Where there’s smoke…

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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8 Responses

  1. StB says:

    But if you set yourself on fire, the fire department is going to come. Do they not provide paramedic services in your part of the country? In Milwaukee they are the first responders so I see the answer to your question be that you are paying taxes for both.

  2. Brad Willis says:

    You bring up an interesting point, and you’re right. The difference, I think, lies in the fact that when it’s all said and done, that ambulance will still have a bill attached to it.

  3. CJ says:

    So what you are asking is why we don’t have a fully tax-payer funded health care system.

    That’s simple. Health care is one of the most profitable private businesses in America. A lot of people are making a lot of money in health care and they spend a lot of that money making sure the government doesn’t put an end to that.

    The Affordable Care Act ended up being a massive giveaway to health insurance companies. The government, for the first time I can think of, is forcing you to buy a private product whether you like it or not. And if you don’t, the government will fine you to use that fine to buy a private produce for someone else.

    This half measure is the worst thing to happen to health care. Either leave it in the private sector or create a truly universal health care system that’s government run. It’s one or the other in my mind.

  4. Julius Goat says:

    Some things are good for people. Some things are bad for people.

    Some things are profitable. Some things are not.

    Some things that are good for people are profitable. The free market does pretty well with those, and probably doesn’t need any help.

    Some things that are bad for people are profitable. The free market does pretty well with those, and probably needs some control to prevent them from doing quite so well with them. Unless we decide we like profits more than people.

    Some things that are good for people are not profitable, or would cease to be good if the profit motive’s natural desire for growth were applied . These thing probably shouldn’t be privatized. I’d put the justice system and prisons in here. Probably education. Probably that muscular gent from the FD.

    Some things that are bad for people are not profitable. These should generally be avoided. Somehow we still have Kenny G.

  5. change100 says:

    @StB – Really? Paramedic care is taxpayer-funded? I call booshit.

    If Brad set himself on fire, he’d still end up with a hefty bill. The paramedics charged us over $1,200 for a 7-mile ambulance ride and a couple of gauze bandages when Pauly was in a serious car wreck. If I had loaded him into a cab, bleeding and covered in glass shards, we’d have saved almost a month’s rent. But when a loved one just came within inches of death, how is a person supposed to pause and think “Hmmm, perhaps this ambulance ride is not my best financial option? Maybe I should read through my insurance binder to make sure this service is covered even though the love of my life could be rife with internal injuries.”

    Yeah. I’m sure that’s what our Founding Fathers intended. But an insurance company trying to suck every possible dollar they can out of hard-working people? It’s a no-brainer. Gotta pay those shareholders.

    Fighting fires, policing, health care. All three are about protecting and saving lives, only the “free market” has co-opted the latter by paying off the right folks to keep their disgusting racket going.

  6. Ryan K says:

    Replace “grease fire” with “rare disease that isn’t profitable to cure” and you’ve probably rendered your question rhetorical.

  7. G-Rob says:

    Put another way, why do we pay taxes in case I set my house on fire but not in case I set myself on fire?

    Because we pay taxes to make sure your firetrap of a suburban mansion doesn’t spread to MY firetrap of a suburban hovel. That’s why.

    If you set YOURSELF on fire…I pay taxes to extinguish the fire before you, streaking across the neighborhood like a human blowtorch, set ME on fire.

    Once the threat to ME is extinguished…literally in this case…you’re on your own.

    That is the literal and honest answer to your question.

  8. Brad Willis says:

    G-Rob, what you say is perfectly true. Self-interest may be humanity’s single-biggest motivating factor. I guess what I have a hard time understanding is how people don’t take a longer view of how a healthy populace of people who aren’t bankrupt actually is beneficial to everybody. That is, my self-interest is actually helped by my neighbor not developing diabetes or developing health problems due to obesity that keeps him out of work (lost working hours, etc). I know you and are probably aren’t far from agreement. I just wonder how many other people (normal, non-corporation type people) can grasp that.

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