At the extreme end of it you could say that it's not the state's job to provide police, fire, or EMS services. After all, it would be the person's
own stupidity for having a house a person could burglarize, or having wiring that somehow shorted out igniting a wall, or a pipe breaking and the home
filling with carbon monoxide, right?
That's a very extreme interpretation. The police are primarily responsible for protecting citizens from each other - protecting the home owner from
The fire department is responsible for protecting citizens from the dangers of a spreading blaze, and for rescuing people from situations not
of their own making. In all the times I've seen the FD respond, it's to protect nearby homes and rescue people trapped in
burning buildings/crushed cars/whatever.
The cause of the blaze is usually not known when the FD arrives on the scene. I hope they'll never sit back and watch the pretty fire burn, just
because it may have been started due to carlessness.
And even if it was, there are other people who may need assistance.
They've got a real, necessary purpose outside of protecting people from themselves.
Under the current system, if a man hangs himself off a bridge and sets himself on fire, it's the job of the FD/EMS to rescue his dumb ass. I think
that's ludicrous, a total waste of taxpayer resources, and more importantly, it puts responders in unnecessary risk.
They have enough to do without having to chase around trying to forestall the inevitable with one nutcase after another. Making suicide legal would
free up a fair bit of money and manpower...
The helmet laws have a justifiable purpose (saving money) from the state's point of view, as long as people continue to rely on EMS to pick up the
messes they cause. I guess the fines are designed to offset the costs posed by idiot riders who wreck up and cost the state a bunch of money in
FFL/ambulance services/hospital costs.
I understand it, but I don't agree with any system that provides rights in lieu of responsibilities.
You'd think people would voluntarily wear the helmets, but they don't - and the taxpayer is burdened as a result.
So, don't get me wrong, I understand the argument from the other side.
But I also think that self-determination is a God-given right, and that the state is overly-presumptious when it seeks to infringe on that to save
some dough (especially when other measures might be taken).
What other measures?
That's whole big can o' worms. We're talking efficiency, cost-cutting, a reduction in redundancy at the state, local, and federal levels. I bet
you can't guess how many farmers there are in this country for every USDA employee...
Last I checked it was about a half-dozen to one ratio - 6 farmers for every 1 farm bureaucrat. That's ludicrous! Most large cities have about 3
cops for every 1000 citizens...
Anyway, different topic...
Point being, there are plenty of ways to lower overhead and improve efficiency without telling people what to wear, what to eat, what to smoke, what
to drink, and so on.
[edit on 19-6-2006 by WyrdeOne]