Thursday, August 27, 2009

socialist fire departments

The question regarding health care continues to be the same... is it a right or a privilege.

I came across a wonderful group on Facebook - 1 Million Strong Against Our Socialist Fire Departments.

Evidently, prior to the Chicago Fire, fire protection in most or all of the USA was not "socialized." Individuals paid monthly fees to private, for profit, fire companies to protect their homes. For your monthly fee, you got a badge that you placed in the window. If a fire started and the company responded, they would fight the fire if they saw the badge. If you didn't have the badge but your neighbor did, they would hose down the neighbor's house to keep the fire from spreading. If neither had a badge, they returned to their station and let the fire burn. After the Chicago fire, it was decided that there was a better way to protect people from fire and fire departments became "socialist."

I have to say that as I have watched the fires in the hills above Santa Barbara over the past year plus, I am glad for socialism.

Why is fire protection a responsibility of the government and health care is not? We all pay to make sure our neighbor's house doesn't burn down, but if they are suffering from illness, we turn away. Doesn't make sense to me.

Perhaps we need to resubmit Teddy Kennedy's 2007 bill that would have extended Medicare to all Americans?


Chad Zaucha said...

Roy, interesting argument. Here's where I think the comparison breaks down. The government enforces many codes and preventative measures to ensure that as a general rule, fires to not happen. Buildings have to be built to code with alarms and sprinklers. Decisions are made so that to the best of our ability we prevent fires. To ignore these codes and measures is to break the law.

Should we then do the same for health care? Should cigarettes be illegal because they are proven to be destructive to health? What about other destructive habits? We are more serious about preventing fires than sickness.

We can legislate fire codes. Can we legislate a health code?

roy said...

interesting argument Chad...
here's where I think it breaks down.

Are fire codes aimed primarily at the individual or at the broader community? I mean we still allow "dangerous" behavior in individual homes - wood burning fire places, cast iron stoves as heaters, building homes in or next to high fire areas, and the code is different for individual homes than it is for public buildings.

Plus, we do have some preventative laws for health issues. Children must be vaccinated against many contagious diseases or they cannot attend school and if a person gets certain contagious diseases, we do isolate them from the general population.

Finally, at the very least we do control some of those health pieces like cigarettes which cannot be purchased by someone under a certain age and can only be used in certain places under certain circumstances.

Still... an interesting argument. Are you hinting that you think the government should be allowed to dictate more behavior? ;-)

Anonymous said...

To say that any services we receive from our tax dollars is Socialism is simplistic and untrue. Socialism is the direct gov't ownership of and administration of production and allocation of resources. Socialism is also a complete economic system that controls how economic institutions are organized and how resources are allocated. It does not refer to local services because these organizations do not produce products nor influence our economic system. The basic tenant of Socialism is to redistribute the country's wealth to create an equal society. This is not a picture of our local Fire Depts.

Another Socialism qualification is that it must originate from the Federal Gov't in order to affect the entire country. All of America's Fire Depts are paid for only by local taxes. If any local community does not wish to have a Fire Dept, they do not have to.

A federal health care system is strongly socialistic because it originates from the Federal Gov't and will strongly affect the economic system of our country. And I personally believe that it will have a negative effect on our economy.

Another reason the federal health care system is a bad idea is because most Americans are against it.