Continued from page 1

But wait! This just in!

Turns out counties and towns across the country lifted bans on all sorts of previously dangerous fireworks. Have they suddenly become safe? Has modern medicine advanced so far that we no longer have to worry about injuries from firecrackers? Has society suddenly become fire-retardant?

No, not that at all. Turns out, all these governments just need cash.

“Desperate to find any source of untapped revenue, many cities, counties and states are scrapping decades-old restrictions on firework sales, trying to rescue budgets battered by several years of economic doldrums,” the New York Times reported as the holiday neared.

Officials in one county estimated they could raise $200,000 in sales taxes and permit fees by letting their residents run wild with dangerous pyrotechnics.

Not that this is any sort of news flash, but it is a fitting reminder as we have passed another Fourth of July, celebrating our violent overthrow of a tyrannical and unresponsive government, that governments by nature do not give one whit about you and me.

They go to great lengths to pretend to care about people blowing themselves up or starting wildfires. But they don’t really care. All government cares about is self-preservation and expansion — which is to say, your money and quiet acquiescence.

Charles Hurt’s column appears Wednesdays. He can be reached at charleshurt@live.com.