The latest fire in Obion County, TN (which you may recall does not have a fire department) came as no surprise to me.
Unfortunately, neither did the complete failure of the press to understand the issue and report it correctly — even independent, progressive media.
A very popular position among progressives:
- The firefighters who responded and did not control the fire are immoral cowards, motivated by Tea Party or Libertarian ideology;
- they are so petty that they think it serves that woman right to lose her home because she did not pay $75;
- they are too stupid and incapable of independent decision making to know when to break the rules.
From this position, the guilty parties are the first responders on scene and the mayor of South Fulton, Tennessee. Blame is placed at the very bottom of the chain of command, for not refusing to follow departmental guidelines when someone is in need. Support for these firefighters is viewed as immoral under this breakdown.
My position is that Plato’s allegory of the cave applies here. The above makes sense if you’re looking at the back wall of the cave. Here’s what it looks like from the mouth of the cave.
- After 30 years of Reaganomics, Obion County no longer has the ability to put a fire station every 2-3 miles, per standard;
- the subscription fire service has South Fulton City Fire Department running calls in the county (outside their area);
- each station’s range becomes 10-11 miles, a severe shortfall;
- That overstresses the tiny department;
- County residents who demand a share of services they have not paid for are now pitted against the city residents who have paid for them;
- Per capita income in this county is $15,983;
- The center cannot hold, and both city and county residents (and national media) turn on the firefighters.
From my position, governor Bill Haslam (R-TN) is to blame, top of the chain of command.
He boasts of having given state employees a raise, yet laid off 1,300 workers to do so. After the Cranick fire made national news last year, he surely knows he has an entire county without fire protection. Rather than subsidizing the impoverished county with tax revenue from wealthier counties (universal practice in developed nations), he gives corporate tax subsidies.
- The South Fulton City department is left with a band-aid for their bullet hole.
- The man behind the curtain successfully abdicates responsibility.
- The 99% tear each other limb from limb.
- The 1% shrugs all the way to the bank.
- Everyone in the country rapes the South Fulton Fire Department, and they feel righteous about it, too.
We’ve been telling you there’s a crack in the levee for years.