This Editorial is in response to this New York Time’s Editorial.
Once again, a devastating natural disaster has ravaged areas from North Carolina to Maine. Some 50 million affected Americans are trying to do their best to sort through the devastation and get their lives back to normal.
For the last decade, every time a large natural disaster hits the U.S, big-government junkies try and make the case that it’s the government’s job to get everything back on track. Hurricane Sandy is no different. The New York Times is already trying to sell their case that Americans need ‘Big Brother Government’ to help them recover. However, the government is not going to bring quick relief to those who truly need it; that job is left up to you and me.
But I will reason with the author of this Op/Ed – government does play two roles in disaster relief. In Sandy’s case, transportation all along the eastern seaboard came to a screeching halt. This included the subway systems, trains, buses, airports, and the highway systems. It is the government’s job to fix the holes in the roads and pump the water out of the subway systems.
However in a perfect world, we wouldn’t need the government for these things, and private companies would be able to complete those tasks – that’s a different editorial for a different day. Secondly, the government largely needs to stay out of the disaster relief process. When disaster strikes, people come together to help one another, and those are the people we truly need to rely on.
We all remember Katrina. The disaster relief effort in the aftermath of the storm was long and tedious. Why? Because FEMA and the federal government stepped in to try and expedite the process, but they made the process longer and more complicated than it ever needed to be. On top of that, millions of dollars were lost when those who were affected by the storm decided to take advantage of the government handouts, i.e the debt cards that were handed out.
The Katrina disaster relief effort was absolutely terrible; and in some of the worst-hit areas of Louisiana, life still isn’t back to normal, even though the storm hit more than seven years ago. Thank the federal government for that one.
By contrast, in 2011, a devastating tornado stuck the town of Joplin, Missouri. The storm produced one of the strongest tornadoes ever recorded and also was one of the costliest tornadoes in history ($2.8 billion). After the storm struck, people from all over the country and the region banded together to help all of those affected by the storm. For the most part, the entire town was destroyed; but only a year and a half later, normal life is beginning to resume in Joplin. Houses, schools, and businesses are being rebuilt at an astounding pace.
The Joplin disaster wasn’t completely free of government intervention; but in comparison to Katrina, it might as well have been.
The point I’m trying to get across? The author of this NYT editorial is completely out of touch with the founding history of our country along with freedom and liberty. We, as free Americans, should never need to depend on the government for anything, even when they seem like the only viable option at the time.
As Americans, we desire freedom and liberty. When we depend on the government for anything, we are taking freedoms away from ourselves. In the end, the government isn’t going to be here for us; it’s going to be our neighbors. That’s why when disaster strikes, it is absolutely key that we band together without government and rebuild.
If you were one of those who were affected by Hurricane Sandy, I urge you to not sit down and wait for the government’s “help”, but get outside with your neighbors and rebuild. This is the only way we are going to make a stronger and better America.
Photo credit: Dan Jacobs (Creative Commons)
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