "basics" of government.
Yeah Kiwi, I agree, that guy is quite greedy. And it backfired
the only greedy person I saw in this whole situation was the victim!
He was like "Bah, I won't have a fire! I'll save $75/year!! what are they gonna do? ACTUALLY let my house burn down! HA! I'll just pay the fine then and save money!"
That's ALL that I see as far as greed goes.
Maybe this guy ISN"T thinking this, but I'm sure that there's a possibility he was.
wurd to that!
6 bucks a month for fire protection? I pay 12 for video games!! Sign me up!
They shouldn't have let it burn.
Put it out and charge him for every drop of water and every minute of manpower.
I'll bet that 75 a year would seem like a reasonable price.
Screw that - I bet he'd still make off like a bandit. Even if the price was 300 bucks or even 500! He'd still recuperate the money by not paying for - what? - 6 years?
He should have to have paid for all the expenses involved in that one event, and have been forced to subscribe for another 10 years (or something).
If local government need to charge now and they didnt use too, what changed? Hmm...
So use that damn tax to put out the fires!!
Or pay fire insurance and scrap the taxes
thats the thing...fire fighting equipment isn't free. you need either taxes or fire insurance....or pixies.
people are crazy.
who knows, they were probably spending too much money on the man-power necessary to read the new health care legislation.
I moved to a rural area and was sent a notice that,even though I may have house fire insurance,the city fire dept will send a bill of $340 if they have to come put out a fire at your residence.
times are tough everywhere...
Wow Stacie that sucks. Around here where I live we still have to pay taxes for the rural areas for supportive organizations like the fire dept!
Fire and police departments cost the taxpayers too much in many cities because their unions help elect city officials and then negotiate outrageously expensive under-funded pensions and un-funded retiree health care plans. And to top it off they elect pension investment boards who are clueless about investing and who are bamboozled and bribed by trips to Hawaii by fly-by-night investment schemes which all too often lose their pension money.
The Detroit Free Press reported recently about a Taylor, Michigan, patrolman who retired at age 50-something with a $98,000 pension. How could he do that? He was able to do it because the plan provided that his pension was based on his final year's earnings plus any accumulated unused sick and vacation days. And the contract provided that he had the right to get first crack at overtime assignments during his final year before retirement. The same plan applied to the mayor and other elected officials and city employees. Almost enough to convert me to Evan's way of thinking!
I'm sort of surprised that on a writers' site no one has commented on the wording of the title of this forum thread. !!
I'm also surprised that there hasn't been a bigger comment on the fact that firefighters risk their life and limb every single time they go into a burning building, whether it's for your 90-year-old mother-in-law or for the cats and dogs you left inside. They risk life and limb whether they are paid or volunteer and whether the fire was someone else's fault or due to your own, or your child's, stupidity or carelessness.
I personally think those firefighters' lives are worth way more than $75, and I think that homeowner should be ashamed of himself for assuming that he has a right to ask them to risk their lives for something he couldn't be bothered to remember to pay. Shame on him and anyone else like him.
Slightly off-topic: Ralph Deeds' post on union negotiations and outrageous retirements deserves some kind of a medal. Thank you for that!
Thanks! I'm waiting for an atta-boy from Evan G. Rogers, our resident libertarian.
I have to admit I was wrong in thinking and portraying this as an instance of privatization. I had already read the story elsewhere, and I had walked away from it thinking so. It was rather suggesting so, I think, but perhaps I just assumed. And yeh yeh yeh, I know what they say.
Everything else I said I believe I is still my correct opinion, but yeh I was wrong for painting it as I did in my very first post. Wrong impression I got, and in truth since I'd already read it elsewhere I didn't bother reading the version posted here.
My sincerest apologies for not double-checking. I really should have. It annoys me when others don't.
You know AE, I agree with some of what you've said. But as long as you keep translating what I say to actually mean something else entirely, how do you expect we could find common ground?
When I say firemen shouldn't stand by and let someone's house burn down over $75 why do you insist I mean people everywhere should eat for free? No, it does not equate. Confusing the issues with grand misrepresentations makes it very difficult to have a reasonable discussion.
By the way, I'd do a better job than you. Your 'emergency plan' leaves unconscious victims still stuck inside pretty much dead.
The one thing I am curious about in this story and I have not heard yet asked, is whether or not this Fire Department has ever accepted or received Federal, State or local funds or if the Fire Department is 100% supported by the $75.00 fee.
And when I say 100% I mean everything the original equipment purchase, maintenance, salaries, training, pensions and administration, down to the frickin toilet paper at the firehouse.
If one red cent to operate this fire department comes from any taxation source whether it be Federal, State or Local they have violated a public trust and are more than likely are culpable in a law suit which I’m sure will be filed by the citizen and his insurance company.
This was an absolutely ridiculous decision, they should have put out the fire and then sent a bill or a fine.
The fire dept was apparently paid through the city taxation, and, because government can't spend it's money properly, it had to levy an additional $75 /year fee on people living out of the city if they wanted fire services.
So, in other words, it was 100% and completely a failure of government.
I have also have not heard, but I would not be surprised to find out the homeowner, like many in the US has just fallen on hard times and could not afford to pay the fee.
Nor would I be surprised to discover the home is in foreclosure or Les Pendins and the mortgage company joins the lawsuit.
That Dewey decimal system can really be confusing...For a 7 year old.
Evan, you're arguing for the way you think things should be and I'm just pointing out the way things are currently.
I'm not too versed in the Libertarian mantra, it's too close the the anarchist mantra. I think the Libertarian model works well at the lowest levels such as a group or small community but the larger the group or community it disseminates into chaos.
The way things were in this situation:
1- a government fire department refused to put out a fire, even after the victim said he would pay any fee
2- there were no competing fire departments to call because starting a fire dept business was likely impossible (either through out right legislation outlawing it, or because it's difficult to compete with an organization that can just steal money from it's customers)
3- everyone is now blaming anarchists/libertarians even though this was a failure of government. In spades.
So - the way things are/were, is/was completely nonsensical, and competition in the market would have solved the problem. I mean, come on - I have an easy solution and I'm not even trying to get a profit in the industry!!!
Oh, i just realized that you were responding to my "librarian discussion"... way down here...
I'm not arguing about how "things should be", I'm arguing for "look at what is actually required to be a librarian, not what some random third party demands is necessary for a librarian."
the dewey decimal system (which is hardly used anymore thanks to search engines), organizing books, occasionally pointing people towards research-related media....
... really? you think that it takes 16 years of school and a 6 figure income to pull that off?
I'd like to point out to everyone:
This entire episode is a direct example of the failure of government. This fire department in question was a GOVERNMENTAL institution.
It wasn't capitalism; true competition didn't exist. This was a failure of a government enterprise.
I agree that they should have put out the fire, but ONLY after reaching a payment-agreement. If the guy doesn't want to pay for fire protection, as he obviously didn't ("I forgot!" is exactly what I would say in that situation as well), then he obviously was taking a risk - a risk that he completely and totally was conscious of; a risk that he voluntarily chose to take.
This is a sad comment on what we have become as a culture. Only the worst kind of animal would have stood by and let anothers house burn over such a trivial issue as $75.
The private vs. public debate is artificial ... it is ethics and responsibility.
There exist ethical and responsible civic leaders who do the right thing and unethical and irresponsible politicians who do not.
There exist ethical and responsible business leaders who do the right thing, and unethical and irresponsible bosses who do not.
Either system would have allowed for the right thing, if ethical people were in charge. As they were not, let's hold the people responsible, not the system.
I knew a man who was a recognized and decorated fire fighter in a mid size Midwestern city. He was appointed interim fire chief. Normally, this was a political position, but when the politics forced the position to open up, he was the highest ranking fire fighter immediately available.
He was nervous about going to a city council meeting. I said, to him, "I've seen you walk into blazing buildings without a second thought, why are you more afraid of the city council than a burning house?"
He said, "In a fire, you know the enemy. In the city council, you don't, they twist your words and your budget requests to meet their political agenda. It has nothing to do with the quality or need for the personnel or equipment. And that puts lives in danger."
So whether a politician is playing political games or someone is being greedy ... It has to do with unethical people. Not the public or private nature of the system.
The difference between an irresponsible private institute and a public institute is that the private one will lose money; while the public one will claim that they need more funding and then take the money by force.
Slavery is not freedom
Granted that an ethical but irresponsible private business would lose money and take appropriate, ethical action.
But an unethical business owner (like the Chicago Mobsters who run the Chicago political machine) can find ways to be both unethical and irresponsible and stay in business.
Now, the truth is I know more ethical business people than I know ethical politicians, so I would tend to trust private business more from a general stand point.
I am very much in favor of a laissez faire approach to government. However, police and fire departments are two forms of service that I believe are more appropriately handled by local (NOT national) governments.
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