Tuesday, 5 October 2010

This is what we have to look forward to

In Cameron's Brave New World, we're going back to the days of Small Government - about 1780, I reckon. Back then, taxes covered the military and the King's gambling debts, and that was about it. Everything else was a matter of private arrangement, such as the fire protection plaques still sometimes glimpsed on old houses.

The system still operates in the US - and it won't be long until it returns here.

Homeowners in the region outside the town limits of South Fulton, TN, have to pay $75 to come under the protection of the town's firefighters. Late in September, the house of Gene Cranick, who had not paid his $75 for the year, caught fire. When the fire department arrived, they announced that since Cranick had not paid his fees, his house would be allowed to burn to the ground. Cranick offered to pay the $75, but the firefighters weren't having any of it. They eventually acted to put out the fire when it spread to the home of a neighbor who had previously paid. As the mayor said, " if homeowners don't pay, they're out of luck."

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