A guest post by W E Heasley.
The problem at hand, in the main, appears to be a
$59,000 unpaid water bill, code violations and an inordinate amount of
911 calls regarding Heritage House. The problems, real and/or perceived,
need to be worked out to the benefit of all involved at the least price
and cost. “All” being the residents, owners and taxpayers. Surely a
private based solution, an economic solution as it were, exists that
simultaneously respects the rule of law regarding residents, owners and
taxpayers. Actions that are not based on the nefarious realm of civil
Enter other people, spending other people's money, on other people.
That is, actions by local politicos, through the mechanism of
government, regarding Heritage House. One must ask oneself if the
political action is indeed addressing the $59,000 unpaid water bill,
code violations and an inordinate amount of 911 calls regarding Heritage
House at the least possible price and cost to residents, owners and
taxpayers while simultaneously respecting the rule of law regarding
residents, owners and taxpayers? -Or- is political action indeed
addressing the $59,000 unpaid water bill, code violations and an
inordinate amount of 911 calls regarding Heritage House at the highest
possible price and cost to residents, owners and taxpayers while
simultaneously the rule of law regarding residents, owners and taxpayers
appears less than paramount?
Consider for a moment the white knight charging onto the scene vanishing
evil vs. the benighted vs. the beclowned. Politicos like to frame their
actions as the white knight charging onto the scene vanishing evil.
Hence Heritage House is framed by local politicos as the white knight
event. However, given the situation, keeping in mind price/cost,
considering unintended consequences and uprooting an entire neighborhood
of the poor, sick and elderly....is in fact the action that of the
benighted and not the white knight?
Moreover, one can certainly go beyond the realm of the benighted and
enter the realm of the beclowned. The beclowned is a situation where the
framed white knight event, which is merely the actions of the
benighted, goes beyond taking uninformed actions based on crude and
unenlightened beliefs, and morphs into a an event that leads to massive
unintended consequences, leading to wide spread public ridicule, leading
to wide spread media ridicule, leading to mass legal action all at a
massive price/cost to those harmed with the taxpayer footing the bill.
You choose: white knight, benighted or beclowned event. In any choice
the politico action has a price/cost. Say one pegs the price of the
event at price X. Pegs the cost of the event, what X would have been
used for as an alternative (cost always being the alternative), as cost
If price X does in fact emerge (it already has emerged) and emerges into
a large number, say $100,000, $500,000, $2,000,000 (you pick the
number) then the same resources depicted as price X could have been used
for Y. Y is a long list of alternatives such as feeding the poor,
repairing/maintaining infrastructure, etc. Hence one must consider a
potential situation where resources are unavailable for real needs as
the resources are used to finance the actions of the white knight,
benighted or beclowned event.
A public choice theory proposition is that politicos never pay a real
price for their actions (other than non-reelection at the polls). The
price of their actions fall upon everyone else. Therefore one can be the
white knight, the benighted or even the beclowned yet never pay a
direct price for such actions.
Previous posts on East Greensboro Performing Arts mentions the
possibility that something else is afoot regarding Heritage House. May
well be. A supporting point being: Why go the civil forfeiture route and
conjure up statistics that don't exist to support one's political
position rather than work out the problem at the least possible
price/cost to all parties involved. "Why?".
Now coming full circle and also considering the proposition that
something else is afoot: Does one purposely engage in white knight,
benighted or beclowned behavior to aid something else afoot because one
(politico) never pays a direct price for such actions? Stated
alternatively, one could act totally outlandish to support/aid an
underlying scheme as no direct price will be extracted for such actions:
The government has nothing to give. The government is simply a
mechanism which has the power to take from some to give to others. It is
a way in which some people can spend other peoples' money for the benefit of a third party - and not so incidentally themselves". - The Invisible Hand in Economics and Politics, Milton Friedman, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 1981, p11
Maybe Milton can help regarding the police removing people from Heritage
House and the interviewed people stating it wasn't right to evict them
given the circumstance:
"You can rigidly enforce only those laws that most people believe to
be good laws, that is, laws that proscribe actions that they would avoid
even in the absence of laws. When laws render illegal actions that many
or most people regard moral or proper, they can be enforced only by
brute force." - Milton Freidman from the essay Government is the Problem.
W.E. Heasley, CLU, LUTCF
Heasley Insurance Services, LLC. Since 1979
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“The curious task of economics is to illustrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” - F.A. Hayek