A Look at Privatization
By Leonard Goodisman
”After they privatized police services in Scaresville,” Chief Gotcha explained, “prices were set for certain kinds of protection, as is natural in such a market; and some people were better off.” Stores pay for surveillance and response time, meaning, for example, that for an alarm that went off at night, police appear within 2 minutes, 4 minutes during the day, if, the Chief hastened to add, the potential victimized property had paid for blue service, and 4 minutes and 8 minutes respectively if a store only paid for brown service. Of course, there would be no response if no protection plan was purchased. Crimes at such uncontracted establishments did go up radically as, Chief Bullets explained, “let’s face it, they are sitting ducks.” There is no truth to rumors that police victimized these stores to incentivize them to purchase protection.
A young lady or a young man, even the elderly, could and should purchase an Individual Protection Plan, IPP, in Scared City, which comes with a personal alarm monitor (PAM) so you can trigger your distress and the police would come. With this IPP plan, a touch of a button brings police assistance wherever you are, the streets of Scareytown,, your backyard, or your bathtub, if you’ve purchased gold protection. Captain Cuffs explained. “There’s no longer a need to dial Police when an incident is developing; we’re there; unless of course, someone doesn’t have an IPP plan, in which case we wouldn’t come anyway You understand how, in this kind of market, we really can’t respond to those who don’t buy in. So, there’s no need for them to call.” Scareberg Chief Whiplash and Scareburrough Commissioner Shootem, explained further that the police had turned off their phones, except to order pizza, because “we simply don’t operate that way anymore. And we wouldn’t come anyway if an individual didn’t have an IPP because we like pizza breaks, just as everyone does.”
John Goodguy formerly of Scareburg, had taken exception, recalling the history of fire protection. In the early days, each establishment purchased fire protection and it was common for stores and residences that did not purchase fire protection to burn down, after refusing repeated sales pitches from fire department representatives. Fire Chief Burnham explained that “it was just as well to get rid of these sluggards because an unprotected structure in a community was a serious hazard to others, since, if they caught fire, they would go radically ablaze and increase risk, cost, and damage to their neighbors.” So it was good the fire department was right there from the beginning of such blazes monitoring them and protecting the neighbors, while trying not to fan the flames of the uncooperative radical building owners who didn’t buy in. Deputy Fire Commissioner Sparks of Scareley acknowledged that that very situation was historically what led to the obvious need for government universal fire protection but, he added, he still didn’t like John Goodguy for bringing it up, wouldn’t sell him a plan at all, and refuted any accusations that the fire department set fires to promote signups. “Ours is a protection service, not a protection racket,” Battalion Commander Seth Torch of Scarelous explained.
Scareley residents listened to John Sensibel and economist Havesom Munnie explain that the military is often lampooned as being inefficient which, although that’s mostly a joke, gave President Bush the smokescreen to create a secret government agency which let a contract to Blackwater, a company with no experience in military services but closely associated with Vice President Cheney’s family, so that traditional military services were performed by Blackwater contractors. The costs increased, accountability disappeared so it was not known exactly what the money was spent on or who got it, and scandals and abuse were widespread, including torturing prisoners. The agency that Bush created, that had let the contract, was disbanded and its records destroyed so tracking detailed responsibility was not possible.