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Author Topic: With no taxes, what about firestations and garbage service?  (Read 10128 times)
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October 10, 2011, 03:39:29 PM
 #101

One problem with that is that if you do that then it might be the case that nobody will pay until their house is on fire and there won't be any money to maintain the service. It's kind of like the problem with health insurance. If you allow people with pre-existing conditions to join then nobody will join until they are sick.

Obviously not since my fire station gave me an option when I moved in.

Pay $20 per month OR pay $2,000 to put out a fire when it happens.

I opted to chance it and not pay the monthly fee.

And the private fire station is still going strong with top ratings.

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October 10, 2011, 03:44:05 PM
 #102


Wow, seems like a rip-off.

Here in Toronto, our fire services cost us about $12/month fully paid for by taxes. The free market does not always provide the most efficient solution, notably in areas of "natural monopoly", like fire services, roads, etc.

2010 fire services budget $359 million
Population of Toronto 2.5 million (2006)

Sources:

http://www.toronto.ca/fire/annual_report/pdf/tfs_2010_annual_report.pdf
http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2006/dp-pd/prof/92-591/details/Page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo1=CSD&Code1=3520005&Geo2=PR&Code2=35&Data=Count&SearchText=Toronto&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=01&B1=All&Custom=

And...everyone is forced to pay for fire service. Some people may not want the monthly option as I did not.

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October 10, 2011, 03:49:14 PM
 #103

At first there will be several companies competing each other, but eventually they will be merged/bought by super captalists and then capital will take over the operation, finally end up in the bank's control

And, if the banks did not do a good job, you have no other choice

For garbage service, I saw one guy who had his own garbage company. He bought a truck that could hold 6 garbage cans in the back. He would go out in the morning, pick up the full garbage can and drop off an empty. Then go drop the garbage off at the dump.

Even if he only did 6 houses per day, that is 180 houses a month times $10 each per month...$1,800 per month income just for owning a truck and making a garbage run every day. $2,600 per month if he makes two trips a day.

A corporation could buy him out. Then the next guy would go out and buy a truck and do the same thing...

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October 10, 2011, 04:25:53 PM
 #104

At first there will be several companies competing each other, but eventually they will be merged/bought by super captalists and then capital will take over the operation, finally end up in the bank's control

And, if the banks did not do a good job, you have no other choice

For garbage service, I saw one guy who had his own garbage company. He bought a truck that could hold 6 garbage cans in the back. He would go out in the morning, pick up the full garbage can and drop off an empty. Then go drop the garbage off at the dump.

Even if he only did 6 houses per day, that is 180 houses a month times $10 each per month...$1,800 per month income just for owning a truck and making a garbage run every day. $2,600 per month if he makes two trips a day.

A corporation could buy him out. Then the next guy would go out and buy a truck and do the same thing...

One of the reasons companies take over other businesses is that you get an economy of scale that prevents newcomers.  So in your scenario, unless the company can get an economy of scale to drop the price to a point that prevents newcomers, they won't do a takeover.

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October 10, 2011, 05:00:44 PM
 #105

One of the reasons companies take over other businesses is that you get an economy of scale that prevents newcomers.  So in your scenario, unless the company can get an economy of scale to drop the price to a point that prevents newcomers, they won't do a takeover.

There is a never-ending flow of entrepreneurs who wish to go into business for themselves, even if it means sinking their own money into it and losing it all.

The biggest thing that helps big business and hurts small business is government stepping in and helping the big business by putting restrictions which the big established companies can suck up while the small companies cannot get past. As well as subsidies and favors for those big businesses.

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October 10, 2011, 05:31:51 PM
 #106

At first there will be several companies competing each other, but eventually they will be merged/bought by super captalists and then capital will take over the operation, finally end up in the bank's control

And, if the banks did not do a good job, you have no other choice

For garbage service, I saw one guy who had his own garbage company. He bought a truck that could hold 6 garbage cans in the back. He would go out in the morning, pick up the full garbage can and drop off an empty. Then go drop the garbage off at the dump.

Even if he only did 6 houses per day, that is 180 houses a month times $10 each per month...$1,800 per month income just for owning a truck and making a garbage run every day. $2,600 per month if he makes two trips a day.

A corporation could buy him out. Then the next guy would go out and buy a truck and do the same thing...

This happened informally in my city after a major windstorm tore through the area.  The debris was so extensive, and the city otherwise too busy with power and life safety, that the garbage wasn't getting picked up.  mostly because the garbage men have two routes each day, one before and one after lunch.  But if the truck gets full, they abandon the end of the route.  Apparently my street was near the end of that route, and garbage was getting out of hand, but the city said that they would cover the drop-off fees for city residents and then a couple of guys came buy and said that they would take all I had piled up (over three weeks) for $15.  I said "deal", and paid them cash.  They just took the bags of trash and tossed them into the bed of an old ford pickup along with what looked like half my street.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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October 10, 2011, 06:24:56 PM
 #107

Out of the 2.5 million, how many of them are adult tax payers?  Just curious.  The math gets a little worse if we assume that not everyone pays taxes, either because they are not adults or because they are too poor.

Yes, it's quite true that not all are "taxpayers", the fire service fees are based on property taxes, not income taxes, so the math does get a little worse on a per person basis. Of course, the fire service does more than just emergency house fire response as well: general 911 emergency call response, vehicle accidents, inspections, etc. The simplified numbers I showed above also do not take into account property taxes levied on businesses within the city.

FYI, residential property taxes in Toronto are just under 0.8% per annum, making a close comparison with the OP's taxes. $200k ~= $1600 annually.

It seems like the real debate is not public/private, but more rural/urban. In rural settings it may make more sense for private services, as the OP suggests. If one's house burns down in the countryside, it will not have the same impact on the community due to greater distances between dwellings. In urban/suburban settings the community needs to put out all fires or run the risk of burning the entire community down.

I would also argue that there is not a natural monopoly situation in rural settings because no one - private or public - can achieve the same kinds of economies of scale, and so the issue of monopoly is moot.

Naturally we all discuss issues from our own viewpoint and assume that solutions that work for us will work for others. In this case it's easy to see that the world is not so black and white, but more grey.

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October 10, 2011, 07:02:46 PM
 #108

I would also argue that there is not a natural monopoly situation in rural settings because no one - private or public - can achieve the same kinds of economies of scale, and so the issue of monopoly is moot.


You might be right about urban areas becoming a natural monopoly situation, regardless of direct support via city government.  And, generally speaking, libs don't have a problem with natural monopolies so long as they do not become artificial ones.  If a single fire protection company gains a natural monopoly on a given cityscape, so long as no one starts getting it in their heads that, when that monopoly situation changes, said single fire protection company is 'too big to fail' then so be it. 

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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October 10, 2011, 07:15:46 PM
 #109

I would also argue that there is not a natural monopoly situation in rural settings because no one - private or public - can achieve the same kinds of economies of scale, and so the issue of monopoly is moot.


You might be right about urban areas becoming a natural monopoly situation, regardless of direct support via city government.  And, generally speaking, libs don't have a problem with natural monopolies so long as they do not become artificial ones.  If a single fire protection company gains a natural monopoly on a given cityscape, so long as no one starts getting it in their heads that, when that monopoly situation changes, said single fire protection company is 'too big to fail' then so be it. 

You are still left with the free rider problem unless there is some way to compel property owners to pay. 

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October 10, 2011, 07:47:10 PM
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I would also argue that there is not a natural monopoly situation in rural settings because no one - private or public - can achieve the same kinds of economies of scale, and so the issue of monopoly is moot.


You might be right about urban areas becoming a natural monopoly situation, regardless of direct support via city government.  And, generally speaking, libs don't have a problem with natural monopolies so long as they do not become artificial ones.  If a single fire protection company gains a natural monopoly on a given cityscape, so long as no one starts getting it in their heads that, when that monopoly situation changes, said single fire protection company is 'too big to fail' then so be it. 

You are still left with the free rider problem unless there is some way to compel property owners to pay. 

There is no free rider problem.  That has already been addressed in this very thread.  Do you have memory issues, Hawker?  Doubtless you are a boomer, IMHO, due to your use of language; are you now having trouble remembering where you left your keys, too?  Why did you go into that room, anyway?

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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October 10, 2011, 07:51:43 PM
 #111

There is no free rider problem.  That has already been addressed in this very thread.  Do you have memory issues, Hawker?  Doubtless you are a boomer, IMHO, due to your use of language; are you now having trouble remembering where you left your keys, too?  Why did you go into that room, anyway?

And this is what we have come to expect from our "moderators".

Thanks for the previously civil conversation.


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October 10, 2011, 07:57:10 PM
 #112

And this is what we have come to expect from our "moderators".

Thanks for the previously civil conversation.



How was I uncivil?  Hawker has a history of ignoring the solutions presented to him, I was just being jovial about it.  I'm guessing he is at least as old as I, and I'll admit that I've walked into a room and then stopped and asked myself, "Why did I come in here?"  It's simply the process of life, and it would somewhat explain his propensity to ignore certain posts.

Then again, maybe he simply has half the libs on 'ignore'.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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October 10, 2011, 08:02:08 PM
 #113

And this is what we have come to expect from our "moderators".

Thanks for the previously civil conversation.



How was I uncivil?  Hawker has a history of ignoring the solutions presented to him, I was just being jovial about it.  I'm guessing he is at least as old as I, and I'll admit that I've walked into a room and then stopped and asked myself, "Why did I come in here?"  It's simply the process of life, and it would somewhat explain his propensity to ignore certain posts.

Then again, maybe he simply has half the libs on 'ignore'.

I have a history of pointing out that if you want to change society, its best start with actual improvements.  Your fix to the free rider is to pretend it doesn't matter.  When a firetruck with a pump costs $400k and you need 2 at each fire, the free riders will make the entire service unaffordable.

See - logical and sensible correction of your fallacy - and all done without flaming people.

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October 10, 2011, 08:14:35 PM
 #114

And this is what we have come to expect from our "moderators".

Thanks for the previously civil conversation.



How was I uncivil?  Hawker has a history of ignoring the solutions presented to him, I was just being jovial about it.  I'm guessing he is at least as old as I, and I'll admit that I've walked into a room and then stopped and asked myself, "Why did I come in here?"  It's simply the process of life, and it would somewhat explain his propensity to ignore certain posts.

Then again, maybe he simply has half the libs on 'ignore'.

I have a history of pointing out that if you want to change society, its best start with actual improvements.  Your fix to the free rider is to pretend it doesn't matter.  When a firetruck with a pump costs $400k and you need 2 at each fire, the free riders will make the entire service unaffordable.

See - logical and sensible correction of your fallacy - and all done without flaming people.

I don't wish to change society.  I wish to change government.  If you believe that a pair of $400K firetrucks is the only way to provide for fire protection, or even if it is that taxation is the only way to pay for it, then you suffer from a terminal lack of imagination.  There is nothing that I can say that is going to help you to reevaluate your premises, because first you would have to accept that at least one of them is wrong.

If if you really thought that I was flaming you, first I apologize, for I was just playing around; and second, now I'm certain your are a Boomer.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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October 10, 2011, 08:30:42 PM
 #115

And this is what we have come to expect from our "moderators".

Thanks for the previously civil conversation.



How was I uncivil?  Hawker has a history of ignoring the solutions presented to him, I was just being jovial about it.  I'm guessing he is at least as old as I, and I'll admit that I've walked into a room and then stopped and asked myself, "Why did I come in here?"  It's simply the process of life, and it would somewhat explain his propensity to ignore certain posts.

Then again, maybe he simply has half the libs on 'ignore'.

I have a history of pointing out that if you want to change society, its best start with actual improvements.  Your fix to the free rider is to pretend it doesn't matter.  When a firetruck with a pump costs $400k and you need 2 at each fire, the free riders will make the entire service unaffordable.

See - logical and sensible correction of your fallacy - and all done without flaming people.

I don't wish to change society.  I wish to change government.  If you believe that a pair of $400K firetrucks is the only way to provide for fire protection, or even if it is that taxation is the only way to pay for it, then you suffer from a terminal lack of imagination.  There is nothing that I can say that is going to help you to reevaluate your premises, because first you would have to accept that at least one of them is wrong.

If if you really thought that I was flaming you, first I apologize, for I was just playing around; and second, now I'm certain your are a Boomer.

Its not a question of imagination.  Firemen risk their lives if they don't have the right set-up.  Trucks with pumps cost $400k.  That's the real world.  Any proposal you make that changes the real world needs to accommodate reality.

Off topic, I am not a boomer.  And no need to apologise - I know you youngsters are always kidding about Tongue

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October 10, 2011, 08:50:39 PM
 #116



Its not a question of imagination.  Firemen risk their lives if they don't have the right set-up.


So do high tension linemen, but their job isn't paid for by taxes.  Who's job is more dangerous on average, a NYC cop or a NYC cabbie?  Risk is part of life, I ask, so what?

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 Trucks with pumps cost $400k.  That's the real world.


Is a new truck a requirement?  Is a pumper truck at all?  Obviously not, since firemen have been around pretty much since the Roman age.  Can a company of volunteer firemen without a brand new pumper truck compete against a fully outfitted company?  Probably not, but again so what?  Should they not have a right to try?  And besides, a $400K pumper truck is actually a pretty small venture capital business plan.  The greater cost of currently employed fire suppresssion plans is the real estate and the labor costs.  If your local town has only one firehouse, it's almost certainly already paid for and the firemen are local volunteers.  Do you think that a few of those volunteers could start a private company, should the city stop providing funds, with the help and fees of the town's wealthiest?  Or even just to cover the businesses and banks on Main Street.  Again, a terminal lack of imagination.

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 Any proposal you make that changes the real world needs to accommodate reality.

Any proposal that I make is irrelevent.  As is your view of reality, or what consitutes such accommodation. 

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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October 10, 2011, 09:20:52 PM
 #117



Its not a question of imagination.  Firemen risk their lives if they don't have the right set-up.


So do high tension linemen, but their job isn't paid for by taxes.  Who's job is more dangerous on average, a NYC cop or a NYC cabbie?  Risk is part of life, I ask, so what?

Quote

 Trucks with pumps cost $400k.  That's the real world.


Is a new truck a requirement?  Is a pumper truck at all?  Obviously not, since firemen have been around pretty much since the Roman age.  Can a company of volunteer firemen without a brand new pumper truck compete against a fully outfitted company?  Probably not, but again so what?  Should they not have a right to try?  And besides, a $400K pumper truck is actually a pretty small venture capital business plan.  The greater cost of currently employed fire suppresssion plans is the real estate and the labor costs.  If your local town has only one firehouse, it's almost certainly already paid for and the firemen are local volunteers.  Do you think that a few of those volunteers could start a private company, should the city stop providing funds, with the help and fees of the town's wealthiest?  Or even just to cover the businesses and banks on Main Street.  Again, a terminal lack of imagination.

Quote

 Any proposal you make that changes the real world needs to accommodate reality.

Any proposal that I make is irrelevent.  As is your view of reality, or what consitutes such accommodation. 

I posted earlier that a non tax based fire service is fine in rural areas.  The trucks with pumps aren't needed there.

Urban areas with tall buildings are different; they have not been around since Roman times and you need the powerful pumps.  Since the costs of this kit and of fire station buildings and staff is high, it makes sense that everyone is obligated to make a contribution. Wherever people look at this, they come up with a system where every property owner must contribute.  It may be some not state based mechanism like the town deeds but you need something.


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October 10, 2011, 09:25:29 PM
 #118


Urban areas with tall buildings are different; they have not been around since Roman times and you need the powerful pumps.  Since the costs of this kit and of fire station buildings and staff is high, it makes sense that everyone is obligated to make a contribution. Wherever people look at this, they come up with a system where every property owner must contribute.  It may be some not state based mechanism like the town deeds but you need something.


Really?  What if only 99% of homeowners participated, whould the system fail for lack of funding?  What if only 95%?  At was point is an urban "free rider" problem really a problem?  What if that free rider has a fire, is the fire company obligated to put the fire out, because both his neighbors paid the fees?  Or simply obligated to keep his neighbors' homes wet while his burns to the ground?  What happens to that free rider then?  Everyone has a purpose in this great world.  For some, that purpose is to serve as a warning to others.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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October 10, 2011, 09:42:43 PM
 #119


Urban areas with tall buildings are different; they have not been around since Roman times and you need the powerful pumps.  Since the costs of this kit and of fire station buildings and staff is high, it makes sense that everyone is obligated to make a contribution. Wherever people look at this, they come up with a system where every property owner must contribute.  It may be some not state based mechanism like the town deeds but you need something.


Really?  What if only 99% of homeowners participated, whould the system fail for lack of funding?  What if only 95%?  At was point is an urban "free rider" problem really a problem?  What if that free rider has a fire, is the fire company obligated to put the fire out, because both his neighbors paid the fees?  Or simply obligated to keep his neighbors' homes wet while his burns to the ground?  What happens to that free rider then?  Everyone has a purpose in this great world.  For some, that purpose is to serve as a warning to others.

That will vary by the size of the town.  Some will struggle to get even 2 pumpers and they will need close to 100% if you have individual houses paying fire protection fees.

However, the bigger point is that its simpler to do this as part of taxation.  There is no reason to create a new administration system for billing a fire service fee, a refuse service fee, a road service fee, a town parks fee when one tax covers all and is levied democratically.

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October 10, 2011, 09:52:05 PM
 #120


Urban areas with tall buildings are different; they have not been around since Roman times and you need the powerful pumps.  Since the costs of this kit and of fire station buildings and staff is high, it makes sense that everyone is obligated to make a contribution. Wherever people look at this, they come up with a system where every property owner must contribute.  It may be some not state based mechanism like the town deeds but you need something.


Really?  What if only 99% of homeowners participated, whould the system fail for lack of funding?  What if only 95%?  At was point is an urban "free rider" problem really a problem?  What if that free rider has a fire, is the fire company obligated to put the fire out, because both his neighbors paid the fees?  Or simply obligated to keep his neighbors' homes wet while his burns to the ground?  What happens to that free rider then?  Everyone has a purpose in this great world.  For some, that purpose is to serve as a warning to others.

That will vary by the size of the town.  Some will struggle to get even 2 pumpers and they will need close to 100% if you have individual houses paying fire protection fees.

However, the bigger point is that its simpler to do this as part of taxation.  There is no reason to create a new administration system for billing a fire service fee, a refuse service fee, a road service fee, a town parks fee when one tax covers all and is levied democratically.

If the best argument for maintaining the status quo is simplicity at the cost of consumer choice; then well, I guess your pragmatism trumps our principle (*cough*).  However, that problem has long been solved.  It's called the 'free market' and it is that big grey animal in the middle of the room you keep ignoring.  You can't even argue that private fire protection has never been attempted, it has and does fine.  You just don't notice because it's successful.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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