A local neighborhood is furious after firefighters watched as an Obion County, Tennessee, home burned to the ground.
The homeowner, Gene Cranick, said he offered to pay whatever it would take for firefighters to put out the flames, but was told it was too late. They wouldn’t do anything to stop his house from burning.
Each year, Obion County residents must pay $75 if they want fire protection from the city of South Fulton. But the Cranicks did not pay.
The mayor said if homeowners don’t pay, they’re out of luck.
That's not the best part of the response from the Glibertarian Irregulars at National Review. This is.
Kevin Williamson pops his head into my office, and as expected makes the compelling anarcho-capitalist case for letting the sucker burn. I don’t want to caricature his arguments, but then again, I didn’t have my tape recorder going, so my best approximation is: “Read your Pareto.” The status quo ante was no fire service for folks outside the city limits. Under that system both the Cranicks’ house and the neighbors’ burn to the ground. Under the current pay-to-spray program, only one house burns (as the department responded when a fee-paying neighbor worried that the fire was spreading). QED.
Resources are scarce, Kevin says. What if there are two house fires on different sides of town — one owned by a fee-payer, the other by a free rider — and only one truck to respond?
To recap, the folks at National Review are complaining that the problem is Mr. Cranick offered to pay the firefighters when they showed up and they said no dice, when any American with a functional frontal lobe would tell you the problem is that this "pay-for-spray" operation has been in place for twenty years and nobody in the state of Tennessee could find a better way to handle the situation of rural firefighting.
Gotta love the free market. Government should apparently only be involved in telling women what they can do with their uterus. Bonus Yglesias: Isn't letting the house burn more expensive to the county?
Also, isn't Williamson's rather mercenary approach all, you know, "death panel"-y and stuff?
Double also, hey look, it's our old friend Pareto again. I'm telling you, understand your Pareto 80-20 rule, and you will understand your Glibertarian-Galtie-Andrew Ryan wannabe Republicans completely.