Privatize Fire Fighting

Over the past couple of years, firefighters in Obion County, Tennessee, have watched rural resident’s homes burn down.  Those residents had not paid their subscription fee to the fire department. Liberal economist Paul Krugman asserted this is “essentially the same as denying someone essential medical care because he doesn’t have insurance.” But because the fire department has already stated that it would have attempted to save anybody trapped in any house, the two situations are nothing alike. A more ridiculous statement, (if that is even possible) made by Zaid Jilani of the political blog ThinkProgress clearly misunderstood conservatism when he said, “The conservative vision [of America] was on full display last week in Obion County.” Conservative values advocate a free market; natural growth in an economy through the relationship between supply and demand, driven by humanity’s creativity and desire to compete.  This was not a private fire department, operating under the free market principles that govern companies.  The Obion County Commission established a county-wide fire department in 1987, but has never provided funding for it.  The county-wide department was not eligible to receive FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grants either.  Instead, the county’s eight municipal fire departments offer unique fire protection coverage plans to its rural residents. Each department is “solely funded by the tax dollars belonging to each individual town or city.”  Since they rely on taxes, which only come...

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