Not to be crass, but seriously, all y’all libertarians and Republicans can go screw yourselves. Live on an island where you don’t care about the society you live in. Tear each other to pieces in some Lord of the Flies fantasyland where the strong survive and blah blah blah.
This is a note I might otherwise post on my Twitter feed. A 140 character WTF, but this is serious.
First, I’ll tell you why I’m beyond outraged. The Star Tribune wrote today that police and fire calls may start to be billed to the recipients of said services in Duluth.
Let me quote from the article:
Duluth city administrators are considering charging fees to property owners and drivers for police and fire responses.
City spokesman Jeff Papas says the amount of the fees haven’t been set yet.
If the Duluth City Council agrees to charge fees, it would then set an amount. The council could vote July 28.
Papas says the city is looking into whether it can charge different fees for residents and nonresidents. If so, fire and vehicle extraction fees would apply to everyone, but only nonresidents would pay to have accidents investigated.
Papas says the fees could bring in an extra $100,000 per year for the city facing a $4.5 million deficit.
If our economy/society is in such shambles that we can’t provide basic rescue and protection services to ourselves based on a shared pool of resources, we have a problem.
And here is the problem we face in general. Since the 1980s, certain members of our society have been reaping the tremendous benefits of deregulation, while society itself is cracking under the weight of economic and structural disrepair that has happened with the abandonment of checks and balances on the free market.
Laissez faire economic policy is a dumb idea. The fairy tale that what is good for “the market” is good for the society is preposterous. The current crisis with foreclosures is a fantastic example. “The market” drove up prices and encouraged greedy and corrupt mortgage brokers to get home buyers/refinancers to sign on with loans they had no perceivable way of paying off.
Why would they do this? Huge, huge commission. The bigger the “sale,” the bigger the haul. Lack of oversight and regulation allowed this to continue on a grand scale. There were home buyers/refinancers who made greedy/bad decisions, but if you read the personal stories that have been reported, some were just outright deceived.
Conned. Conned because a lot of people were making a lot of money.
And what happens to the people who really profited on this? They lose a tiny percentage of their ghastly wealth? That’s hardly punishment for hundreds of thousands of people losing their homes and the destruction that wreaks on neighborhoods.
But forget that. We could talk about deregulation of mining, all those cranes that keep crashing down and killing people, the airline industry.
Deregulation=no oversight. No oversight=no one to call you out on fraud.
And now we’re in a situation where a city in this great state, and this is a great state, is considering charging for basic rescue and protection.
Minnesota is not perfect, but we used to value our communities. We knew that in order to have a functional state with a good quality of life, you had to invest in the society. We are responsible for the quality of our communities and neighborhoods.
If there’s no money, raise taxes. Forget this “fee-based” Republican crap. We are a society. We stand together or else we will fall apart. Hardly any of us could afford as a single household to create the kind of life that we have when we combine our resources. It is beyond my personal comprehension that people can ignore this simple fact.
I could scream right now, I’m so frustrated. Our physical infrastructure is disintegrating, and now our rescue/protection infrastructure is something we might have to consider the cost of the charges against the benefits of getting help.
Taxes. Taxes. Taxes. Raise the damned income tax. Taxes are your obligation to the society in which you live.
Know what’s worse than taxes? A society where no one is accountable. Make people pay for rescue/protection services and some will opt out. You’d better hope those people don’t live next door to you if it happens.