Hammer Time: Castrating the Cooters

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang

I’m neither Republican nor Democrat. To paraphrase the late Frank Zappa, I realize that stupidity is indeed the building block of the political universe. Thanks to a long line of political careerists at all levels of our fair land, we now have speed limits laws that encourage a lack of respect for the law and a strong hatred for governments. We also have thousands of police officers who aren’t pursuing bad guys anymore. They’re busy being meter maids for the state. The same is true for code enforcement officials, toll booth collectors, and the ever lovable camera brigade. What’s the solution to all these unproductive resources that are used to subsidize our government’s (cross out safety) activities?

Well, let’s start with the hee-haws of small town life. It’s always struck me as downright goofy that in the United States, a town can be incorporated one time and stay that way forever. They can completely control those roads. They can completely control the police force. In fact, they can virtually be laws unto themselves. With subsidies! But what about the folks who actually live in those towns? Can they get anywhere beyond being a revenue source at the town hall meeting? Well, in a republic that actually tests a government’s worthiness . . . yes.

If citizens could vote every four years as to whether the incorporated town (or city) they live in should continue to exist as such, that would be a great start. In my home state of Georgia, it would eliminate a hundred or so podunks and about fifty Barney Fife-doms. Nationwide it would probably eliminate billions in wasteful spending. The only losers I see are taxicab companies, the Cooter contingencies, and aspiring small town Kennedys.

Steven Lang
Steven Lang

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4 of 24 comments
  • Andy D Andy D on Sep 12, 2009

    fred d, that 63 Galaxie is a tour car around Mayberry aka Mt Airy NC. The local gendarmes drive Chargers.

  • Jonnyguitar Jonnyguitar on Sep 12, 2009

    It seems some of these towns actually make an industry of issuing tickets. Atoka, OK comes to mind. Too bad when your town sucks so bad its the only way you can make any money.

  • 50merc 50merc on Sep 12, 2009

    fred diesel: "A ‘64?? Ford just like Barney had? Amazing that in almost 50 years not all that much has changed in US police cars. We still have virtually every police and muni fleet driving V8 Fords cuz theyre so cheap and reliable". More like 75 years.

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Sep 13, 2009

    In the older areas of the country, many towns were set up in the Horse and Buggy era. While there might be efficiencies of scale with less political subdivisions, ask yourself this question: If there is a pothole in your street, will your local town or village fix it faster, or would the City of New York, Boston or LA be more responsive ? Exactly. Here in Westchester NY, we have local police agencies on a town level. There is a County Police agency. Finally, State Police also patrol. Why three agencies ? They parcel out roads based on a few things. Interstates are State PD. Most Towns are primary in the Town, unless a highway passes through. Last, County cops patrol parkways. This makes no sense, but is the result of history. Other counties have local PD, Sheriffs and State. There have been moves to consolidate cops, fire and schools. While all of these agencies are ridiculous duplications, no one wants to give up THEIR agency, and likewise, no one wants to give up control of their town, police, etc to a large agency. Think of that pothole again. There have been multiple studies here in New York State. They all recommend multiple levels of consolidation. They all sit on shelves. Want blood sport ? Suggest consolidation of affluent suburban school districts !