Thursday, October 07, 2010

Watching Civility Burn

Firefighters from South Fulton (Tennessee, USA) recently watched Gene Cranick's home burn down; they refused to assist since the owner hadn't paid $75 protection money.

The city requires rural residents to pay in advance for protection. Attempts on the spot to pay - after the fire began - were refused. Fire crews only responded to limit the fire's wider spread, the neighbor next door had paid the protection fee.

Is this proper? Many Americans side with the fire services, with comments such as: "Dude should have paid; otherwise it ain't fair for those who did pay." or "Isn't his family worth $6.25 a month." and also "When firemen are busy saving the home of a freeloader, they can't protect those properly contracted for services."

While this case may be otherwise, many libertarians proclaim individualism, fighting against taxation, yet eagerly use social services if they're allowed. Those who turn their backs on society & civility shoulder risk. But Darwin's dog-eat-dog world is harsh; when misfortune appears, it's best to have help.