Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Back Burner: Analyzing the "Fire Department" argument against Capitalism

One of the arguments that I find irritating goes a bit like this:  "Sure, Capitalism sounds like a good idea, but I really like roads and fire departments".  And that is usually followed by imagery of 19th century keystone-cop-esque for-profit fire departments competing with one another.  The arguments are rarely, if ever, substantiated but acceptance of the implied conclusions seem to be prevalent among people who don't understand the fundamental role of individual rights in a free society.

I guess I wonder if history demonstrates a broken fire system in the past.  And, if so, whether it is, as I suspect, more likely a problem with the way that insurance comapanies contracted with fire departments vs. the fact that it was for-profit and privately owned.

-FL

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"The Back Burner" is a place where I will file away nagging little things I don't have time to address.  I welcome suggested reading.