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In my journey through the liberty movement, I discovered that a free market approach to solving issues is about the best framework we can implement in order to solve out nations problems. Finding an example which embodied those ideals, and shined with success in it’s implementation was much harder to prove, I was finding. I feel that without an example to look towards as a template, most people have a hard time making a leap to something new, consistent and comfortable will always win the day. I had to find an example to help showcase why I feel a decentralized form of government, limited federal government is the best way to provide the most freedom and opportunity to the people it hopes to govern.
To be clear, what I mean is the decentralization of policy, letting our local towns and cities try new laws and policies in order to let the free market work, and show us the most efficient and acceptable policy per the market. Better put, let the people show us which policy is better, and which implementation of it, the most effective. Not to mention the added benefit of allowing local governments to act as testing grounds for new innovative ways to deliver that service that the people demand.
I needed a government service or institution that is governed at the local level, which the majority feels is essential, and it’s implementation follows free market principles, perfectly suited to the people it serves. I finally discovered that perfect example, something I could showcase which embodies those attributes and can be the proud example of limited government on a grand scale while maintaining it’s small town charm.
The Answer is Simple: The Fire Department!
The Fire Departments across our country are the perfect example of local government, market solutions, catered to the need of the people rather than a blanket rule handed down from the federal government. In large cities, the people pay the salaries of the firemen and employ full time career firemen and woman to ensure they have the fastest response times possible, and the equipment to reach them when in need. Investment in technology and training to provide the very best in fire safety, prevention and rescue also doesn’t come cheap. It’s because of that, large cities like New York, Boston and Chicago value their fire departments more than their rural counterparts in terms of budgets.
Through their votes and elected officials, the people voice their desire for the fire department which will provide them the level of service they feel can be prepared to respond to the task at hand given the environment. For major cities, where someone 14 floors down can put your family at risk by falling asleep with the stove on, h
aving a highly trained and professional department of firemen ready to charge up those stairs and save you is important. That training, courage and resolve is only achievable with proper funding and full time, experienced personnel, only achievable with higher taxes, and budgets.
In more rural areas, you’d be lucky to find a building which is taller than 3 stories, and most of those are grain elevators. The people of these communities do not require the rigorous needs of a highly trained, funded fire department in comparison to large cities. In most parts of the country, firemen and women are rarely paid and operate as volunteer associations to provide protection and assistance in emergency situations for their community. These volunteer associations in turn cost far less to operate on smaller town budgets, making a perfectly suited policy, for the people, and the
Some fire departments will not even put out the fire unless you have paid your service fee for the year. Last year a couple living in Obion County Tennessee had to learn this lesson the hard way when their mobile home caught fire. After calling 911 and reporting the fire only to have to save their own belongings as the south Fulton fire department watched on, on the ready in case anyone was in harm’s way. When a reluctant resident fails to pay their fee, these fire departments will act when life is at danger.
This kind of fee-for-service approaches to government teaches a valuable lesson of personal responsibility that is sorely missing in today’s’ society, More importantly, if Obion County, or any other rural citizens want to ensure they are covered in the event of a fire, it is within their power to vote for higher county taxes in order to pay for that service. Many of these fee based fire protection programs are incredibly affordable too, for $75.00 a year (21 cents a day), that couple could have been protected in their time of need.
Why does any of this matter?
Looking towards this model of providing government services, at variable levels is a perfectly American approach to government; it’s why our founding fathers were so adamant about State’s rights. Ensuring that what might work for you may not necessarily work for me. It’s the perfect Constitutional argument on how local decisions provide the best form of government for the people and by the people, If at any time the current situation isn’t working for a town, county, or state, they can organize and vote to change the way they are governed.
It’s the perfect example for how all the issues should be solved in today’s federal government. I always knew a decentralized approach to government was the best form, but I never could find an example that so readily embodies the lessons and structure of this as does the Fire Departments across this country. People will always find the best solution for them and their family, and their community.
Washington rarely has a perspective which can understand the wide ranging needs of the people of this country.
Most important issue we lose at when we implement federal policy as a blanket policy, we lose the ability to innovate and discover new methods on how to deliver, manage, or provide a service which the people are looking for. When we allow the states to decide how best to provide for their people, we have unique labs across the country testing to see which one works the best. The Free Market, allowed to spur on innovation and ingenuity will dramatically help craft and implement the best policy over time for all, and that’s not just my opinion, that’s our history.
So next time when someone rolls their eyes at the idea of empowering the people to find the best solution, whether it’s healthcare, or social issues, you can point to the best fire departments in the world and show them that we the people can determine how best to suit out needs, not Washington.
You are cordially invited to the March 6th meeting of the Republican Liberty Caucus of North East Florida to listen to the following candidates for the fourth congressional district.
• Black, Bob (REP)
• Klauder, James R. (REP)
• Koniz, Gary L. (DEM)
• Pueschel, Deborah Katz (REP)
The candidates will also take part in a panel discussion.
We will be serving snacks and drinks from 6:00 to 6:30 and then will open the meeting.
Each candidate will be allowed an opening statement of five minutes. Then, three questions from the moderator will follow. Each candidate will have two minutes to give an answer to each question, and then a one minute response to the answers given by the other candidates. After this we will take questions from the audience for individual candidates who will have one minute to answer until the end of the meeting.
Please feel free to suggest questions that you would like all the candidates to answer.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012, 6:00 PM
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott – Jacksonville
4888 Lenoir Avenue, Jacksonville, FL
President Obama made his 2012 State of the Union address and as expected, it was
primarily a campaign speech to reinforce his changes for re-election in November. He is not the
first President to have done this, and will probably not be the last. However, this speech was
different because what Americans need to look at now, and consider when voting in
November, is not just the State of the Union, but the State of the Constitution. The fact is that if
we discard our Constitution there will be no union. The United States of America will cease to
Unfortunately, the Obama administration, with the help of the leftist elite in the U.S.
Senate, the House of Representatives, and even some Federal judges are systematically
destroying our Constitution, our freedoms, and our country. It is not an accident; it is being
done with malice and design. Here are the facts about what has occurred in the three years
that Obama has been in office.
Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution has been violated by Congress passing the
Obama health care bill. Congress has no authority under that section or any other section of
the Constitution to enact legislation requiring the American people to purchase health care
insurance, or to provide free health care to illegal aliens. Yet, this among other things is what
has been done. I am confident that the U.S. Supreme Court will rule that it is unconstitutional;
yet, President Obama has repeatedly shown his disdain for the rulings of the Judicial Branch of
Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution also gives Congress the sole legislative powers in
the federal government. Article 2 of the Constitution that establishes the Presidency and the
Executive Branch of government gives no such legislative powers to the President. In other
words, only Congress can make laws and the President and his cabinet appointees can only
enforce laws made by Congress; the President has no authority to make laws. Yet, that is
exactly what Obama is doing.
By misusing the power to issue Executive orders to enforce laws or take emergency
action if Congress is not in session the President is bypassing Congress and the Constitution to
implement his personal agenda on immigration, cap and trade, gun control, and in many other
areas. He actually brags about this in his taxpayer funded campaign speeches, and during the
State of the Union Address he stated that he plans to continue the practice if Congress doesn’t
do exactly what he demands.
In addition, ever since he took office Obama has continuously violated Article 2, Section
2 of the Constitution by making appoints to major positions in the Executive Branch of
government without the required Senate approval. I’m referring of course to the over 40 Czars
that the President has appointed. These appointments are in numerous areas from overseeing
the takeover of the automobile industry to regulating free speech on the internet. These Czars
are not under the control of the Congress, and are given massive budgets at taxpayer expense.
By the way, the very use of the term Czar violates Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution that
specifically forbids the U.S. government from bestowing titles of nobility on anyone.
Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution does give the President the right to make short
term appointments when the Senate is in recess. The important point here is that the
Constitution only empowers the Senate to declare when it is in recess. Obama recently showed
his disdain for that part of our governing document by making several high level appointments
when the Senate had not formally declared a recess. Obama claimed he has the right to decide
when the Senate is in recess. The purpose of these appointments was to put people in positions
of power that the Senate would not have approved. The reasons are already becoming clear
because the new appointees to the National Labor Relations Board are preparing to order
companies that are not unionized to turn over the private phone numbers and email addresses
of their employees to labor union organizers. This is a clear violation of the right of privacy of
Article 2, Section 2 also authorizes the President of the United States to sign treaties
with other countries; however, the Senate must ratify the treaties by a two thirds vote of those
Senators present and voting. Now Obama has decided that this Constitutional requirement
should not keep him from doing what he wants. Since the SOPA and PIPA bills were withdrawn
in Congress Obama is looking for a new way to take control of the Internet and limit freedom of
According to the U.S. Justice Foundation Obama is going to sign and enforce an
international treaty “which will give governments and special interest groups the power to shut
down websites, and terminate your access to the internet, without the due process of law.” It is
called the ACTA Treaty and Obama does not intend to send it to the Senate for ratification, but
instead will do it as a “sole Executive Agreement.”
There is nothing in the Constitution that allows such agreements although Federal
courts have allowed Presidents to enter into some international agreements that are minor in
nature. The ACTA agreement is not minor, but would allow websites to be shut down, such as
my blog site, at the whim of the President. I also suspect that Obama is planning to use the
same approach to enter into and enforce the United Nations “Small Arms Treaty” that would
virtually eliminate the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution that protects the rights of Americans
to keep and bear arms.
The state of the constitution is not good; in fact it is gravely ill. This article has just
scratched the surface and in my next post I will talk more about Obama’s all out assault on the
Bill of Rights. A good friend of mine recently said that this upcoming election is not about
personalities or even the economy. It is instead a referendum on the Constitution and whether
it and our American way of life are to survive. I concur with that statement.
Mr. Byron Kerns of the Byron Kerns Survival School has graciously consented to be the speaker at our Febuary RLCNEF meeting.
Tuesday, February 7th 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott – Jacksonville
4888 Lenoir Ave
Jacksonville, FL 32216
Having received some of the best and toughest survival training in the world at the US Air Force Survival Instructor School, Fairchild AFB
near Spokane, WA, Class 71-02, Byron is one of a select few of former USAF SERE instructors who have designed and created from
start-up a successful survival school for civilians.
Mr. Kerns will lecture on what basic equipment and skills civilians need to master in order to survive an extended natural or man-made disaster.
He will also provide information on the courses and individual instruction available at his school.
In addition, there will be vendors displaying the latest innovations in survival equipment available on the market.
We look forward to seeing you there.