Ever feel like someone else was the unfair beneficiary of your efforts? Even better, have you ever felt relief when the efforts of someone else solved your problem without any effort, expense, exposure or risk taken on your part?
Free Rider Problem explanation from Wiki. A good excerpt from the article: “In economics, collective bargaining, psychology, and political science, a free rider (or freeloader) is someone who enjoys the benefits of an activity without paying for it. The free rider may withhold effort or resources, or may impose the costs of his or her activities on others.”
Many of my neighbors got a complete “free ride”, courtesy of me, when I engaged the rescuer/puppy miller across the street, their landlord, and authorities. Many of the other neighbors flat out hated what was going on over there, as they were exposed to the same hardships as I. They would complain bitterly about the barking, dog at large, dog pee and dog crap everywhere, etc… However, NONE of them would lift a finger to go after the miscreants. They wouldn’t call authorities; they wouldn’t complain to the miscreant, they wouldn’t complain to the landlord. They refused to even co-sign any of my complaints! However, they sure did benefit BIG TIME from my efforts! They didn’t thank me, and there was no need to given that if my efforts benefited only THEM I wouldn’t have bothered!
So, it was ME, completely on my own, who had to:
- File repeated complaints with AC, police, and code enforcement.
- Dealt with excuses from above.
- Perform a significant amount of legal research on my own time and dime.
- Write and mail certified letters to dog owner, landlord, and authorities.
- Face down the miscreant *in person* and thereby enduring the most extreme belligerent behavior on multiple occasions. My friends and family were concerned for my safety.
- Threaten both the dog owner and landlord with lawsuits.
- Threaten my landlady with breaking the lease AND suing her for a rent abatement (THAT got her moving!).
So, now peace reigns upon the neighborhood (for now). Again, my useless-ass neighbors didn’t have to lift a finger to get peace restored to their homes. I did that for them! Some of them even saw fit to CRITICIZE me! I was TOO HARD on the poor couple, they said!
Of course, NOBODY is complaining about sleeping through the night! Nothing like “Hey man, I really miss laying awake all night listening to those dogs bark!”. No, it is armchair quarterbacking in its full, insipid glory!
Of course, this is only what I did in relation to the pet problems *on my block*. My dealings with the larger issues are a similar but much larger story. I won’t go into the gory details again, but as I noted in this essay and this essay I have made significant efforts to ameliorate the pet problems apparent in my state’s natural areas. I built significant political credit via my activities in my state trail association, and I have had to BURN most of that credit working a problem that never should have existed in the first place! I have also engaged my county executive and county attorney directly and those efforts have had some effect. These efforts include, but are not limited to:
- Engaging my state park system director directly regarding barking dog problems. In addition to the letter sent, I have followed up by phone and email on this issue and the director is interested in ameliorating the problem. Indeed, the pet regulations have become MUCH more strict recently (wonder why!).
- Engaged individual park managers and park rangers regarding the problem.
- Engage State Police at planning meetings. They also seem interested.
- Engage National Forest Service managers at open houses. They seem interested in solving the problem.
- Engaged my county executives and county attorney directly via certified mail and I have followed up with emails and phone calls. They took my issues seriously enough to shelve an objectionable change to barking dog legislation. So far, this appears to be a “Korean War” type outcome. Hey, at least its only difficult to go after the nuisance barkers and not impossible! So, now you do NOT need a neighbor to co-sign the complaint and the dog can only bark for 10 minutes. YOU ARE WELCOME!
Why do these people even listen to me? BECAUSE, I am active and engaged. See, I don’t spend all my time blogging, I am actually OUT THERE doing useful things. These people respect me because I cut new hiking trails in Florida in June. They respect me because they know I do the right thing, and without the support of people like me their jobs would be very difficult, perhaps impossible. They respect me because I am face to face with them and don’t snipe at them from some internet forum. They respect me because they know I don’t have to get out of bed at 5am on a Saturday and work all day for free so Florida hikers can enjoy a safe hiking experience, but I do it anyway!
See, these are the people who make the rules and enforce those rules. THOSE are the people you have to engage directly and convince. Preaching hate to a bunch of converts on some obscure web-page won’t do SQUAT.
So, you may ask… why do I have THIS forum? Primarily to organize all of my thoughts in a place that can easily be accessed. This forum is a tool, but only one tool of many at my disposal.
In any case, I put forth the effort to earn all this “political credit”, but unfortunately I have to burn it all up in this unending war against the “dogtopians”! These efforts benefit others: Thanks to me and people like me, you are now more likely to experience an outdoor adventure in peace and safety… that did NOT happen by itself! Likewise, wildlife has a better chance of “making it” without constant harassment from out of control pets!
The alternate title of this essay was “Freedom ain’t free”, because it SURE ain’t! A while back I wrote that to hold a right, one must demonstrate the ability to assert that right. What that means is:
- Get OFF YOUR DEAD ASS!
- EXPEND SOME EFFORT!
- LEARN THE NATURE OF THE PROBLEM/EDUCATE YOURSELF!
- BURN SOME SOCIAL AND POLITICAL CAPITAL!
- TAKE SOME RISK!
- MAKE THINGS HAPPEN!
To change the subject just a little. Dog owners enjoy a huge advantage. Why do you think that is? Did that happen ALL by itself? NOPE… it happened because THEY are going to government planning meetings and open houses. THEY are staging protests. THEY are confronting executives and law enforcement. THEY are “packing” planning meetings, town halls, and open houses. THEY are out there actively promoting their interests. AND, those interests are often in conflict with YOURS! This is a WAR and THEY are shooting at YOU! WHAT are you going to do about THAT?
Know what, if you won’t assert your rights, YOU do not deserve them! They do not exist! Look, ANYBODY can sit and complain! Was it complainers sitting on their asses who won world war II or ended slavery? NO! If peace in your home were truly one of YOUR rights, you would do whatever you must to defend that, as I DID. If you won’t do whatever you must to defend that right, then that right simply does not exist.
Whats even worse is, some of you make a POINT of doing nothing useful! You have institutionalized worthless whining! Your position is, “I flat out, pointedly refuse to do anything useful but I will sit here and hurl insults at anyone who does!”. Wow, how could the world turn without the likes of YOU?
Furthermore, you whiners do NOT have the right to criticize ANYBODY. You have not earned that! How DARE you sit in peace and comfort and criticize those who fight your fight for you! YOU go out there and do what I did and THEN come back and criticize! The fact that I am making our neighborhoods and parks better for the likes of YOU makes my bile rise… again, if it benefitted only YOU I would not bother! I respect the dog-nuts more than you because THEY at least put forth the effort! You want to mix it up? You want to “take me for a walk”? If you want to sit at the adults table, you need to act like one and any 3 year old can bitch and complain!!
Put up or shut up!