Oct 4 2010
02:50 pm

there are currently two competing visions of governance in the United States. One, the conservative vision, believes in the on-your-own society, and informs a policy agenda that primarily serves the well off and privileged sectors of the country. The other vision, the progressive one, believes in an American Dream that works for all people, regardless of their racial, religious, or economic background.

The conservative vision was on full display last week in Obion County, Tennessee.

see also, "going Colorado Springs," hidden bastion of Marxism

smalc's picture

Some of the VFD's in our area

Some of the VFD's in our area charge a subscription fee. But, all I know of will still respond to nonsubscribers and then charge fee based on their expenses or hourly fee.

R. Neal's picture

That seems a lot more

respond to nonsubscribers and then charge fee

That seems a lot more reasonable that letting someone's house burn.

CE Petro's picture

What happened in Obion County

What happened in Obion County is Conservative Compassion at it's best, and as long as we keep voting Republicans and Conservadems into office (local, state and federal), selfishness like this is going to continue to the extreme.

Note, that Zaid Jilani from Think Progress, writes how National Review writers think Obion should be the model for towns across the nation, and one writer at NR goes so far as to say that the Cranicks are "jerks, freeloaders and ingrates" for not paying a yearly fee for firefighting services.

As one commenter at ThinkProgress wrote to the fist story on this horrific event:

What a sick demonstration of ideology defeating humanity.

I couldn't have said it better. Unfortunately, at least in TN, I don't see this sort of thing changing anytime soon.

Opinari's picture

In defense of NRO, the writer

In defense of NRO, the writer did not call the Cranicks "jerks, freeloaders, and ingrates". He said "the world is full of jerks, freeloaders, and ingrates". As for the opinions of the NRO authors, Dan Foster excluded, I think most conservatives and progressives would disagree with them here.

However, to Randy's point above, the pay-me-later model seems much more reasonable in this case. The story from the local news says the owner offered to pay whatever was required to have the fire department extinguish the blaze, but the plea was refused. That doesn't strike me as morally fair, nor would it most people.

me's picture

if the the world is full of

if the the world is full of "jerks, freeloaders and ingrates," when discussing pay-for-services, then logically, the Cranicks are "jerks, freeloaders and ingrates" because they had not paid (whether it was a slip of the mind, due to lack of finances, or for whatever reason."

But, when does it all end? Where do we draw the line in a fee-for-service? Hypothetically, what happens if the Cranicks did not pay their yearly service, but grandma or 2 year old billy-bob was still in the house when flames engulfed the same, and the firefighters let the house burn down? And why are firefighters put in the position of determining if someone is "in good standing" before they pull out their hoses?

What if police departments were on a fee-for-service? What happens to the rape victim that did not pay her yearly fee? Or the elderly couple that are on a fixed income that could not pay their fee and their home was invaded?

Where do we draw the line?

The NYT editorial today:

The many things government undeniably can and must do — and individuals cannot — includes putting out fires that threaten the community. The conservative commentator Glenn Beck insisted the issue is not one of “compassion, compassion, compassion,” but of paying the $75. Putting out the fire absent the annual fee would have left the Cranicks “sponging off” neighbors who had paid, he said, and invited others to shirk their fees. The South Fulton Fire Department ingloriously made the same point, turning on the hoses when the fire spread to the field of a neighbor who was, yes, in good standing.

If county and city officials are that mistrustful of their constituents, they need to find a more guaranteed source of financing, even if it means collecting more taxes. The firefighters who declined to do their duty need, at a minimum, to examine their consciences.

EricLykins's picture

NYT article 1998: Experiment

NYT article 1998: Experiment in Private Fire Protection Fails for a Westchester Village

In what Mayor Cresenzi said was an effort to sabotage the experiment here, Port Chester said it would not to respond to calls for help from the private Rye Brook firefighters.

smalc's picture

On a related note, I was

On a related note, I was surprised to read that Karns, Solway, Ball Camp, and Hardin Valley are served by a VFD that subsists on donations alone.

With "only 20 percent of the 50,000 residents" donating, the VFD will likely start subscriptions.

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