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  1. #1
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    When you don't pay for services ...

    What ever happen to the old Neighbors Helping Neighbors or a Moral Ethic:

    http://thinkprogress.org/2010/10/04/...-subscription/

    I've been in the public sector for most of my career and understand services and fees, but something is wrong in this case...
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    What ever happen to the old Neighbors Helping Neighbors or a Moral Ethic:

    http://thinkprogress.org/2010/10/04/...-subscription/

    I've been in the public sector for most of my career and understand services and fees, but something is wrong in this case...
    I disagree. Services cost money. The owners of the home had previously refused to pay for the fire fighting service. Therefore, no service.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  3. #3
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    What ever happen to the old Neighbors Helping Neighbors or a Moral Ethic:

    http://thinkprogress.org/2010/10/04/...-subscription/

    I've been in the public sector for most of my career and understand services and fees, but something is wrong in this case...
    I think this is where people have to understand the way that government works. Unfortunately, taxes pay for services. If you don't like taxes, you don't like services. Pay your taxes, or in this case your subscription, and you get the services. I feel bad for the people on a personal level, as they lost their house, but logically they shouldn't have expected anything less.

    If these firefighters put out all the fires without the people paying for the service, how would they survive? I bet lots of people starting paying up after this incident.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    I disagree. Services cost money. The owners of the home had previously refused to pay for the fire fighting service. Therefore, no service.
    I agree. If that's the game that's going to be played, play by the rules.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  5. #5
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    seriously? I hope you people are kidding - I think it goes against all their fire fighting training and moral ethics to watch that house go down - I almost got sick to my stomach seeing that story - is this what the future holds for government services? pretty scary stuff

    I rarely get mad at what people post in here, far left, far right, whatever, I don't care, viva la difference, but to think that a bunch of professional planners are seriously thinking "oh well, shoulda' paid" is pretty gross

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Yep - think of it on law enforcement:

    Officer - Yes Sir I know you daughter was just gang r@ped, but you didn't pay your tax bill so we can't investigate.

    I know this is an extreme example, but thats what it kinda boils down to here. So the family didn't pay. Send them a bill for the actually caost of the service and if they don't pay it, take them to small claims court.


    Mods - you may need to split this out...
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  7. #7
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    seriously? I hope you people are kidding - I think it goes against all their fire fighting training and moral ethics to watch that house go down - I almost got sick to my stomach seeing that story - is this what the future holds for government services? pretty scary stuff

    I rarely get mad at what people post in here, far left, far right, whatever, I don't care, viva la difference, but to think that a bunch of professional planners are seriously thinking "oh well, shoulda' paid" is pretty gross
    It's a stupid, idiotic, misguided policy that I don't agree with. But if it's policy you better make it a top priority to pay the $75. It's the first check I would write every year.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    Ok don't get mad at me...
    FEMA should be more like this. Part of the reason they are in the trouble they are in.
    You have a person that is required to keep flood insurance and the person next door that has their house paid for and are not required to buy flood insurance.
    It floods. FEMA is honestly more likely to help the person without insurance more than those with.

    Some things are just backwards.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    seriously? I hope you people are kidding - I think it goes against all their fire fighting training and moral ethics to watch that house go down - I almost got sick to my stomach seeing that story - is this what the future holds for government services? pretty scary stuff

    I rarely get mad at what people post in here, far left, far right, whatever, I don't care, viva la difference, but to think that a bunch of professional planners are seriously thinking "oh well, shoulda' paid" is pretty gross
    Are you serious?

    If I'm going to get the services whether I pay or not- why pay? If more than a few people decide to take that approach - bye bye services and then nobody gets fire protection.

    Your attitude is basically- firefighters shuold just do their job for free. That is essentially what you are saying.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  10. #10
    Moderator note:
    Split from RTDNTOTO


    If you failed to pay your auto insurance and you had a wreck, would you expect your insurance co. to pay? Why would you expect a subscription fire service to do any different for a non-subscriber?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    Yep - think of it on law enforcement:

    Officer - Yes Sir I know you daughter was just gang r@ped, but you didn't pay your tax bill so we can't investigate.

    I know this is an extreme example, but thats what it kinda boils down to here. So the family didn't pay. Send them a bill for the actually caost of the service and if they don't pay it, take them to small claims court.


    Mods - you may need to split this out...


    Apples and oranges. Law enforcement is included in general taxes- you do not have a choice. We are talking about a subscription based service where people get to choose to not purchase the service.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    It is very interesting that this is how fire departments operated when they were first formed over 200 years ago. If you had paid your "fire insurance rate" for the year you got a placard for your house, if it was on fire and the fire department pulled up and there was a placard they would fight the fire, if not you were SOL.

    This practice was ended by Benjamin Franklin when he created the first volunteer fire company in Philadelphia because it caused competition from fire companies who would race each other to the fire because insurance companies paid the fire company that put out the fire, so the one that made it to the scene, hooked up to a hydrant and completed the task, got paid

    Franklin's famous saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," was actually fire-fighting advice.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    Apples and oranges. Law enforcement is included in general taxes- you do not have a choice. We are talking about a subscription based service where people get to choose to not purchase the service.
    Yes and no and it is an extreme example like I said.

    I understand/assume the situation there from the little bit of information in the article, this is a county resident 'subscribing' for a city service - fire protection. In the extreme example, the city police would show up and essentially be able to say the same thing.

    It is a line of what services to pay for/receive, but I guess my point is save the place and then sort it out. But realistically, this family had home owners insurance (hopefully) and they will get a payout and life will go on.

    Interestingly enough in the private fire brigade days of old (when they were owned by insurance companies), this was a normal practice.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  14. #14
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    but is your house catching on fire a subscription paid service! when did that happen? fire protection used to be provided by your neighbors -

    I think they should have fought that fire then lien the property for the fee, that's a more humane policy imho

    I guess it's a policy question for the municipality - is fire protection a basic right of protection for all citizens?

    what if law enforcement was paid subscription - this is my point - is this where government services are heading, a la carte services? and is fire protection really a service? shouldn't this be basic stuff?

    auto insurance is different, completely! insurance is a gamble you choose to make that something will go wrong and it will be paid for when it does - so is the 75 bucks a fire insurance policy?

    I am not saying the firefighters do it for free - the municipality should pay them and instruct them to fight a fire within their jurisdiction no matter what (our fire fighters fight fires all over the island no matter what, they go when the alarm goes off) - the collection agency should be the finance department and not the fire fighter

    yes, and FEMA is completely different! I don't think anyone should build in a floodzone EVER! so there should be no such thing as flood insurance because there is NO gamble, you will be flooded at some point so you shouldn't build there to begin with - this is not the same as your house accidentally catching fire and no one comes because you didn't pay the fee

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
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    They probably have homeowners' insurance, right, and hopefully there isn't a requirement to subscribe to an available service.

    Tide, what if the placard burned before the firefighters arrived?

  16. #16
    maudit anglais
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    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    Send them a bill for the actually caost of the service and if they don't pay it, take them to small claims court.
    This makes sense to me and I'm surprised that the town didn't have that little clause in place. I'd be willing to bet the majority of people would still pay the $75 a year fee rather than risk having to pay the actual cost of putting out the fire - WAG, over $10,000? Funny that they didn't start putting out the fire until it reached the neighbour's property (who had paid). If I was them I'd be a little miffed that I had to suffer damage before the fire was put out.

    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    But realistically, this family had home owners insurance (hopefully) and they will get a payout and life will go on.
    If the insurance company was smart, there would be some weasel words in the policy about it being the homeowner's responsibility to maintain fire protection coverage. I doubt they will be too happy to pay out in this case (not that insurance companies are ever happy to pay out).

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    I think they should have fought that fire then lien the property for the fee, that's a more humane policy imho
    Not to get off topic, but isn't this the big argument over healthcare insurance reform??? I'll just pay for insurance when I get sick or hurt then drop it when I don't need it?

    This family learned a hard lesson this week. I'm sure the payment line at the county treasurer for the county fire service fee were very busy the day this article came out.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    This is an evil of the local tax climate. Personally it is idiodic for both the person who did not pay the $75 and the government that allowed for an exclusion of fire protection in the first place.

    More of this will happen if we get too many TEA partiers elected. I am all for libratarism, but there are some things that just make sense that should be essential govt services that everyone pays for (Police, Fire, Roads, Sewer, Water).
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  19. #19
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    I see this a lot around here with people moving from the city out to the suburban townships and then complaining about the lower level of services in those townships - Hey, ya wanna live cheap? This is part of cheap!

    I also wonder how many people in that area will be thinking about annexing their properties to that city - pay your taxes to that city, you get the protection by right.

    An interesting point was made in a commentary that I heard this morning was that among the myriad of other things that he did, Ben Franklin set up one of the first ever fire departments and it was run on a subscription basis - only serving those who paid the required fees. No fees, tough luck.

    AND, the health care analogy cannot be ignored, too.

    Mike

  20. #20
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    I am on the fence with this one. My initial reaction was that they should have put the fire out and figured out the details later. However, the more I thought about it, the more I am inclined to agree with imaplanner and others. It is a terrible situation. However, when this homeowner decided to buy a house outside of the city limits, then decided to decline to subscribe to protective services, I start to lose sympathy for them.

    They gambled and lost. It is unfortunate. But in a society where people are continuously moving farther and farther away from city center, making everyone's taxes go up as the municipality attempts to provide services to everyone, at some point a line must be drawn. In this instance it was provision of fire fighting services, which even remained available for a nominal fee.

    The homeowner thought it wasn't necessary. They were wrong.

    Perhaps in instances like this, to protect homeowners down on their luck, unemployment services should include fire protection, etc. If the homeowner had lost their job recently, that is the only instance I can think of where this policy is counterproductive.

  21. #21
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    Not to get off topic, but isn't this the big argument over healthcare insurance reform??? I'll just pay for insurance when I get sick or hurt then drop it when I don't need it?
    Yes, except instead of watching your house burn down, you go to the Emergency Room and get "free" care, which doctors are mandated to provide. The healthcare insurance reform seemed to have left out that part...

    =================

    I was not kidding above, when I said that they unfortunately didn't get the service they wanted. I am normally on the safety-net side of the argument, but this is personal responsibility. Pay the bill. Get the service. You don't pay the bill...

    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    More of this will happen if we get too many TEA partiers elected. I am all for libratarism, but there are some things that just make sense that should be essential govt services that everyone pays for (Police, Fire, Roads, Sewer, Water).
    I think that people have to understand that you pay taxes to support the services. Many on the Tea party front, just want to lower taxes. They want smaller government. As long as you understand smaller government means less services, then it will be fine. But I am sure that they want the same services for less taxes...
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  22. #22
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    More of this will happen if we get too many TEA partiers elected. I am all for libratarism, but there are some things that just make sense that should be essential govt services that everyone pays for (Police, Fire, Roads, Sewer, Water).
    Agreed. I would put health care, education and military in that list of items as well.

    But yes- if I understand tea partiers correctly, they would prefer to have the opportunity to not pay for services they think they dont need - like fire protection.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    This is such a tough situation to figure out. I can see it both ways.

    Let's say a fire fighter got hurt. Would they get worker's comp for putting out a fire they weren't supposed to? What would the department's insurance say? Did anyone stop to think about that? I don't think it's as simple as humanity vs. cruelty.

    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    Y
    I think that people have to understand that you pay taxes to support the services. Many on the Tea party front, just want to lower taxes. They want smaller government. As long as you understand smaller government means less services, then it will be fine. But I am sure that they want the same services for less taxes...
    People think gov't jobs should be volunteer because we are all overpaid. Should we work for peanuts? I am all for less taxes overall but I don't understand how it would work? I don't have children so should my property tax bill be cut by 62% (the amount that goes to the schools). In the case of insurance, I haven't had an accident so should I get that money back? It's way too complicated for a guy like me.
    I burned down the church to atone for my transgressions.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by stroskey View post
    Let's say a fire fighter got hurt. Would they get worker's comp for putting out a fire they weren't supposed to? What would the department's insurance say? Did anyone stop to think about that? I don't think it's as simple as humanity vs. cruelty.
    That's a great point, but ultimately it is a precedent that had to be set, even as unfortunate as it is. If the firefighters put the fire out and back billed the home owner $75 then every other home in the district would/should be treated similarly. And if that was done, then what is the impetus to buy the fire service insurance?

  25. #25
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by stroskey View post
    I am all for less taxes overall but I don't understand how it would work? I don't have children so should my property tax bill be cut by 62% (the amount that goes to the schools). In the case of insurance, I haven't had an accident so should I get that money back? It's way too complicated for a guy like me.
    It's quite simple in principle really, government needs to be run more like a business. One gets an itemized bill each year for every single service the government offers. Those who don't want a service don't have to pay for it. So one can choose whether or not to pay for, let's say 'defense service'. Every general would have a list of people who pay their defense taxes and those who don't. If the country gets invaded they'll order units to protect those property owners who are current on their defense taxes, but won't bother to defend those who opted not to. I'll admit it can get a little confusing when attempting to employ an effective defense line if you happen to run into a lot of 'nonpaying gaps' but, hey, that's the price of liberty.

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