Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Tale Of Two Ideologies

I am sure many of my readers have scratched their heads and wondered what I have against government programs and intervention. Although I have feverishly and desperately tried to articulate and demonstrate my rationales behind my bias, there may be some that still do not understand. My, how I have tried.

But try as I might many times over, I cannot do near as good of a job of conveying my reasonings, as this article published today in USA Today.

Two communities, two miles apart, are the subject of this examination. One used private funds to re-build, the other is still waiting on the government and is nowhere near being back to normal.

Imagine that.

This shows that reliance on government is not only a philosophical mistake, but it also just plain foolish. I say this because time after time, it is clearly demonstrated that the government cannot run anything nearly as efficiently, as the private sector (with the exception of public safety). We see it over and over again, yet, there are still many people that have this faulty trust and confidence in a system that cannot do anything marginally well, except levy and collect taxes. And believe me, they are experts at that.

Anyone that thinks that the government is going to do a better job of fixing anything that is broken, would do well to consider the tale of these two towns, featured in this article. Let it be an example of what to expect, the next time someone is tempted to put their faith and trust in a system that is weighed down in so much corruption, bureaucracy, and red tape. There are times that I consider it a miracle, it can cut it's own paychecks. But they are certainly able to do that quite well, wouldn't you say?

I know what some of you are thinking, right about now. You are thinking that if George Bush hadn't put in his crony as Director of FEMA, this wouldn't have happened. Some of you may even be thinking that Democrats would have never allowed this to happen, because they represent the common man, that is to say, they care more about people.

If you are one of these people, ask yourself something. Toss this question around your inquisitive mind: If Democrats are this all-wonderful group of compassionate people that care more about the citizens of the area hit hard by Katrina than does the filthy rich GOP Administration, why hasn't the DEMOCRAT-led Congress failed to do anything to help these people that are still sitting there (two years later), waiting for the government to rebuild their community?

Then in all of you ponderings on that one, let me know what you come up with.



Footnote
~ And while we are at it, consider the government's reaction time in handling the aftermath of this horrible disaster, whenever you are tempted to buy into the notion that the government can do a better job of running healthcare, than the private sector. (While you are at it, take a look at more skewed data being fronted out by ABC's John Stossel)


4 comments:

Greg said...

If Democrats are this all-wonderful group of compassionate people that care more about the citizens of the area hit hard by Katrina than does the filthy rich GOP Administration, why hasn't the DEMOCRAT-led Congress failed to do anything to help these people that are still sitting there (two years later), waiting for the government to rebuild their community?

Another question would be why is it that Mississippi, which was at least as devastated as Louisisana by the storm, recovered so much better than it's Democratically-run neighbor.

I see your point on gov't in general, but gov't could be made stronger and better able to respond to disasters. We've simply chosen to create a deliberately weak central gov't, accepting all the pros and cons that are attendant. A perfect illustration of this was when Governor Blanco withheld her permission for several days for federal soldiers to come into her state (they were in Mississippi immediately, saving people). The feds have one hand tied behind their back, and I personally like it that way (and apparently so do Louisianans who have continued to support the politicians who told the feds to stay out while they suffered). Had we chosen a totalitarian system where the gov't can pull a bus up to your house and order you to evacuate, where the gov't can force you to move elsewhere permanently, where the gov't can essentially do whatever it needs, we'd also have a gov't that can basically do whatever it wants. It's a difficult trade-off.

LASunsett said...

Greg,

//...but gov't could be made stronger and better able to respond to disasters.//

In rescue and recovery, yes. But when it comes to rebuilding, I cannot see how waiting for the government to bail people, in lieu of insurance and private contractors.

Greg said...

LAS: it would be easy - just not in America. Take China, for example. If a flood devastates a group of villages, the gov't can erect new public housing elsewhere, anywhere, really. It can be done quickly with what is essentially slave labor, ignoring whatever of the building code gets in the way. Then the gov't moves in to the devastated area, puts everyone on buses, and says, "Here's you're new home." Doesn't matter if it's 1,000 miles away from home and they don't know anyone. Doesn't matter if they don't want to live there. They need to be housed, and here's an efficient way to solve that problem. No one will complain b/c (1) they got new housing, didn't they? and (2) they don't have the right to complain anyway. Effective, surely. But neither of us want to live in that country. That was my point.

In America, we instead need to have an endless debate about what the "soul" of the 9th ward is so that we can rebuild it in a way that is "respectful." Local groups form to lobby the city, the state and Congress. Private business interests do their own lobbying to promote their "vision." Politicians on all levels clamor to be viewed as the savior of the 9th ward; or if that's not possible, to attack some other politician's plans as "disrespectful of the residents." Then if a plan is ever agreed on, the fight starts about who is going to pay for it and who is going to get all the contracts to do the work. So maybe a decade later, the 9th ward gets reconstructed only to be flooded out again by the next huge hurricane, and the process starts all over again. American democracy: totally inefficient, endlessly frustrating, but still the best system for us, IMHO.

Greg said...

BTW, I'm in favor of never rebuilding the 9th ward until someone invents a levy system that can withstand another Katrina without bringing more environmental problems than the current levy system has brought to the area. I'd even be in favor of a big gov't hand-out to former residents of the most low-lying areas of NO so that they can pick up an move to higher ground. It'll never happen, though.