2.12.10

House burns down. Tragedy of the commons.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/10/05/national/main6929591.shtml

House burns. Guy calls the fire dept but hasn't paid his $75. They eventually show up. Him and his family beg the firefighters to do something, offer to pay them whatever it takes to save the house. They don't.

The son eventually goes to the fire house and punches the chief pretty hard.

OMG HOW CAN THESE PEOPLE BE SO HEARTLESS!!

No, they just know that if they let one person get away with free fire-fighting services, then there's zero incentives for ANYONE to pay. The firefighters did what they had to do for the good of the community in the long and medium term.

Alternative would be to have the $75 charge ahead of time, and a $2000 charge in case of emergency response to a location that had not been covered by the $75 fee.

But that arrangement would probably have all kinds of people up in arms.

If no-one pays the fees, then the money for firefighting training, salaries and equipment either has to come from elsewhere or it goes away. Either pay up front and follow the rules for the good of the community - or shut up and watch your house burn down when the time comes. Your choice.

But then again, people call me a cruel, calculating ***hole.

"All my life, I have had a reputation for being cold, unfeeling. Some have called me heartless, ruthless, even cruel. I am not. I am not beyond emotional response or compassion. But I possess - and my masters count this as perhaps my paramount virtue - a singular force of will. Throughout my career it has served me well to draw on this facility and steel myself, unflinching, at all that this wretched world can throw at me. To feel pain or fear or grief is to allow myself a luxury I cannot afford."
"Eisenhorn" by Dan Abnett

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