We Didn’t Stop the Fire


B.R. Merrick's picture

Great! I've been hot under the collar about this ever since I read a repulsive article entitled "Ayn Rand Conservatism at Work -- Firefighters Let Family's House Burn Down Because Owner Didn't Pay $75 Fee" at alternet.org. State employess, no doubt smug about their superiority and resentful that their firemen brothers in the next town were let go (or whatever), decide to teach harsh lessons, as governments and their enablers are always willing to do.

And a foolhardy homeowner, knowing full well that the state will no longer protect his house, makes no alternative plans. Hell, I've got rental insurance. And if I ever end up in the hospital unexpectedly, regardless of my decision not to have medical coverage, I've got the savings necessary to deal with it.

I was so incensed by the alternet article (and numerous others that I saw) that I was going to write an article. Luckily, I no longer have to. And now, the money quote: "Seeing a nonpayer forced to pay full price for having their house saved seems like sufficient incentive [to actually do their freakin' jobs]."

Exactly. Non-anarchists reading this comment, the above horror story is NOT AN EXAMPLE OF THE FREE MARKET. Get it through your heads. Don't listen to idiots who say otherwise. If I become a fireman and start my own firefighting company, I DO NOT BENEFIT BY ACTING LIKE A STUPID JERK. There is no incentive to behave the way those bastards did.

The free market jumps to the rescue of idiot homeowners again and again. State employees can afford not to give a damn, which is why they are now free to taser grandma and let people's lives burn down.

B.R. Merrick's picture

Oh, and Cheryl Cline, I now officially love you.


ChrisMallory's picture

You have no clue what you are talking about. The firemen did not let the mobile home burn because they were feeling superior or resentful. They let it burn because the home owner did not have a contract with them to put the fire out.

In Obion County, the county does not provide any fire service. Fire service is provided by the local cities. Until a few years ago, the cities did not offer any service to the county residents. South Fulton then decided to offer subscription service to county residents. The homeowner, for what ever reason, did NOT pay the subscription fee.
All of this mess is the home owner's fault and responsibility. You also leave out the fact that the home owner or his grandson was violating an outside burn ban at the time the mobile home caught on fire. We have had limited rain in this area for the last several months and the grass is like tinder. Burning trash outside was irresponsible. The home owner should be charged for the services the fire department was forced to provide to the neighbor who had paid the subscription fee.
The home owner was offered insurance (in the form of the subscription). The home owner did not buy that insurance. He now has to suffer the consequences of his actions.

B.R. Merrick's picture

I may not have a clue about the firemen's thoughts while standing there and doing nothing, but I have one or two clues about the free market, and homeowner stupidity can be handled many different ways. This is perhaps the stupidest way to handle homeowner stupidity, to watch a man's memories burn away after he agrees to pay more than the regular "subscription fee." Your indifference to the destruction of property when it could have been easily stopped impresses me no more than firemen who had no interest in making extra money.

So I guess you could say that me and my cluelessness agree with the author of this article, and disagree with you.