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FW: [LandCafe] The Private Sector fails to deliver.

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  • Harry Pollard
    David, The piece about private fire protection was a little old. The company has prospered. Here are the paces that it now serves with fire, ambulance, and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 19, 2010
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      The piece about private fire protection was a little old.


      The company has prospered. Here are the paces that it now serves with fire, ambulance, and similar services.






      From: Harry Pollard [mailto:henrygeorgeschool@...]
      Sent: Saturday, June 19, 2010 1:34 PM
      To: 'LandCafe@yahoogroups.com'
      Subject: RE: [LandCafe] The Private Sector fails to deliver.




      You will find a description of private contract fire protection at:




      Here is a bit:

      Private Emergency Services

           Consider, for instance, the story of Rural/Metro Fire Department, Inc., a private firm headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona (pop. 96,000).  Rural/Metro provides fire protection to thousands of individual subscribers in several unincorporated communities in the state.  On a government contract basis the company provides fire protection to an additional seven Arizona cities, ambulance service in five, security patrol service in another five, and sworn police officers in one.

           In lightly populated areas, Rural/Metro has entered the market by providing individual subscriber fire protection, and watched its business grow with increasing development.  Often the builders of large residential projects such as Leisure World, Sun City, and Fountain Hills contracted at the outset with Rural/Metro for fire and security protection.  When some of these communities (such as Paradise Valley, Arizona) subsequently incorporated, residents chose to stay with their individualized subscriber fire protection rather than have the local government make one arrangement on behalf of everyone. 

           Rural/Metro's volume increased from $650,000 in 1970 to over $3,000,000 in 1975, and the company added 3 stations in 1971, 5 in 1972, 7 in 1973, 8 in 1974.3  Rural/Metro is not the only such case. Private fire protection companies do business near Billings, Montana (pop. 68,000), in Grant's Pass, Oregon (pop. 14,000), in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee, and at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida.  Together with the widespread acceptance of volunteer private fire companies (which outnumber paid departments 21,000 to 3,500), the success of private fire companies points up some real differences which begin to appear as government involvement in community services is factored out.

      (HP: As I recall, the Grant 's Pass effort was a failure, but that is from some time ago and I have not followed it up.)

      And results:


           Some of these are illustrated in the service which Rural/Metro provides its headquarters city of Scottsdale, Arizona.  Residents there obtain the lowest homeowners' fire insurance rates offered at a per capita fire protection cost one-fourth the national average for cities of 50,000-100,000 population.  While the national per capita fire loss for the last twelve years has averaged about $12.00 a year, Scottsdale's average during this time has been held to $4.44 per year, and one study observed that if Scottsdale had obtained its fire, protection from a traditional municipal fire department, the city would (in 1973) have paid $475,000 instead of the actual $252,000 contract cost. For fiscal 1975, Scottsdale paid Rural/Metro $498,355, and adding $145,322 of other fire-related outlays, the total came to $640,677 or $6.77 per capita




      From: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LandCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of David Reed
      Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2010 1:11 AM
      To: land cafe
      Subject: [LandCafe] The Private Sector fails to deliver.



      It is very difficult to make sense of and take seriously the present debate which posits that there are libertarian and Geoist mass movements ready to take power or affect the policies of mainstream parties.There are just the usual saddo men going cross eyed with anger at their PC's.(I  include myself ,naturally.)
      I believe in lVT, loathe the ascription Geoist and vote Labour while there are anarchist/libertarian/enemies of the state  who attach themselves to and vote for real parties while nurturing spectacular personal grievances,although well housed ,middle class and middle aged.
      LVT could ,as Walter Horn has said recently, appeal to a wide range of pissed-off people .However the land tax does not produce wealth: it is a mechanism
      for making wealth production more efficient.It is a secondary economic feature ,not primary,and so can be attached to any method of wealth production or virtually any party except those dedicated monolithically to rewarding their supporters with unearned profits from property.(All of the big ones in UK :known as Homeownerist parties in smart circles) 
      What it cannot do is ameliorate wealth destruction for instance by the right-wing maniacs in the UK
      who want to destroy the Welfare State or by population decline as it affects places like Detroit,Pittsburgh or Liverpool.LVT is not going to work when land prices are going down. 
      The present crisis of capitalism is that the maniacs feel it necessary to cut the public sector when the private sector is in no shape and probably quite unwilling to take the strain of creating jobs and wealth.John Stepeck msn money 14.vi.10 writes "..governments are now under pressure to cit their spending and start paying off the debt incurred during and before the credit crunch.Trouble is the private sector does not look ready to take up the reins."
      He cites the report on US non-farm payrolls for May:431,000 more jobs only 41,000 in private sector most of the rest doing the Census.  
      So any attacks on libertarians are based not on Socialist principles but on something farther back in the argument: the existence of a prosperous and expanding  mixed economy.It is perfectly reasonable for right-wing deluded people to argue whether this or that economic construct be in the public sector or not ( I find privatised fire departments backed by private insurance companies appealing: all those houses burning down while competing crews fight over the fire hydrants and the conflagration rips through swathes of uninsured houses; also competing water companies where you get a choice of five taps).But you have got to have a progressive mixed economy to argue over . 

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