GOVEROTRAGEOUS: Gooferment firemen act dumb!

Limits-of-Libertarianism Hypothetical Brought to Life in Tennessee
Katherine Mangu-Ward | October 4, 2010

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Obion County resident Gene Cranick decided not to pay the $75 fee, and then he set a fire in his backyard in two large barrels. The fire began to spread, and he called 911. The 911 operator told him that because he hadn’t paid the fee, the fire department would not respond. Cranick’s wife told the 911 operator that she would be willing to pay “whatever the cost” to hire the Fire Department to put out the fire, but was told that this was not an option. The Fire Department did not come out until the fire spread to a neighbor’s yard — the neighbor had paid the fee — and the firemen put out the neighbor’s fire but not Cranick’s.

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Did he have fire insurance on his house? If he did, I bet his insurance company lawyers are hard at work reviewing their policy language.

Note Gooferment fire department; does Sears refuse to service folks who don’t buy their service plans? Of course not!

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One thought on “GOVEROTRAGEOUS: Gooferment firemen act dumb!

  1. From what I understand, the term “gooferment” in this case has to be used carefully. Mr. Cranick lived outside of the town where the taxpayers funded the fire department. They gave an option to those living outside the fire district to pay $75 and have the fire department protect them. Mr. Cranick refused. But when his house caught fire, $75 sounded pretty cheap. It does seem heartless for the fire department to stand there and watch his house burn down, but if they didn’t, everyone simularly situated who did pay the $75 would stop paying, knowing that if their house caught fire they could pay then. Should they also drop their fire insurance and be allowed to purchase it when their house starts burning? Being able to set the fee at only $75 is based on most people agreeing to the assessment, but not having to use it. I would think a libertarian would agree to this.

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