Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Economic Re-Regulation

The Bush Administration has announced a new system for regulating the financial sector and I don’t understand very well how it works. I don’t feel bad about that, though, because no one else seems to understand it either. It has to do with the Federal Reserve standing by, aloof in normal times (whatever those are), and taking action of its own determination in an emergency (whatever that might consist of).

It sort of relates to San Diego County which, weirdly enough, has no Fire Department. I’m pretty sure it’s the only California county that doesn’t have one, and may be the only county in the nation that doesn’t. If that seems strange to you after reading about fires that nearly toasted the city in 2003 and 2007, which were not by any means the only two years we’ve had big fires, well, it doesn’t seem strange to the residents of San Diego County.

(Actually, we keep saying it seems strange, but we keep voting it down.)

As I remarked in a recent post, we have our priorities. Fire Departments cost money. So we have a City Fire Department, and all of the little burgs out in the county have volunteer Fire Departments. Most of them even have fire trucks. There have been a number of proposals to create a county fire agency, but few have passed the talking stage and all of them have failed.

When we have a big fire we yell for help from the counties to the north. Due to a state-wide firefighting pact, they send help but they grumble a lot because when we are on fire they usually are too. They spend money to create a major Fire Department and we don’t and then they have to leave their (burning) county and come fight our fires. It sort of pisses them off.

(But we have great weather and fabulous beaches.)

So I was thinking what a San Diego County Fire Department would look like if it were built along the lines of the federal financial regulatory plan:

* It would be located in Las Vegas
* It would store its equipment in Salt Lake City
* It would get its information from the National Enquirer
* It would not require brush clearing around houses
* It would sell plots for homes in forest areas
* It would permit homes with wood siding and cedar shake roofs
* (It would sell wood siding and cedar shake)
* It would eliminate “red flag” warning system
* In Santa Ana conditions it would not ban campfires

And when trouble broke out it would rush to the scene of the fire and throw gasoline on it.

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