Libertarians Offer Hilarious Responses to Firefighters Letting TN Home Burn
I got a kick out of the opening line of Daniel Foster's piece at the at the National Review about the fire company that let a Tennessee homeowner's house burn down (which I wrote about for the front page):
Oy, this is bad for the libertarians:
Indeed. And for the homeowner in question!
The kids at The Corner then go on about opt-in government, moral theories and the Pareto principle, proving yet again that libertarians are the Trekkies of modern American politics.
Deeper in the fever swamp, "Chris," an "an anarcho-capitalist and voluntarist," writes that "Idiot Liberals" -- linking to yours truly -- are "[Twisting the] Story of Firefighters Letting House Burn Down Over Unpaid $75 Dollar Fee." Behold:
In their crazy dreamworld, they've twisted this into being some perfect example of the evils of a libertarian society where you pay for all the services you need for protection.
This story shows nothing of the sort.
The fire department who refused to put this fire out was a government run fire department. This is a socialist organization, the people who are within its tax jurisdiction are forced at gunpoint to pay for this organization, whether they want their "services" or not.
Yes, it was a government-run fire department making you pay for all the services you need for protection, so it can't be anything at all like "a libertarian society where you pay for all the services you need for protection." And the "taxed at gunpoint" line is always an entertaining bit of melodrama. Fun fact: if you don't pay your taxes, you get a letter in the mail informing you that your wages will be garnished or a lein is being placed on your property. No guns involved!
I also go an email from someone over at LewRockwell.com (who focuses on the sorrows of empire, and whose work I like), insisting that, "in a real free market ... no provider of services would sacrifice any potential customer." I felt the need to explain that according to the libertarian ideal, they'd have no choice but to let the fires of those who didn't pay the piper burn out of control, or they'd create a market-busting case of moral hazard.
Anyway, Think Progress reports today that they're expanding the subscription service to additional towns in the county. And, also, that providing full fire coverage for the entire county would result in a whopping 0.13 percent increase in property taxes.