FEMA And Heartless Federal Aid

FEMA7643 FEMA and Heartless Federal Aid

Five boroughs in New York City and towns in New Jersey continue to struggle with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy—storm damage, power outages, and of course the clean-up. The damage is unprecedented, and the images are startling.

Once again, a major natural disaster—like Hurricane Katrina—questions the role of the federal government and its polo shirt, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Should disaster response fall on the shoulders of FEMA, the states, or private individuals? At its core, the question is about money and, more importantly, where the heart of giving lies.

The late economist Milton Friedman made it simple and said money is spent four ways. First, Friedman said you could spend your money on yourself. You’ll save as much as possible and get the most for your dollar. It’s like buying a certified pre-owned car.

Second, you could spend your money on someone else. You’ll still save as much as possible but will care less about the quality. For example, you buy a blanket for someone living on the street. If it’s warm and does the job, you’re not worried about the thread count. It helps a person in need to get by until they’re on their feet. In the Christmas context, it’s the horrendous, corded sweater for a distant relative. It was on sale, and you’re just sure (more so, desperate) it’s the right size.

As for Friedman’s first two ways to spend money, they both involve a person. That person, having a heart, recognizes a need and uses his money to meet it. The interests are aligned; the person who made the money spends the money.

Third, Friedman said you could spend someone else’s money on yourself. You’ll get the best money can buy, but you won’t fret over how much it costs. It’s the tasty nectar of the expense account. That business lunch will be exquisite and the check in the triple digits.

And finally, you could spend someone else’s money on someone else. You’ll neither worry about the quality or the amount spent. It’s a terribly inefficient combination. Worse, it’s the federal government’s daily M.O. It takes our money and spends it on others.

Perfect example: FEMA trailers. They’re low quality, high-priced relief wagons used to house those rendered homeless by Sandy and other major disasters. Prime targets for those who assail government waste, the trailers were a major issue during Katrina’s aftermath and FEMA’s ineffective response.

Money aside, the heart of giving lies in individuals, not the federal government. Ignore the illusive pile of “compassion” liberals try to sell in times of need. It’s shallow, fleeting, and still leaves you stranded. Following Sandy, a Wall Street Journal editorial commented about the federal government’s role:

Citizens in the Northeast aren’t turning on their TVs, if they have electricity, to hear Mr. Obama opine about subway flooding. They’re tuning in to hear Governor Chris Christie talk about the damage to the Jersey shore, Mayor Mike Bloomberg tell them when bus service might resume in New York City, and Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy say when the state’s highways might reopen.

Ultimately, disasters that cause severe, local impact call for efficient, localized responses. More than that, they call for individuals to bind together, identify specific needs, and help each other. Sure, FEMA can drop-off countless trailers, chainsaws, and other resources.

But lacking a combined brain—much less a heart—the expansive agency will mess up. After Sandy, some neighborhoods in the Northeast received aid while others didn’t. The neighborhoods that didn’t would have made national news under a Republican president (e.g., under George W. Bush, circa 2005). At least Kanye West can’t call President Obama a racist.

In early England and America, churches and other groups—by majority—took responsibility for social services like relief for the poor, downtrodden, and sick. Whether it was taken or given up, that role is now—by majority—in the hands of a heartless federal government.

And because it spends money that others earn, its response with respect to Hurricane Sandy is inherently flawed. It can neither identify needs appropriately, nor meet them effectively. That’s the outcome when government takes the heart out of giving and taxes its people to do so.

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  1. Sign the petition to have a new election or to have recount of the election https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/recount

  2. I live in lower Manhattan and I saw first hand the inefficiency, ineptness and corruption of city, state and federal governments. The polititions were giving speeches about what a great job they were doing. Meanwhile the unions were dragging out the repairs and making a fortune and the people affected by the storm got nothing. Government is the problem and never the solution to anything.

  3. I wonder how many would vote for this charade again…..He is just a talking head and got a great photo op to bolster his image for re-election….. I feel terrible people, you got what you voted for so now just go pick up the pieces and keep telling your self what a moron you were…

    • You wonder how many would vote for him again? Well, they voted for him, AFTER he did as much DAMAGE as he could, in the FOUR years BEFORE Sandy, and for some reason, they STILL beleive he is their “savior”! You ask how many would do this again? I beleive that the entire lot of those idiots would rush out and do the same thing all over again! Because, basically, people are really stupid, quite stupid! They listen to WORDS, they did not, do not, examine the history of the one who speaks, or spoke those words, FOUR YEARS AGO, the words that were so bright and promising. Words like “hope and change”, “transparency”, and all the promises of bringing us together, and other such “nice sounding” phrases. He was going to be “the great peacemaker”, yet, he has been the Greatest Divider since before the First Civil War. And at this point in time, the ILLEGALS and 47% on FOOD STAMPS AND “GOVERNMENT” assistance are the ones whom he is SUPPORTING! Not those who have been so damaged by this latest disaster, Sandy! Yet, they would STILL GO OUT AND GIVE HIM THEIR VOTES AGAIN! I have lost faith, confidence in not only this “government, and “””media”””, ” But also, faith in the American people, or, I’ll write it this way regarding those “american” people! Because I do not consider them as my fellow Americans, for they have chosen “one” who is NOT an American to be THEIR ‘president”! Two reasons for this beleif, one is that he has “darker skin” and as Romney so truthfully and aptly put it, “the 47% of them are on “government” assistance” in one, or more ways. And as Limbaugh put it, “it’s hard to beat Santa Claus”! They neglect however, to realize that after a time, that we who work, and pay our taxes, have no jobs, thanks to their “one”, who has intentionally destroyed jobs, and with no jobs, taxes cannot be paid into the “kitty” to feed their “assistance” driven desires and demands. After a while, the “free stuff” will cease to come their way, and they will not have anyone to steal from……yet, I sincerely beleive that these takers, and free loaders would do the same as they have done, TWICE now, vote for this robbing, stealing, job killing, freedom murdering, anti American, American hating, American destroying, mu SLIME, SLIMEY BASTARD AGAIN AND AGAIN! Because, most of all, these FREE LOADERS are more afraid of being labeled a “RACIST” than even that fear of not eating! To not vote for this half WHITE SLIMEBALL, would be to open themselves up to being called a (gasp, gasp!!) RACIST! I have absolutely NO MORE FAITH IN these anti America beings than I do that thing, THAT OFFENSE in office, who goes by the name of Barack HUSSEIN Obama! Only God knows who he is exactly, and WHERE HE CAME FROM! But one thing we CAN be sure of, is that his HEART IS BLACKER THAN HIS SKIN IS OR EVER WILL BE! Oh, and as his hair has gotten BLACKER since the election, with the help of either L’Oreal, or Grecian Formula, his heart and soul may have also become even BLACKER THAN HIS SKIN in the process! The more power he has, the more EVIL he becomes by the moment! It is a matter of wait and see. And what we will surely see is that his RULE will become even BLACKER AND DARKER THAN EVER BEFORE! Getting to where he is now was no problem, but GETTING HIS BLACK ASS OUT IS GOING TO BE A PROBLEM OF EPIC PROPORTIONS!!!

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