That was it, Bob. Let me pose the same thing to you. If your house is on fire and you live in a town with a fire department, do you expect the fire department to arrive? If you say no, then I don't want to live in your town. If you say yes, then you are simply agreeing with what I said. Would you expect the fire department to show up because part of your city taxes go to that end, because perhaps you may also have a fire tag, which is a small tax that some cities use? If you say no, then you are expecting them to show up because they are just a bunch of nice guys. If you say yes, then you are simply agreeing with what I said.
So, assuming that you WOULD expect the fire department to respond and assuming that one of the reasons why you WOULD expect them to respond is because you are a taxpayer in that town, what part of your answer would have anything to do with your assuming that these firefighters would not do what they are paid to do or that they are not worthy of their hire???? Do you see how nonsensical and even insulting your responses have been. "Would you expect the fire dept to respond?" "Yes, I'm a taxpayer". Nothing to do with safe working conditions, budget cutting, collective bargaining, equipment allocation, etc, etc, etc. Would you expect them to respond? Yes? Period. End. Finale. Fini. Das es alles. Se acabo.
I see nothing insulting about my responses. Nor should you, especially if you've lived in low income areas of large cities and know that police response times may be much slower than they would be in better served higher income parts of the city. An emergency call that would get a very quick response in an upscale neighborhood might get a slow or non-existent response in a low income high crime area. Mostly, they will get responses, though frequently not as rapid in some cities. Is that insulting to you?
I would call this a description of facts. The response you have to the facts is up to you.
And that's the situation at a time when the police services have not been all that bad, given the federal contributions to the funding.
Fire services are somewhat the same. Everybody wants to have fire services show up right away when they're called. The speed with which that's possible depends, among other things, on the locations of the fire houses in a large city. A greater number of fire stations will frequently mean a faster response time, especially if there are a dependable number of engines and a dependable number of fire fighters available.
Do I expect the fire fighters will show up? Yeah.
Will they be able to show up as quickly as they were once able to if the number of fire fighters the cities are willing to hire declines and if the pay and benefits they offer declines with them? I think not. My expectation may be more hope than it once was. The fewer fire-fighters and fire stations, the more forlorn that hope becomes. Does that insult you?
It simply means that reality tends to win over fantasy in the long run, and that if you want services you actually have to pay for them. There is an age at which many of us experience that as an unbearable insult, but you and I, Mike, are well past that age. It doesn't mean that fire-fighters and cops aren't good folk — or teachers or any other municipal employee, for that matter; there are the usual sad sacks and goldbricks among them, of course, but you'll find them almost everywhere.
So, when it comes to living in areas of the Bronx, or in areas of LA or Miami or Chicago or Boston, it works out as you suggested it would work out, more specifically about the cops, but also in terms of the fire services,"If you say no, then I don't want to live in your town. "
In fact, people who can afford better tend not to live in those parts of those particular towns.
My prediction is that the less money is spent on those services, the larger those areas will grow.
I've had friends who were cops and EMTs working for the fire departments in the Boston area. I myself worked for a very long time in a collapsing mental health system with insufficient staffing, low pay and wretched benefits and took quite a lot of verbal and physical abuse for it in return for what I happen to believe were some fine contributions. I watched what happened as staffing levels and staffing requirements fell. I saw the same things happen the police and fire departments. The police especially were in terrible shape, hardly able to talk to anybody who wasn't a fellow officer, and many of them very close to suicidal with isolation, frustration and rage at the impossible conditions of their work.
Having fewer resources to turn to is not going to be helpful to them at all; nor the fire-fighters, who enjoy a great deal more community support on the whole. Their work may be, if anything, more dangerous.
If we, as a society, actually believe these guys are worthy of their hire, where is the support we owe them? Saying you're insulted is not, to my mind, enough. These guys are part of the social support network that we, as a nation, depend on in good times and bad; and it stinks that we feel that it's this simple to take their collective bargaining rights away, and to cut back the number of fire stations and personnel.