In a short while Little Red Riding Hood knocked at the door, and walked in, saying, “Good morning, Grandmother, I have brought you eggs, butter and cake, and here is a bunch of flowers I gathered in the wood.” As she came nearer the bed she said, “What big ears you have, Grandmother.”
“All the better to hear you with, my dear.”
“What big eyes you have, Grandmother.”
“All the better to see you with, my dear.”
“But, Grandmother, what a big nose you have.”
“All the better to smell with, my dear.”
“But, Grandmother, what a big mouth you have.”
“All the better to eat you up with, my dear,” he said as he sprang at Little Red Riding Hood.
Some people think that the state is a bit like a kind granny and get quite a shock when they realise that it’s really a predator. Similarly, Stuff reports that people are unhappy because Christchurch City Council has hired a private investigator to see if people are living in red-stickered homes where residents have told to leave because the council believes that the homes are danger of being hit by rockfalls. Whether or not that danger is real or imminent is irrelevant, and what matters are the following issues:
- The nanny state will not allow people to choose what risks to take, thereby assuming a role that only parents should have in relation to their children. Paternalism is another word for the council is doing.
- The nanny state violates the property rights of home owners by forcing them to leave their dwellings.
- When people do not comply with the orders of their masters the council bares its fangs and sends in a private investigator to gather evidence for prosecutions. Yes, occupying the home that you own can be a crime.
- To add insult to injury, home owners are forced to pay rates (taxes) on the homes that they’re not allowed to enter.
A commonsense approach to this situation
Let people freely choose what risks to take and exercise their full property rights, which include the right to occupy without hindrance.
Let these property owners bear the full cost of rescue and medical treatment if a rockfall does occur – that’s what insurance is for. This is just, unlike the present system wherein you, as a taxpayer, are forced to bear the cost of decisions that other people make (cf, in the past private fire brigades were contracted to protect specific properties, and there’s no reason why that cannot work again).
The interesting thing is that such properties would be extremely expensive to insure, so many home owners would leave of their own free will. The free market would protect property owners and their would be no “need” for the nanny state to bare its fangs.
The state can only “protect” you by taking away your freedom and controlling you.