Hey, I had a new idea regarding a political reform which could be instituted in the near future. I just wanted to get your view on this.
Privatize the services of the police and fire departments. What will the implication of this be?
1. Tax cuts- Common U.S citizens, especially the 'wealthy' pay taxes, part of which is devoted to providing resources for the Police and Fire department services. However, the wealthy who pay the most taxes do not rely on the services of cops or firefighters as much as the poor do. They live in neighborhoods where crime is virtually non-existent and outbreaks of fire are quite rare. In other words, why should the rich pay for the services that are required primarily by the poor and the middle class? In spirit of the 'why should I pay for something that is not mine', this sounds like a compelling proposition!
2. Affirmation of the Capitalist credo- Socialism is feared deeply by many Americans, especially those of the right-wing temper of mind. It is a fact that the aforementioned security department forces receive their compensation from the tax-payers or the government. This in itself is incompatible with Capitalism. The influence of the government must be minimized as much as possible, lest we slide down the slippery slope Socialism! The socialized fire department and police services contain an insidious germ of socialism which must inevitably entail a collapse of the 'Free market economy'!
3. Affirmation of National character- Indubitably, this course of political action will greatly boost the public morale of this country. The majority of common people appraise their success in life on the basis of their net-worth. The wealthy will be led to recognize the true value of their success by demonstrating their preponderant superiority over those who are less well off. They must be reminded of the fact that they deserve protection from crime only due to the merits of their character. The fact that the common-place, vulgar, penurious folk do not deserve such treatment should be evinced! If that goal is to be accomplished, the self-esteem of the hard-working, morally righteous Americans who have procured wealthy only by the merits of their character shall be elevated significantly!
4. The economy will improve- The police and the fire department will be granted an opportunity to charge any fee that they can conceive of. Obviously they provide services that people do need and the people will be willing to compensate the officers and firefighters genuinely. Imagine the benefits the market of the nation would reap if Police officers would charge as much as doctors!? For example, if your wallet was stolen, you must pay a $100 consultation fee just to report the crime. If your family member was murdered and you need the local police department to investigate the case, you may be looking at a $50,000 bill. If your property is on fire and your home is uninsured, the fire department will come to your rescue as quickly as possible, however, there will be no limitations regarding the fee that the fire department may charge you for the services rendered. For the sake of a conservative estimate, lets assume that your bill will average $20,000 on such occassions. Have you heard of people filing bankruptcy because they cannot manage their fire department bill? Obviously of course, you may eschew all of the above problems if you have police and fire-department insurance. Similarly to the current health-care insurance, it will be provided and distributed by your employer. On average, you can expect to pay $500 monthly and have a $1000 deductible. Insurance companies may deny coverage to you if you have been known to contact the police frequently or the one procedure that you request is exorbitantly expensive. For example, the third time you are robbed, the police insurance will deny coverage to you because doing otherwise is simply non-profitable. If you require the FBI to investigate the murder of your family member, the fee will be high because cops can charge any amount that they want. Since the FBI represent the elite body of the police force, you can be sure that their charges will by far exceed that of any common law enforcement group. Similarly to how medical insurance companies will not pay $500,000 to ensure that your family member can receive the operation that is necessary to save his life, the police insurance reserves every right to deny coverage to any exorbitantly expensive murder investigation.
5. Amelioration of the integrity and committment of security officials- Obviously we are not giving firefighters and police officers enough of an incentive to continue devoting any more of their honest toil to the very noble public service that they render to us. We disincentivize people to go into law enforcement or firefighting because the wages are low in many cases. Surely if cops and firefighters believed that they could earn millions throughout their career, they would be by far more motivated to perform well and encourage others to become police officers or firefighters. Furthermore, part of the revenue earned by the police forces and the fire department will be devoted to improving education and technology utilized by these servants of public security. The training for cops and firefighters will become more rigorous and the technology that they use today will seem 'stone-aged' in comparison to the kind of technology they will have available in ten years!
Surely the leftists will protest vehemently, but I believe that my plan will garner the full-hearted support of staunch Capitalists and the Republican Party.
What are some of the possible objections to this course of action?
It is inhumane to deny people the basic security such as protection from crime. It is also indecent to preclude people from discovering the fate of their murdered family members on the basis of their inability to pay for the Investigation services.
'Inhumane' and 'indecent' are radically subjective value judgments. In any case, the majority of the public do not believe that such actions would be indecent. Today, it is deemed acceptable for patients to be removed from hospitals on the basis of their inability to pay or denied insurance coverage on the basis of a pre-existing illness. If one can be denied treatment due to an inability to pay, why shouldn't one also be denied protection from possible sources of harm. Obviously the right for basic protection from common human plights is not inalienable and therefore it is a mistake for us to grant people the right (rather than a privilege) to security services yet deny the right to protection from illnesses. Either both or none of them should be accepted. Since the very suggestion that health-care should be available to all incites riots on the streets, why should there be any problem with privatizing the security services?