The Deadman Night Rider

A forum for evening students of the SMU Dedman School of Law and other outlaws..

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Finally New Orleans appears to be evacuated -

The news lines seems to agree that New Orleans is empty now except for die-hards who don't want to leave for whatever reason. If no other message comes out of this whole mess, it's that it's better to be prepared than not prepared - and that goes for individuals as well as governments. All of the rationalizations for the looting that occurred assumed people were after food and water (although there is growing evidence that was not the case). Either way, I'm taking this as an object lesson in the need to keep a week's worth of food and water along with other emergency supplies on hand at all times, which is hopefully an idea that will catch on.

We're going to hear alot about how various levels of government (depending on your political stripe - lefties are ignoring the fact that the New Orleans and Louisiana authorities, both unrivaled Democratic machines, folded up like cheap tents, while right-wingers are fixated on it) let us down. I think everyone can agree, though, that reducing your reliance on government is a good idea. If everyone who can take care of themselves does take care of themselves, it frees up more resources for those who don't have a choice.

Along those lines, the softest target in the punditry biz today, Paul Krugman, makes an interesting chicken-and-egg argument in his latest column: he claims that government (notably Federal, given Kruggy's leanings) performed so dismally because we've been told by the right for 25 years that they are the problem, not the solution. "Killed by Contempt" is his term for it. I can see his 'self-fulfilling prophecy' point, and casting it in the best light, I can agree that we always need to demand better government. I think it's a stretch, though, to say that accepting the truth that bureaucracies are slow, unresponsive, and reactive causes it. Disaster relief is one of the narrow areas where government is tailored to perform, and we're obviously not satisfied with the results - call me a nasty old conservative, but I think that tells us alot more about its inherent limitations than our attitudes.


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