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Pay as you go

I am having ambivalent thoughts about the guy in Tennessee whose house was on fire and he called 911 but they wouldn't respond because he hadn't paid his fire-fighting fee.

I hope the fire captain sleeps well.

OTOH, if you decide not to pay for fire protection, and then build a trash fire that gets out of control, can you really call yourself a victim?

OTOH, would it have killed the fire dept. to take care of it and bill him later?

OTOH, given the Bubba locale, would they ever have gotten paid?

I wonder what would have happened if he had claimed an illegal immigrant had set the fire?

I wonder how many people in that county are going down to the courthouse today to pay their fire protection fee?

That's the problem with people who keep demanding that government should be run like a business.  Government provides services that have to be paid for up front and kept ready in case of need, but in business you only buy what you need at the time you need it.    A major reason for a government is protection (from fire, crime, invasion, epidemic, ... ) but business doesn't give a damn about you if you haven't paid the bill.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 6th, 2010 03:18 pm (UTC)
The ambiguous one has four or more hands.
Oct. 6th, 2010 03:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, at least. Except when they're hooves.
Oct. 6th, 2010 03:42 pm (UTC)
Is this a common practice in the US? I've heard of it in past ages, but not as a cueernt thing.
Oct. 6th, 2010 03:48 pm (UTC)
'Fire protection districts' that are supported by a special fee are, I think, fairly common in rural areas. In the cities and the 'burbs, fire protection is covered by your property taxes. Usually.

IINM, this guy lived outside the town that was covered automatically, and didn't/hadn't/wouldn't pay the fee for protection outside the zone.
Oct. 6th, 2010 10:01 pm (UTC)
What we need is an organization that will fight fires for those who cannot afford the 'fire-fighting' fees, those who are vulnerable to loss. Oh, wait...Benjamin Franklin invented the volunteer fire department already.
Oct. 6th, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC)
Yup, it can go both ways. I thought the fire crew sucked wax tadpoles for letting the house burn, but they have to pay their people or buy equipment or whatnot, and the funds have to come from somewhere. I suspect it was not an easy decision.
Oct. 6th, 2010 09:21 pm (UTC)
From my cousin Dusty, who's been a firefighter for decades:

I think the fire fighters should relearn their pledge: I promise concern for others. A willingness to help all those in need. I promise courage - courage to face and conquer my fears. Courage to share and endure the ordeal of those who need me. I promise strength - strength of heart to bear whatever burdens might be placed upon me. Strength of body to deliver to safety all those placed within my care. I promise the widsom to lead, the compassion to comfort, and the love to serve unselfishly whenever I am called.
Oct. 6th, 2010 09:22 pm (UTC)
* Shakes head in disbelieve. *

In Germany it is a misdemeanor(!) not to help, if you can do it without considerable danger to yourself and without neglecting important duties. It can earn you a fine or up to a year in prison.
Oct. 7th, 2010 03:05 am (UTC)
So, how do you like those government handouts now?

In all seriousness, this was the policy of the fire department, and the policy had to have been approved by voters in the district beforehand (no doubt as a "stop government waste" initiative). This scenario was bound to happen eventually, the only question would be when.

If the FD'd stepped in and helped then they'd be breaching the contract of service, setting a precedent that would defeat the notion of paying for the service anyway.

Did cowardice play some part? Probably–the best tragedies are those by committee. But I hold this up as an example of why horrible, degenerate, soul-destroying, baby-eating, Godless socialist taxation/redistribution schemes aren't necessarily a bad thing.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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