Rebuild it, and they will stay…

New Orleans floodedYes, I’m a cold-hearted insensitive bastard for even asking this question now but, oh well…

Should tax-payer money be used to rebuild communities that reside in areas where natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes etc. are regular occurrences?

The initial estimate for the hurricane Katrina disaster runs between $12 and $26 billion. Insurance will cover some of the cost, but ultimately tax-payers will end up funding the rebuilding process through FEMA (Which is now part of the Homeland Security Department). Despite the documented abuses of FEMA funding claims in the past, is this organization encouraging irrational behavior by paying people to rebuild and continue living in areas prone to these disasters?

Somebody asked me after we experienced three of the four hurricanes that hit Florida last year and then witnessed first-hand the abuses of FEMA declarations: Is it altruism when it’s forced?

Hey, you paid for it, might as well get it back right?

Update by Stephen VanDyke: Some people may not know that FEMA requires people in certain flood zones to carry mandatory flood insurance that pays something like $250K (if I heard it on TV right). New Orleans is definitely one of those areas that’s deemed high risk.

The kicker here is that mandatory insurance is also only offered by the government, who seems to have a monopoly on the flood insurance industry.

  1. Not Yours To Give

    One day in the House of Representatives a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support. The speaker was just about to put the question when Davy Crockett arose:

    “Mr. Speaker–I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living, if there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has not the power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member on this floor knows it.


  2. Damn straight Doug!

    I am all for people donating to disaster relief if they want. Obviously, there are some things that one can never plan for. However, there is a certain thing called common sense. Building a 5 million dollar mansion on the San Andreas Fault is an act of sheer stupidity. If an earthquake comes, do the American citizens have to pay for this guys house? If the U.S. Government was running an all-out insurance policy then yes. However, that doesn’t appear to be the case (at least in my copy of the constitution).

    So no Mike, you’re not a cold hearted bastard. My brother, who is a geology major, told me yesterday that his professors have been groaning for his first 3 years in school that the destruction of this city was merely a matter of time. But nobody wants to be the party pooper and leave.

    Well, mother nature has made the decision for them. Let’s not rebuild, please. You can build a bigger levy, but you’re still below seal level folks.