Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Extend the Evacuation

(Broadview Heights, OH)- Since the disaster of Hurricane Katrina some three years ago, the failures have been pinned squarely on government, generally upon two targets: FEMA, and the President. The has always struck me as odd, since New Orleans has a municipal government, and Louisiana a state government, and somehow they went relatively blameless. The argument usually goes that a disaster on that scale requires federal response. OK, so, should the National Guard have been sent to contain New Orleans' looters? Or, should the fleeing New Orleans police have borne some responsibility?

But, I digress into particulars.

In very few quarters were calls for personal responsibility tolerated. The poor people of New Orleans were just innocents facing the wrath of Mother Nature.

I once always thought that people should be permitted to live anywhere they want. If they choose to live below sea level, they can accept the responsibility of their choice.

No more. Americans have spoken. They do not believe in self-responsibility. They do not believe that they should accept the consequences of their choices.

Very well. If I, as a resident of Indiana, have to constantly see my tax dollars going towards the rebuilding of infrastructure for people who make incredibly dumb choices, such as living in an area that's going to be pounded by hurricanes every three years or so, as Gustave now illustrates, it's time to become practical and to adjust.

It's time for the federal government to ban all occupancy below sea level.

It just doesn't make any sense to be an idealist on the issue any longer. I'm all for liberty in tandem with self-responsibility. But liberty in tandem with collectivism is dangerous. We all have to pay for bad choices? What kind of stupidity is that? No, let's reduce the stupidity. Let's extend the evacuation of New Orleans through forever. No more living below sea level, or in flood plains- unless and until those who live in such places bear 100% full responsibility for such a choice.


varangianguard said...

What? That kind of sounds like environmentalist talk to me. Don't build on the flood plain, or the like.

Paddy said...

While I will always believe that there should be a safety net for occurences that are far outside the norm I totally agree with your stance on personal responsibility.

How does this view, which seems to be centered around natural disasters transfer in to other areas? ie welfare, government student loans, medical insurance, etc. Do you place this solely at the feet of personal responsibility? Is there a need for some types of government spending in this area?

Mike Kole said...

VG- It isn't environmentally motivated. It's fiscally motivated. You build in a floodplain, you will sustain damage. It's that simple. That the taxpayers pay for the decision is just wrong. 'Floodplain' is simply a word indicating an area prone to periodic (100-year, etc) flooding.

Paddy- In my perfect world, there would be no need for any safety net, as people would be actualized as self-responsible. It ain't a perfect world, and the safety nets intend to address that fact. Problem is, safety nets often encourage (or forgive) that which they are intend to smooth over. We get that we shouldn't feed the deer, because it causes them to become dependent upon human handouts. Why don't we get that humans aren't terribly unlike deer in that regard?