Showing posts with label Obion County Tennessee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Obion County Tennessee. Show all posts

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Sign for The Future

If you want to see what life would be like if the New and Hulked Out GOP is given control of anything in the future, take a look at the story of Gene Cranick.

Mr. Cranick is a resident of Obion County, Tennessee which requires its residents to pay a $75 fee to put out fires. Yea! No stinkin' socialism here, folks. Cranick forgot to pay it so firefighters would not come out to his home when he called. They did arrive, however, to spray down a water line between his neighbor's house (who paid the fee) and Cranick's burning abode. They stayed there to make sure the fire didn't spread and watched Cranick's house burn to the ground despite pleas and a payment in hand.

This isn't fear mongering for a future that isn't here yet. This is real. It happened. And it makes on wonder if the possible future so eloquently detailed in the film Repo Men (in which all government is neutered and corporations run health care at insanely high interest rates) might not be fear mongering at all. Robert Creamer put it best recently on HuffPo

Competitive markets are extremely efficient at encouraging innovation, increasing productivity and distributing goods and services in many arenas. But there are other arenas where history and experience have demonstrated that it is both more efficient and more humane to provide goods and services through government -- which, as Congressman Barney Frank likes to say, is the name we give to the things we have chosen to do together.

The core difference in values between the right wing and progressives is whether we create a society where we're all in this together, or all in this alone.

Mainstream Americans understand that there are a number of areas where it makes much more economic and moral sense to guarantee goods and services to everyone in the society and ask our citizens to finance them by paying their fair share of taxes rather than paying for them "ala carte".

More humane. Think about that for a minute. Which party do you think is more humane? I think that the Republican Party, in its all out effort and zeal to build a nation of rugged individualists, has forgotten the value of teamwork. In fact, they shit all over it.

The reaction to this story from the right is predictable. Why should Cranick "sponge off his neighbors" to get helped out, as Glenn Beck said recently. Except there was no sponging because he simply forgot to pay the fee as he had in the past. And if they had tax money covering the fire department he would be paying his fair share as well. I'm wondering what happens if you can't afford the fee. What then? I guess all the poor people in Obion county are fucked.

Today, there are politicians and commentators who want to push in the other direction: to water citizenship down, and turn Americans into mere customers. In this view, you should get things — including basics like fire service — not as a right of citizenship, but as a privilege with a price.

Indeed. So, in the GOP's vision of a perfect world, the only rights we would have as citizens are contingent upon how much money we have. Which party is it again that is the party of privilege? More importantly, which party continually blames the victim?