Himself and I discussed this in-house a few days ago but I saw it again on Advice Goddess and thought I'd comment on it. Apparently down in Tennessee, if you live in a rural area, you can 'opt-in' to fire protection--that is, you pay a fee to the county or the fire department and if your house catches on fire, they will come and do their level best to put it out. It's like insurance--you hope you don't need it but it's probably worth the $75 a year to have it.
Here's the kicker--they really mean it--if you don't pay your fee and your house catches on fire, they will not put it out. They will come out and save your neighbor's house when the fire jumps from your burning edifice to theirs, because they did plan ahead. The moron/slacker in question said: "I thought they'd come out and put it out, even if you hadn't paid your $75, but I was wrong."
So he thought that he'd get a service that he didn't pay for. His statement shows that he was aware of the fee, but that he thought he could slide by and they'd take care of him anyway. And in many places, he'd be right. And I think that those other places would be wrong to take care of him if he didn't pay a negligible fee to have the fire department put him on their list.
People are starting to get used to not paying for things, to being carried, to abrogating responsibility because there are no consequences for actions. This guy learned differently--there are actually consequences for actions, as there should be. Was this an extreme consequence?? Yes. But all of those people who overextended their finances on houses and are fighting foreclosure should also be learning this lesson. If you don't pay, then you don't get to keep your house. It's just that simple.
7 months ago