Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Burning down the house

I'm sure you've seen the news about the Crannick family's house burning down while firefighters watched, all for want of a $75 fee.  I guess if you are poor in Obion County, Tennessee, tough luck if your house is hit by lightening or arson or some accident causes a fire that you can't put out - if you haven't paid your $75, the firefighters will stand and watch your house burn, too.  What if there had been someone caught in the house?  What are our tax dollars for if not to pay for basic services like life and fire safety?  And why didn't the firefighters take a check or suggest the homeowner write one on the spot? 

Do we want increasingly privatized libraries, fire departments, police and the like?  How about water departments?  When you have to pay for basic services, soon only those that can afford those services have them.  Didn't pay your police protection bill?  Too bad about that burglar/rapist, ma'am, but your account was closed for non-payment...

Is this the America we want?  I think we can do better.