The streetlights in Dalrymple’s English town are now being switched off every night at midnight. This might at first seem like a fairly minor development, but I can’t help but think that his explanation for it uncovers what is in fact a major problem and one that explains much of what is wrong with the modern world.
Even if it provided no services at all, the council would still run at a deficit if it continued only with its essential business, which is to pay the salaries and pensions of those who work in it, and the various parasitical rent-seekers, like employment lawyers, who live at its expense. And so the bureaucracy (and its hangers-on) does not exist to serve the public, but the public exists to serve the bureaucracy. In the past, the council had reserves to meet its deficits, but these have been run into the ground, and it has therefore had to appeal to other, larger sources of public funds for help, which themselves run on the same great pyramid-principle as that of the town council. Indeed, the whole country, the whole continent, the whole hemisphere is run on that principle.
The root cause of it all? Fiat money. Read the whole piece here.
I’m surprised that he blames fiat currency. It seems like Dalrymple usually argues for the root cause of human problems to be the wickedness in the human heart. He is usually skeptical of blaming problems on “the system” or on specific policies. It seems to me that greed and profligacy are to blame here, more than how we create and use currency.
I normally agree with Dalrymple but in this case do not think the example he gives will bear the weight he attaches to it.I speak as a retired county council employee.I do not know the Town Council he refers to but most (District and County) Council Pensions are funded through the Local Government Pension Funds.
The saving he refers to may be contentious in some quarters but there are good reasons (environmental) for switching off some lights apart from a modest saving