Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Katrina Shines a Light on Government Incompetence
The disappearance of freedom has had a personal effect on all of us. Personally, I was outraged when American citizens lost their property rights in the Kelo vs. New London Supreme Court decision, I felt the presence of Big Brother with the passing of the Real ID Act , and I have grieved for all of the lives lost for our “War on Terrorism” . Recently, our country has experienced the worst natural disaster in it’s history with the fury of hurricane Katrina, and I once again find myself grieving for lives lost due to lack of freedom and oversized government.

How did lack of freedom and oversized government contribute to the chaos and destruction we saw in the aftermath of Katrina? I can sum it up in one word. Dependency. We know that most of the people who were not able to evacuate the Gulf Coast region, were below the poverty line, and were dependent on government social programs. It is much easier for someone who is in poverty to take a check provided by a faceless organization than it is to tighten their belts and a take a financial blow in order to improve their own lives. Benjamin Franklin said it best, “I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer”. Anytime you take away a persons sense of self- preservation through socialist programs like welfare, Medicare, and social security, you also take away their sense of personal responsibility. When people no longer have the idea of personal responsibility they begin to become dependent on others for the basic necessities, such as food, water, medicine, and shelter, which are needed to sustain life. We all know now just how dangerous it is to depend on others for the basic necessities in life, and we SHOULD all know how reckless politicians have been by playing on our emotions to secure votes.

Imagine if we had a government that was limited only to ensuring that our individual liberties were protected. How could things have been different? First of all, more people would know how to take care of themselves. If they couldn’t afford to evacuate, or didn’t want to leave their homes, they would have at least had enough responsibility to gather rations of food and water before the hurricane hit. They would not have had the “someone will take care of me” mentality. Able bodied young men wouldn’t have stood outside the “Super Dome” doors shouting demands for help while watching old women and children die. Instead they would have reacted, trying to obtain food and water for themselves and their loved ones. They would have had enough intuition to hunt or try to purify enough water to sustain them. Second, the arrogant government agencies would not exist and could not turn away private charities, businesses, like Wal-Mart, and nearby citizens who reacted much quicker than the government. F.E.M.A. would not exist to pat themselves on the back while people were dying waiting for the relief that they had been promised. People would not fall victim to the empty promises that “help is on the way.” The local government would not have been able to squander tax dollars on a levee system that could never work, and wouldn’t make sense in a free market. Third, without the huge size and cost of our current government, more people would be able save or take care of themselves in a more appropriate manner. Maybe they could save the near 50% of their income that goes to pay for the government failures. After all, only 30% of all money taken in for the welfare program gets to the needy families. Without that ridiculous 70% operating cost, maybe they could have saved enough money and rented a bus to take them and their family members out of the area. Maybe they would have taken their lives into their own hands ensuring their own survival. Finally, without government provided protection for corporations, insurance companies would not be able to do more business than they can handle. You wouldn’t go to Home Depot and pay for a shovel that they didn’t have. Insurance companies should not be allowed to hide behind our government when they sell us “protection” that they can not provide, and our government shouldn’t step up to the plate and pay for the incompetence and mismanagement of insurance companies. Our tax dollars ensure that wealthy CEO’s and stockholders of insurance companies can file bankruptcy and keep money in their own pockets while the people they have done business with sit in financial ruin. If you pay for a shovel you should get a shovel, and if you pay for “protection” you should get “protection”. If we hadn’t allowed our government to get out of control, many of the people who lost their lives would have had a fighting chance. Less government is more freedom, more freedom means more responsibility, more responsibility is better response and more ability.

Only a government body would look mother nature in the eye pound it’s chest and laugh in her face, and only a government body would look at the devastation caused by such defiance and decide to hold a meeting and a press conference to decide what to do, only a government body would turn away the people who decided to act, while the meetings and press conferences were taking place, and only the government would say “Go home we can handle this”, and only a government body would sit around and point fingers at everyone but themselves when their arrogance failed so many. This is exactly what happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and it is time to send the oversized government beast back to where it came, before we loose more precious lives, more property, and more liberty. However, it seems that our government will never recognize it’s own failures. Our public servants are already starting to say that F.E.M.A. and Homeland Security needed more money and more power to “protect” us. Our government has always worked this way, feeding itself by failing. Already 62 billion dollars has been promised to rebuild New Orleans and the president is trying to get 200 billion dollars more of our money to throw at the problems in New Orleans and other areas affected. That money could pay every citizen of New Orleans over $412,000, this is not to mention all of the money raised by private charities, and the money paid out by insurance companies. Your bill for this is $671 directly plus interest, since we already have an 80 billion dollar deficit we can expect to pay on the interest alone for generations to come. Write a note to your great-great-great-great grandchildren and thank them for paying our bills for incompetent power hungry bureaucrats. When will this insanity end? When will the American people wake up and realize that we are killing ourselves, and disabling generations to come? When will we go back to a system where private charities, families, churches, and communities step up to help each other out, not by force but by true love and real compassion? The “give me” mentality has to stop, and it has to start with slashing our government quickly and permanently now!

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