Because of the circumstances in which they encounter it, children tend to misunderstand wealth. They confuse it with money. They think that there is a fixed amount of it. And they think of it as something that’s distributed by authorities (and so should be distributed equally), rather than something that has to be created (and might be created unequally).
In fact, wealth is not money. Money is just a convenient way of trading one form of wealth for another. Wealth is the underlying stuff—the goods and services we buy. When you travel to a rich or poor country, you don’t have to look at people’s bank accounts to tell which kind you’re in. You can see wealth—in buildings and streets, in the clothes and the health of the people.
Where does wealth come from? People make it. This was easier to grasp when most people lived on farms, and made many of the things they wanted with their own hands. Then you could see in the house, the herds, and the granary the wealth that each family created. It was obvious then too that the wealth of the world was not a fixed quantity that had to be shared out, like slices of a pie. If you wanted more wealth, you could make it.
When Washington outlawed alcohol, booze vanished overnight and everyone stopped drinking. Can anyone deny this? When Washington banned the use of cannabis, all of us made insane by Reefer Madness quit smoking dope, and today there is probably not a town in America in which one might buy a joint. Similarly, Washington made illegal the downloading of copyrighted music—which also stopped immediately. No one now has illegal music. Ask your adolescent daughter.
So with guns. They are small, easily smuggled, of high value to criminals and will be of higher value when only criminals have them, so it is virtually certain that they will vanish when the government says so.
Mexico, where I live, has stringent laws against guns, which have proved at least a partial success. Criminals have AKs, RPGs, and grenades, while nobody else has anything. That’s a partial success, isn’t it?
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristocratic forms. No government in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, government tends more and more to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class — whether that class be hereditary royalty, oligarchs of financial empires, or entrenched bureaucracy.
Labour is a service that employers purchase from workers. It follows that if its price rises because of a government decree, employers will buy less. The minimum wage is directed at low-skilled workers. If government sets or raises the minimum, employers have an incentive to use fewer low-skilled workers; employers will substitute machines where possible (have you seen how automated fast-food restaurants are these days?) or switch to higher-skilled workers. The minimum wage, therefore, harms the people most in need. Some lose jobs, and others looking for jobs won’t find them. That is not the only consequence. Some workers might retain their jobs but find that some benefits have vanished: There may be less on-the-job training and fewer workplace amenities.
Most people, including advocates of the minimum wage, understand that a rising price generally discourages purchases. People who want to discourage smoking believe that higher cigarette taxes will accomplish that objective. So why is the pricing of unskilled labour an exception? Is ideology interfering with reasoning here?
These questions get to the heart of the issue at hand: Whose life is it anyway? If your life belongs to you, then you are free to decide how you deal with emergencies such as fire, injury, or crime. It is in your hands and no one has the right to take that away from you. If your life does not belong to you, then you are a slave whose life is in the hands of agents of the state. These agents have no interest in keeping you alive, or your possessions safe, beyond what they can extract from you through the force or fraud of state power, namely taxation.
To say that firefighters and EMS responders have no interest in keeping you alive makes me feel upset because I am both of those things and the sole purpose I do those things IS to help people and TO keep them alive.
I specifically stated that they have no interest in saving lives beyond maintaining the status quo. I also specified that they were agents of the state. As you stated below, not all are technically agents of the state but rather volunteers, however I will address that point separately. Suffice it to say, volunteers are not the same thing, so this part of the message doesn’t really apply to them.
I’m taking a pay cut to be an EMT. I do it because I love to help people. Not because I want to control their lives, I help them gain BACK control of their lives. That’s what bothers me about this message.
I’m sure those are your intentions and they are certainly admirable. The point of the message in the posters was to convey that in an emergency when seconds matter, it always helps to be prepared, especially when a relatively small situation can get out of hand very quickly. Being able to respond immediately can mean the difference between life and death, as emergency services have response times that can and will end up with someone suffering a tragedy. Would you agree that in being able to respond personally to an emergency situation helps people maintain control over their lives?
I agree to an extent about Law Enforcement, I mean it’s in the name, they are there to enforce the laws of the government unto the public whether good or bad and that in itself is a scary thought.
Did you know that almost 70% of the United States’ firefighters and Emergency Response Personnel are volunteers? I being one of them. FOR FREE. Wrap your head around that thought for just a second. These people take time out of their busy as FUCK lives to take classes on their very much earned weekends to further their knowledge of fire and how it works and what to do in the worst case scenario. They VOLUNTEER to save people out of burning buildings. They VOLUNTEER their time and money to SAVE RANDOM STRANGERS. What part of that sounds like they want to control their lives?
I already addressed the point about there being a difference between volunteers and agents of the state. I am also aware that a good proportion of people in these professions is composed of volunteers. However, that proportion will not always be the same in other parts of the world. This message was not targeted specifically at any particular population, but rather serves as a universal statement that applies everywhere.
Don’t try to tell me that those people that sacrifice their holiday meals with their families to respond to a call because someone put the candles too close to the tree and caused a fire in their house have “no interest in keeping you alive”. FUCK that and FUCK ANYONE who thinks that.
State actors certainly have little to no interest in keeping you alive, which is evidenced by the growing number of incidents of police brutality and the trend of militarisation. Firefighters and EMTs to a much lesser extent, depending on whether they are employed by the government or not. There’s also the fact that the state has no legal obligation to protect the lives of any person under its jurisdiction.
I just want to make it clear, at no point did I argue against the need for professional provision of these services, I am mostly critical of the way they are funded and regulated, which is usually through the force of state action. The main point of these posters was to highlight the absurdity of one of the arguments used by proponents of gun control that people do not need weapons if they can call the police. By applying the same logic to fire extinguishers and first aid kits I was attempting to show that it was a fallacious argument. It bears repeating: Objects are morally neutral.