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Amlord
The LA Times had an article on Saturday entitled "A Comeback for Big Government" which focuses on Conservatives which are upset about the big government implications entailed with the rebuilding of New Orleans.

QUOTE
In making his case for Social Security personal accounts this year, Bush has repeatedly warned Americans about the dangers of becoming overdependent on government benefits.

But in discussing government aid to the stricken areas Thursday, he declared: "The people who have been hurt by this storm … need to know that the government is going to be with [them] for the long haul."

He added, "In all the steps we take, our goal is not to simply provide benefits, but to make them easy and simple as possible to collect."


German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder used Hurricane Katrina in a recent debate as an argument for "strong government, not weak government". link

In the Washington Post, columnist Anne Applebaum opines that the successes in the Katrina story were private successes while the failures were failures of government bureaucracy. Whose Victory, Exactly?

Question for Debate:

Do events like Hurricane Katrina point out a need for a strong central government or does the dependance and bureaucracy that often accompanies strong government outweigh the benefits?
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Eeyore
Do events like Hurricane Katrina point out a need for a strong central government or does the dependance and bureaucracy that often accompanies strong government outweigh the benefits?

We do have a need for a strong central government and we have one. Maybe it stalls some of the concerns for reviving state and local powers in the face of the the strong government we have.

But I see events like Hurricane Katrina as a need for a reform of government and a wakening of the bureaucracies with better governance policies. (ie better auditing and budget oversight)

As for the first line of the opening post, Conservatives upset about big government have had plenty to be concerned about before Katrina arrived.
lordhelmet
QUOTE(Amlord @ Sep 14 2005, 11:21 AM)

Question for Debate:

Do events like Hurricane Katrina point out a need for a strong central government or does the dependance and bureaucracy that often accompanies strong government outweigh the benefits?
*



The latter. The problems with the relief effort were related to the bigger bureaucracy resulting from the huge homeland security bureaucracy and the lack of coordination with local and state government officials who apparently are ignorant of US law and the US Constitution.

Making more bureaucracy to fix a bureaucratic problem is not a "solution".

By the way, it raises the hair on the back of my neck when we hear German high officials arguing on behalf of a "stronger centralized federal government". No thanks. We've been there and done that. Ve have Vays of Fixing Ze Problems!
Just Leave me Alone!
Do events like Hurricane Katrina point out a need for a strong central government or does the dependance and bureaucracy that often accompanies strong government outweigh the benefits?

This disaster showed the problem with being dependent on Big Government. Once you create a situation where the government is expected to fix everything, you are going to have these types of "failures". Government is inefficient(see debit card debacle) and cannot possibly meet every need. Instead of looking for our own solutions, we are chanting "We want help" now. Government was not only slow to provide that help, but it actually stopped the private sector from delivering the help many times. And that is the biggest tragedy. This strong central government has hampered the ability of the most effective philanthropists from fixing these problems ourselves.
turnea
Do events like Hurricane Katrina point out a need for a strong central government or does the dependance and bureaucracy that often accompanies strong government outweigh the benefits?
I think some posters are letting ideology speak rather than reality.

The fact is the Katrina situation and especially New Orleans's devestation is a prime example of the importance of able government.

Conservatives seems just as apt to consider "Big Government" the source of all ills as liberals are to assume "Big Business" is the same.

If we look at just the situation in question it is clear that a natural disaster of this magnitude is a textbook case of a situation where the private sector is virtually powerless.

Wal-Mart wasn't distributing food to the Superdome and Starbucks wasn't passing out drinks in the Convention Center.

Disaster relief is not a private sector speciality, it is unprofitable and dangerous.

The government (and charities) are the ones who do the dirty works and the federal and possibly the state governments were the only ones with the resources to do what needed to be done.

There is no "looking for you own solutions" when you're knee-deep in polluted water surrounded by thousands of starving thirsty people. Unless you mean looting.

Government is not intrinsically ineffcient or inept. Likewise the private secotr is not automatically better suited to any job.

In Katrina the private sector was entirely out of its depth. (Pun intended)
Renger
Do events like Hurricane Katrina point out a need for a strong central government or does the dependance and bureaucracy that often accompanies strong government outweigh the benefits?

I think Turnea is hitting the spot, when he wrote:

QUOTE
If we look at just the situation in question it is clear that a natural disaster of this magnitude is a textbook case of a situation where the private sector is virtually powerless. .

Wal-Mart wasn't distributing food to the Superdome and Starbucks was passing out drinks in the Convention Center.

Disaster relief is not a private sector speciality is unprofitable and dangerous.


In times of need the government is possibly the only able institution to help the people. It has all the resources and the know-how to to handle distastrous situations like.

QUOTE
By the way, it raises the hair on the back of my neck when we hear German high officials arguing on behalf of a "stronger centralized federal government". No thanks. We've been there and done that. Ve have Vays of Fixing Ze Problems!


Lordhelmet, I do not understand what you are trying to say here. I hope you meant it as some kind of joke. It is wrong to compare Schroder's statement with the NSDAP (nazi-party) and its black history. Schroder's words are maybe difficult to understand for you or other Americans, but they are clearly logical within the context of Germany's social-democratic political mentality. I am a supporter of this view, the same question (liberal-capitalism v.s social-democracy) is also of prime importance in Dutch politics. We are accustomed to have a strong central government that takes care of all the basic needs of society especially in the case of well-fare and health care.
Amlord
QUOTE(turnea @ Sep 14 2005, 12:43 PM)

If we look at just the situation in question it is clear that a natural disaster of this magnitude is a textbook case of a situation where the private sector is virtually powerless.

Wal-Mart wasn't distributing food to the Superdome and Starbucks wasn't passing out drinks in the Convention Center.



Walmart alone has donated over $20 million in cash. It has delivered, free of charge, over 1,500 truckloads of merchandise. food for 100,000 meals, and is promising jobs to all of its displaced workers. It provided 150 computers for shelters so that victims could locate their families. Source

The number of times the government got in the way of private or corporate efforts to help in this situation are too numerous to describe. If the government would simply get out of the way, in many cases it would be better.

I am constantly reminded of the quip by Ronald Reagan: "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" Truer words were never spoken.

Those who expect the government to do everything are sure to be disappointed. Heck, those who expect the government to do anything for them are asking for a lot.

I am not against the government lending a hand. What I abhor is when the government gets in the way of individuals solving problems. Which is does to an awefully large degree.

Large, centralized authority leads to large, centralized bureaucracy. This slows things down and allows things to slip through the cracks. It does not make things more efficient, it makes things less efficient.
lordhelmet
QUOTE(Amlord @ Sep 14 2005, 02:11 PM)


snip

Large, centralized authority leads to large, centralized bureaucracy.  This slows things down and allows things to slip through the cracks.  It does not make things more efficient, it makes things less efficient.
*



Thanks for pointing out the blatant errors in the previous post regarding private aid. My wife's company sent an entire truckload of clothing items to that area. The clothes were donated by employees. I cleared out a lot of my old clothes, the kid's, shoes, etc. Most were in excellent shape. That's just one SMALL example from the private sector that has been replicated time and time again.

More bureaucracy equals less accountability. We're seeing that now. The mayor is pointing fingers at the state and the feds. The state is pointing fingers at the feds and the city. The feds are pointing fingers at the state and local governments. All are, in some way, correct.

In retrospect, putting FEMA under homeland security wasn't a good idea. A rapid organization is a small and nimble organization with few layers, not a massive bureaucracy with many competing fiefdoms.

Big government is the problem, not the solution.
Just Leave me Alone!
QUOTE(Turnea)
If we look at just the situation in question it is clear that a natural disaster of this magnitude is a textbook case of a situation where the private sector is virtually powerless

The private sector includes charities Turnea. Look at the Red Cross and what they have achieved alone.

QUOTE(redcross.org)
Red Cross Help for Survivors
Sheltering Operations
Since Hurricane Katrina made landfall, the Red Cross has provided nearly 2 million overnight stays in 895 shelters across 24 states and the District of Columbia. On Tuesday night, Sept. 13, the Red Cross housed more than 61,600 survivors in 327 shelters.
Relief Workers
Nearly 92,000 Red Cross workers from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have responded to Katrina. During this effort, the Red Cross has trained an additional 74,000 people in specialized disaster relief skills.
Feeding Operations 
The Red Cross, in coordination with the Southern Baptist Convention, has served more than 8.4 million hot meals and more than 6.6 million snacks to survivors of Hurricane Katrina. On Tuesday, Sept. 13, the Red Cross served more than 365,000 hot meals.
Financial Assistance
The Red Cross is expanding its efforts to provide financial assistance to upwards of three quarters of a million survivors dispersed across the nation. Assistance is provided in a variety of ways, including client assistance cards, vouchers, checks and cash.


So the private sector certainly is distributing meals and drinks, as well as shelter and money for clothes. Would you call that powerless?

Now should the Red Cross be running pumps to get the water out of New Orleans or fixing the levies? No. Do you need a strong central government to achieve this though? No. The Army Corp of Engineers has about 1600 people involved in the entire recovery effort doing these things as well as providing ice and water, temporary roofing, temporary housing, power assessment, and debris removal across the area impacted. The government certainly has a place in this. I just do not believe that they should be handling everything. Law enforcement, rescue, and infrastructure are the government’s forte. Distribution of food, shelter, clothes, and medicine generally are not government strengths because those basic needs differ so much from individual to individual. They require individual attention to be done effectively. The government is impersonal to ever do this well.

QUOTE(Turnea)
There is no "looking for you own solutions" when your knee-deep in polluted water surrounded by thousands of starving thirsty people.
After the fact, it was difficult to leave. Not impossible though. That sort of defeatist statement is what leads to the dependence on government that caused all of these problems. We had notice of this storm. There were opportunities to evacuate and more would have left if our old friend the government had not given people false hope of protection at the Superdome. Before the storm, people left at the rate of 18,000 an hour. Now it’s more like 18,000 a day. Can you say that those who relied on the government were better off than those who didn’t?

QUOTE(Turnea)
Government is not intrinsically inefficient or inept. Likewise the private sector is not automatically better suited to any job.
I agree. The government does not have to be woefully inefficient, but you must admit that their track record is not the greatest. Perhaps that is because it is so "strong"(read Big) and centralized?
turnea
QUOTE(Amlord)
Walmart alone has donated over $20 million in cash. It has delivered, free of charge, over 1,500 truckloads of merchandise. food for 100,000 meals, and is promising jobs to all of its displaced workers. It provided 150 computers for shelters so that victims could locate their families.

...and the federal government has donated many thousands times this amount.

Both are a little late in my opinion, but better late than never.

I was referring to the immediate aftermath when discussing where the private sector would be powerless. Private sector workers (indeed all non-essentials) were to have fled the scene by then.

QUOTE(Amlord)
The number of times the government got in the way of private or corporate efforts to help in this situation are too numerous to describe. If the government would simply get out of the way, in many cases it would be better.

Pure Hypothetical. If it weren't for the government busing the survivors out and the government sending troops we would likely have had thousands more deaths from dehydration and violence.

There were problems in the government response, yes. They are not intrinsic to government and are correctable.

QUOTE(Amlord)
I am constantly reminded of the quip by Ronald Reagan: "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" Truer words were never spoken.

I suspect that tens of thousands of people in the Superdome would have been overjoyed to hear those "frightening" words. whistling.gif

QUOTE(Amlord)
Large, centralized authority leads to large, centralized bureaucracy. This slows things down and allows things to slip through the cracks. It does not make things more efficient, it makes things less efficient.

Decentralized authority carries its own problems. Coordination is required to reduce redundancy. Security costs for private groups can be prohibitive. The Red Cross doesn't have its own National Guard for instance.

Private Groups have far more limited funds and resources than the federal government.

The private sectors play an important part, sure.

The government does as well, especially in the immediate aftermath.
Google
Hobbes
Do events like Hurricane Katrina point out a need for a strong central government or does the dependance and bureaucracy that often accompanies strong government outweigh the benefits?

Well, I guess as usual, I have a different take on these events. First, the failures of the government response were not size related, but had to do with improper planning...which could have occurred (and did) with any size of government. Second, the rebuilding and recovery spendoff that will now occur is not example of the benefits of a large, central government, but rather will demonstrate how politicians of any ilk seldom waste an opportunity to spend money (after all, its not their money that's being spent, is it?). Not that I'm against federal involvement in the recovery, as that is essential...just that much of that spending is going to be more politically motivated than anything else, which is a shame. Massive amounts of money are therefore going to be either wasted or misspent, and I am never in favor of that. So, while our large central government is therefore going to demonstrate its ability to take care of those effected, it is also going to be incredibly wasteful in doing so....and quite possibly create problems that are going to take additional money to address later, as well. Basically, I don't think the debate should be for or against central government....the quest should be for efficient, effective government. This, in theory, has nothing to do with size...although given inefficiency and waste, it is always preferable to have that in small quantities as opposed to large ones.

One thing to consider is that the entire recovery could have been taken care of without any federal government involvement whatsoever. Were FEMA or anything similar not to exist, states could easily have banded together and provided their own disaster relief fund and programs. Such a fund might easily have been used to prevent what happened in NOLA, as that fund would have advocated preventative measures in its own self-interest. Just another example of how much governmental work could be taken care of through private or self-funded interests, almost always more efficiently.
Amlord
QUOTE(turnea @ Sep 14 2005, 03:02 PM)
QUOTE(Amlord)
The number of times the government got in the way of private or corporate efforts to help in this situation are too numerous to describe. If the government would simply get out of the way, in many cases it would be better.

Pure Hypothetical. If it weren't for the government busing the survivors out and the government sending troops we would likely have had thousands more deaths from dehydration and violence.


I wonder if homesteaders in the Old West were waiting around for government wagons to come along to cart them away from Indian raids? Maybe they hid in caves with no food or water and wondered when the calvary was going to arrive?

The point is that because these people expected the government to help them, they were woefully disappointed. How long, exactly, would you wait around for someone to drop off some water or food? Would you wait until you died?

It would be interesting to see demographic numbers on those that chose to go to the Superdome or the Convention center (the shelters of "last resort"). These people stayed, and stayed, and stayed. After about 4 hours, I think I would have seen the writing on the wall.
turnea
QUOTE(Hobbes)
One thing to consider is that the entire recovery could have been taken care of without any federal government involvement whatsoever.  Were FEMA or anything similar not to exist, states could easily have banded together and provided their own disaster relief fund and programs.  Such a fund might easily have been used to prevent what happened in NOLA, as that fund would have advocated preventative measures in its own self-interest.  Just another example of how much governmental work could be taken care of through private or self-funded interests, almost always more efficiently.
*


An interesting theory though of course that would not really be a private effort, but an effort of governments on a state rather than federal level.

In any case the states could have done that even with FEMA's existence. They chose not to likely for the same reason the levees weren't upgraded years ago.

Procrastination is a human failing that hit the public and private sector alike.
Edited to Add:
QUOTE(Amlord)
I wonder if homesteaders in the Old West were waiting around for government wagons to come along to cart them away from Indian raids? Maybe they hid in caves with no food or water and wondered when the calvary was going to arrive?

Actually the homesteaders were often preceded by the US military killing off the Indians and "persuading" them to "allow" settlement..

Possibly a bad example there Amlord. tongue.gif

There was more "self-reliance" then yes, also more death and destruction. The self-reliant homesteaders and the armed thugs of the "Wild West" were often one and the same.

QUOTE(Amlord)
The point is that because these people expected the government to help them, they were woefully disappointed. How long, exactly, would you wait around for someone to drop off some water or food? Would you wait until you died?

Until I sprouted the wings needed to fly out of town.

What exactly do you think they could have done?

QUOTE(Amlord)
It would be interesting to see demographic numbers on those that chose to go to the Superdome or the Convention center (the shelters of "last resort"). These people stayed, and stayed, and stayed. After about 4 hours, I think I would have seen the writing on the wall.

..and started looting with the best of them.

Be realistic.
blingice
QUOTE(Amlord @ Sep 14 2005, 09:21 AM)
Do events like Hurricane Katrina point out a need for a strong central government or does the dependance and bureaucracy that often accompanies strong government outweigh the benefits?
*



This is another situational question, like the majority of questions on the site.

Central governments, in Katrina's case, are very necessary. These people can't possibly control what would happen to them after Katrina unless the government helped them. It isn't like where a kid has a greater chance than other kids of becoming president because he has more resources, more money, etc. All of the people with Katrina are at the same place. The only place they can go without the government is down. If the drug addicts keep doing drugs, then they won't even have a house or food because they are sacrificing the money for drugs. If they don't help each other, then they don't get anything fast at all. So in this situation, they should be saved by the government, because, realistically, how can they even survive without governmental help?

Welfare benefits should end after 5 years unless of certain circumstances. This is where government shouldn't be relied upon. Drug addicts (usually a common homeless situation) have 5 years to become sober and earn money. Otherwise they can be homeless. Mentally ill and mentally retarded people probably should have their own facility if they don't have family members to care. It is safer for civilians and the ill person. So many of the monetary benefits are situational.

In terms of overcontrol, I wouldn't worry. The US has seemed to have a quite unshakeable system.

I didn't fully understand your question, so if I didn't answer it right, please reword.
Renger
QUOTE(Amlord @ Sep 14 2005, 08:11 PM)

I am not against the government lending a hand.  What I abhor is when the government gets in the way of individuals solving problems.  Which is does to an awefully large degree.

Large, centralized authority leads to large, centralized bureaucracy.  This slows things down and allows things to slip through the cracks.  It does not make things more efficient, it makes things less efficient.
*



You are absolutely right with these two statements. The government does have a tendency to monopolize aid. If individuals try to solve certain problems the government should stimulize that, getting the way doesn't help anybody.

Centralized bureaucracy is certainly a big problem that not only the U.S. is facing. In almost all western countries we are faced with the same problem. Everybody wants to have a well-equipped, professional government, but everybody hates the fact that it costs so much and is in the end so slow and inefficient in its response. I am not sure if it is ever possible to make a government perfect, but we should try hard and be creative in solving this important problem.
Fife and Drum
QUOTE(Hobbes)
First, the failures of the government response were not size related, but had to do with improper planning...which could have occurred (and did) with any size of government.

Well, actually they did plan on a catastrophe of this magnitude in New Orleans. Hurricane Pam was a disaster plan exercise held just over a year ago that was eerily similar to the wrath of Katrina. There’s an old saying in project management, “Plan the work and work the plan”, someone forgot the latter.

With plan in hand this was a matter of failed execution and failed execution is most often the direct result of human error.

The real issue with the ineffectiveness of the Katrina relief efforts was personnel. Mike Brown was no more qualified to run FEMA that I am, Chertoff, while undeniably an intelligent individual has no business running the DHS. I’ve read their “resumes” and fail to see where their collective backgrounds prepared them for these critical jobs. We need people in these positions that are used to making life and death decisions, not political appointees.

Privatizing disaster relief doesn’t ensure we’ll receive better benefits and I’ll argue that it will only add another layer of bureaucracy. There’s not a private organization in the world that could handle a situation if terrorist attack multiple sites, or if Ophelia were to slam the Carolina coast like Katrina. The only organization prepared for such a scenario is the US military.

The USS Bataan, basically a floating medical hospital, was off the gulf shore and waiting for the nod that never came. However this is just one instance where the U.S. has properly trained staff and all the equipment to handle the medical side of a disaster. Why should we “purchase” a private solution when we already have a tax payer product sitting there basically doing nothing. Are we going to give a private organization the ability to call upon the vast resources of the military?

Whether it’s a terrorist attack or a natural disaster I’m sure the response “template” is pretty much the same.

Some of the key immediate response actions:
- Securing the perimeter/area
- Immediate evacuation plans
- Food, water and shelter for the displaced
- Medical assistance

Again, there’s not a better organization to provide these services than what we as tax payers have already purchased: the US military. This disaster is a clear reason why we should rely on a strong central government. The federal government is the absolute authority in this country and in times of indecision when lives are on the line, some one, and not a private citizen, needs the ‘trump’ ability.

Hobbes, I couldn’t agree more with your statements that private organizations are more efficient. But only in execution. If we were to discuss economic efficiency, how could we justify funding a private organization that may not be called upon but once every few years. We have the solution in place that you and I have already paid for, we just need the appropriate individuals in place to call the shots.
Vibiana
QUOTE(Amlord @ Sep 14 2005, 09:02 PM)
I wonder if homesteaders in the Old West were waiting around for government wagons to come along to cart them away from Indian raids?  Maybe they hid in caves with no food or water and wondered when the calvary was going to arrive?

The point is that because these people expected the government to help them, they were woefully disappointed.  How long, exactly, would you wait around for someone to drop off some water or food?  Would you wait until you died?

It would be interesting to see demographic numbers on those that chose to go to the Superdome or the Convention center (the shelters of "last resort").  These people stayed, and stayed, and stayed.  After about 4 hours, I think I would have seen the writing on the wall.
*



Where, and more importantly how, were they supposed to go? I would imagine the people who ended up in a shelter had no transportation and no money. Mind you, I'm not disputing that government aid may have had something to do with their reaching a point of helplessness that prevented them from acting on their own. But they WERE at that point. What could they have done?
Amlord
QUOTE(Vibiana @ Sep 15 2005, 05:01 PM)
QUOTE(Amlord @ Sep 14 2005, 09:02 PM)
I wonder if homesteaders in the Old West were waiting around for government wagons to come along to cart them away from Indian raids?  Maybe they hid in caves with no food or water and wondered when the calvary was going to arrive?

The point is that because these people expected the government to help them, they were woefully disappointed.  How long, exactly, would you wait around for someone to drop off some water or food?  Would you wait until you died?

It would be interesting to see demographic numbers on those that chose to go to the Superdome or the Convention center (the shelters of "last resort").  These people stayed, and stayed, and stayed.  After about 4 hours, I think I would have seen the writing on the wall.
*



Where, and more importantly how, were they supposed to go? I would imagine the people who ended up in a shelter had no transportation and no money. Mind you, I'm not disputing that government aid may have had something to do with their reaching a point of helplessness that prevented them from acting on their own. But they WERE at that point. What could they have done?
*



Maybe it's just me, but I would have walked out of there. I saw hundreds do just that on MSNBC and other networks. Thousands, however, chose to stay.

I was talking with my co-workers about this that week. I told them that if I had to, I'd carry my two children out of that city in 5 or 10 feet of water, it wouldn't matter. All they had to do was walk.
Doclotus
Do events like Hurricane Katrina point out a need for a strong central government or does the dependance and bureaucracy that often accompanies strong government outweigh the benefits?

This question is a tough one to answer because it doesn't seem to leave any room in the middle, which not surprisingly is where my answer sits.

Disaster preparation & relief is one of the few functions that I believe should be almost exclusively coordinated by our government. Not because I think they can do it better, but because I know if they didn't, no one else would. My company is a good example. Prior to 9/11, the concept of a disaster recovery exercise was "great idea, too expensive". After planes were grounded and we couldn't figure out a way to get payroll checks to our 120,000 employees...well lets just say they reconsidered. Since then I've been a participant in 3 successful disaster recovery/business continuity exercises. (hmmm, maybe I should work for FEMA hmmm.gif )

The fact that government failed the people on one of its very basic, and most critical functions lay at the heart of this tragedy. It neither proves the need for a strong central government, nor disproves it. Government should still be responsible for this function, but Katrina proved that we clearly aren't ready to handle it. This should be a wakeup call for FEMA, DHS and state and local governments to get its act together. There does need to be a Federal management of this function, to ensure that all states have a plan that can be executed. But all levels of government need to be involved, and participate in the exercises to ensure we can execute when the time comes.

9/11 shifted some of this focus on terrorism, and rightfully so. But it should not do so at the expense of natural disaster preparedness, and it seems as though that may partly be the case. The Federal government doesn't have to be all powerful in this area, but it does have a strong role and it needs to be effective.

Doc
turnea
QUOTE(Amlord @ Sep 15 2005, 04:14 PM)
I was talking with my co-workers about this that week.  I told them that if I had to, I'd carry my two children out of that city in 5 or 10 feet of water, it wouldn't matter.  All they had to do was walk.
*


Walk where exactly, into the flooded city of putrid likely disease ridden water where armed thugs were running the streets at will?

This was no time for a stroll, the best they were likely to get out of it is a few wonderful moments where you can explain why that dead man's bloated body looks so gross to the kids. sour.gif


It's pure speculation to say what you "would have done" especially if that action would have gotten you nowhere anyway.

It's simply an exercise in blaming the victim rather than acknowledging the failure in response.

Again, this is ideological knee-jerk politics at work in the "self-reliance" angle. I'm sure there are plenty of dead "self-reliant" people in the streets of New Orleans.
Just Leave me Alone!
QUOTE(Fife and Drum @ Sep 15 2005, 04:45 PM)
Whether it’s a terrorist attack or a natural disaster I’m sure the response “template” is pretty much the same.

Some of the key immediate response actions:
- Securing the perimeter/area
- Immediate evacuation plans
- Food, water and shelter for the displaced
- Medical assistance

Again, there’s not a better organization to provide these services than what we as tax payers have already purchased: the US military.  This disaster is a clear reason why we should rely on a strong central government.  The federal government is the absolute authority in this country and in times of indecision when lives are on the line, some one, and not a private citizen, needs the ‘trump’ ability.
*


I like your key response actions Fife, and thank you for the plan link. In terms of securing the perimeter/area and immediate evacuation plans, I am with you completely. The military is best suited for these actions and having society expect the government to handle law enforcement and rescue operations does not create a situation where government inefficiency outweighs the benefit that they provide. The problems occurred when the government stopped others from handling the food, water, shelter, and medical assistance. By trying to handle those things as well, the government lost focus on the things that only government can provide effectively. Should the National Guard have been handing out water or stopping the lawlessness in the city? I have no problem with the military storming in. They should. You are absolutely right, that that is why they are there. But they should be doing the top two items of security and rescue first and foremost, not the bottom two humanitarian aid. Private organizations can and do a great job of handling the bottom two. Should the government help coordinate these private groups and provide support for them? Absolutely. But the Federal government doesn't have to be all powerful in this area. IMO, the dependence and bureaucracy created by having a strong central government in these humanitarian areas outweighs the benefits that they provide.
Amlord
I'm not sure that people have thought through the implications of the military's role in this. We have laws governing what the military can do in domestic situations and we have them for a reason.

Should the military be involved in every rescue and recovery operation? Should the Secretary of Defense trump the local and state government automatically in times of crisis?

I read in Newsweek that Rumsfeld was very reluctant to step on the toes of the governor. He didn't want the military to do police-type work. Such work was better suited to the National Guard which is trained specifically for such situations.

The military is certainly not a first responder.

I'm not sure how to respond to the assertion that the military should be assisting in evacuation plans. To my knowledge, the evacuation plans for most places in the US are sketchy at best. How can the military follow a plan that doesn't exist? How can anyone? Should we invest the time and resources on evacuation plans for every major US city? For every small city? For every town? Certainly if such plans are devised, they are going to be done on a local level (where the expertise would be) and I'm not sure that such a plan would (or should) rely on outside resources. The military has resources for search and rescue, but not really for mass evacuation.

In a more general case, how prepared should FEMA or DHS be for other hurricanes? For Hurricane Ophelia, which hit a few days ago in the Carolinas, should the government have pre-emptively declared a disaster area? declared martial law?

How far in advance should we really expect our government to be able to see? How much resources should we invest in such an effort? How much local control should we give up?
Fife and Drum
QUOTE(Amlord)
I read in Newsweek that Rumsfeld was very reluctant to step on the toes of the governor. He didn't want the military to do police-type work.

Oh that’s right, our military is only suited to provide police-type work in foreign countries. How can they be asked to provide the same service by those who actually pay their salaries.

And if you leave it up to the local police than you risk the exact situation that we witnessed: officers who may have been killed in the storm and those who just simply quit and walked off. So who handles armed thugs and looters at this point? I would agree that National Guard troops should be used, maybe for securing the area, but they have no where near the equipment to handle emergency evacuation.

QUOTE(Amlord)
I'm not sure how to respond to the assertion that the military should be assisting in evacuation plans. To my knowledge, the evacuation plans for most places in the US are sketchy at best. How can the military follow a plan that doesn't exist?

Did you read my link to FEMA that detailed the fictitious Hurricane Pam? The only real difference is they planned for New Orleans to be under ten feet of water. Since FEMA is under the DHS are you also saying that the DHS shouldn’t use the military?

I see evac plans as two tier: preemptive and emergency. Actually the preemptive evacuation plans, for those who heeded the mayors warnings went very well, it’s one of the bright spots in this mess. Regardless of the situation, terrorist attack vs natural disaster there will always be those that for what ever reason can’t get out of town ahead of time, they’re going to need emergency assistance.

I just heard that there are/were more helicopters on the Gulf Coast than all of Iraq. Do you really expect local forces or the National Guard to duplicate this equipment? My point is one of economic efficiency: we have already purchased the crew and gear to handle the services needed in these times. I would think maximizing tax payers dollars would appeal to conservatives.

QUOTE(Amlord)
Should we invest the time and resources on evacuation plans for every major US city? For every small city? For every town? Certainly if such plans are devised, they are going to be done on a local level (where the expertise would be) and I'm not sure that such a plan would (or should) rely on outside resources. The military has resources for search and rescue, but not really for mass evacuation.

To answer your first question, we already have, and these plans include coordination and communications on all levels of government and utilizing local expertise. I agree with CJ’s comments in his “blame” thread that got closed. We’ve spend hundreds of billions of dollars on the DHS (including the massive management bonuses and extravagant parties they’ve grown accustomed) and where’s the beef? They should be planning for all types of major disasters, with very specific targets, and down to the nitty gritty details. Else you and I have been picking up a large tab for excessive bonuses and parties.

QUOTE(Amlord)
In a more general case, how prepared should FEMA or DHS be for other hurricanes? For Hurricane Ophelia, which hit a few days ago in the Carolinas, should the government have pre-emptively declared a disaster area? declared martial law?

Katrina snuck up on no one. Most of us probably watched this storm cross Florida into the gulf and picked up steam as it headed to the coast. And I’m sure a good deal of us watched Ophelia linger off the Florida coast before heading to the Carolinas and barely reaching Cat 1 status before it struck. If those disaster planners in FEMA/DHS can’t tier their response efforts off of predicted damage and estimated scenarios than once again you and I have been taken for an expensive ride.

QUOTE(Just Leave Me Alone!)
The problems occurred when the government stopped others from handling the food, water, shelter, and medical assistance. By trying to handle those things as well, the government lost focus on the things that only government can provide effectively.

I couldn’t agree more that the volunteer organizations provide those base necessities better than the military. But the government was trying to suspend Red Cross and Salvation Army workers from immediate assistance because the day of and the day after the hurricane hit it was reminiscent of a wild west town. They were concerned for the safety of volunteer workers and there should be plans to handle this situation.

In was just simply inexcusable for our government to fail in getting those at the Superdome and Convention Centers MRE’s and water. They have used the Superdome before with previous hurricanes and you can’t evac people to an area and not expect to provide them with the basics and that includes contingency planning to do so.

And until someone can provide an explicit example of how a private organazation could have handled this situation better, from start to finish, than I'll stand by my claims that this is the perfect example of a need for a strong central goverment.
Hobbes
QUOTE(Fife and Drum @ Sep 15 2005, 02:45 PM)
The real issue with the ineffectiveness of the Katrina relief efforts was personnel.  Mike Brown was no more qualified to run FEMA that I am, Chertoff, while undeniably an intelligent individual has no business running the DHS.  I’ve read their “resumes” and fail to see where their collective backgrounds prepared them for these critical jobs.  We need people in these positions that are used to making life and death decisions, not political appointees.


I don't think personnel were the root cause...that seemed more a matter of loss of communication, and command & control. That is the part that I think should have been better planned out...loss of that didn't seem to be in anyone's plans. Personnel, IMHO, may have had to do with failure to plan for that, but certainly had an impact on inability to deal with it effectively once it occurred. (Guess the disaster plans weren't really intended for a disaster, eh? And who was the idiot who decided that the pumps should rely on power supplies that would be out of commission in the event of a flood everyone knew was eventually going to happen, thereby rendering the pumps useless when they would be needed most!!??, or that the pumps themselves should not be designed to work in submerged conditions? Give those idiots a couple of buckets and tell them to get busy, they've got a lot of work ahead of them.)

QUOTE
Privatizing disaster relief doesn’t ensure we’ll receive better benefits and I’ll argue that it will only add another layer of bureaucracy.  There’s not a private organization in the world that could handle a situation if terrorist attack multiple sites, or if Ophelia were to slam the Carolina coast like Katrina.  The only organization prepared for such a scenario is the US military.


Although I am ideologically supportive of smaller federal government, I have no problems with this being handled at the federal level. Were it not, there would just be too many areas which would not opt for proper coverage, leaving the government holding the bag for their failures anyway (imagine if FEMA didn't exist...could the federal government then actually simply do nothing and say they should have made plans for that? I hardly think that's politically possible). I do wish such government agencies were run more like a business, though...in that they should be set up to justify their costs. For example, the federal cost of what would happen if a hurricane hit NOLA should have been factored in when deciding whether or not to fund better levees. Basic 'an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure' stuff. Unfortunately, in our government each departments budget is isolated, so such tradeoffs are never considered...and none have any real cost justification.

QUOTE
Hobbes, I couldn’t agree more with your statements that private organizations are more efficient.  But only in execution.  If we were to discuss economic efficiency, how could we justify funding a private organization that may not be called upon but once every few years.  We have the solution in place that you and I have already paid for, we just need the appropriate individuals in place to call the shots.


Actually, that would be just like any other insurance. How often do people use life insurance...never more than once a lifetime, eh? The problem, as I stated above, would be that most communities would decide it was too expensive. Which, I might add, they would probably also decide if given the choice at the federal level...its just that such costs get buried and not discussed. If people were forced to actually directly pay for most governmental services rendered, those services wouldn't exist...which is the basis of my argument against holding them at the federal level to begin with.

I agree with this. The problem, as I stated above, is that the 'plans' didn't allow for loss of commication. Therefore, many of the triggers to release various resources, or direct them where they needed to go, went away. It took a couple of days to recover from this...that is the delay that everyone saw. Essentially, a few sets of combat phones could probably have mitigated the whole thing....that's the really sad part.
Just Leave me Alone!
QUOTE(Fife and Drum @ Sep 16 2005, 03:22 PM)
In was just simply inexcusable for our government to fail in getting those at the Superdome and Convention Centers MRE’s and water.  They have used the Superdome before with previous hurricanes and you can’t evac people to an area and not expect to provide them with the basics and that includes contingency planning to do so.

And until someone can provide an explicit example of how a private organazation could have handled this situation better, from start to finish, than I'll stand by my claims that this is the perfect example of a need for a strong central goverment.
*


It was unfortunate that those people in the Superdome did not get food and water. I agree that once the government opened those areas to evacuees, then it was the governments responsibility to get them passage out of the city and fed in the meantime. That is exactly the type of dependence being created that I think causes more problems than it solves. If the government would have focussed on getting people out of the city instead of providing false hope to them and taking on responsibility that it is ineffective at meeting, then many of these problems never would have happened. The military could focus on order, rescue, and protecting volunteers. Trying to distribute food creates a line of people with their hands out and distracts from stopping the violence first and foremost.

No private organization is going to handle the security and policing of an entire city. If you agree that the private organizations are better at handling humanitarian aid, then why does one group have to handle everything from start to finish?
turnea
QUOTE(Just Leave me Alone! @ Sep 19 2005, 03:12 PM)
It was unfortunate that those people in the Superdome did not get food and water.  I agree that once the government opened those areas to evacuees, then it was the governments responsibility to get them passage out of the city and fed in the meantime.  That is exactly the type of dependence being created that I think causes more problems than it solves.  If the government would have focussed on getting people out of the city instead of providing false hope to them and taking on responsibility that it is ineffective at meeting, then many of these problems never would have happened.

..again this is ideology talking rather than reality. Consider first of all that your are not advocating an elimination of "dependence" on the government at all with your suggestion. Your simply asking the government to do something different to serve its constituents, which is fine in and of itself, but don't try and cloak it in the language of independence.

Secondly:
"Dependence" was entirely irrelevant to what happened in New Orleans. What people saw was not the "welfare state" at work but the stark reality of poverty. If would have happened even if the government did absolutely nothing.

QUOTE(Just Leave Me Alone!)
The military could focus on order, rescue, and protecting volunteers.  Trying to distribute food creates a line of people with their hands out and distracts from stopping the violence first and foremost.

Wow, now that's just backwards. laugh.gif

The violence was a secondary concern at best. At most a couple hundred people were affected. Meanwhile tens of thousands are at risk of dehydration and hospital patients are dropping like flies.

Violence was not the priority.

Categorizing those still in the city as "people with their hands out" betrays a lack of understanding about the situation. These people had no where else to go, if the government didn't provide emergency food, water and medical care, they lives would be forfeit as many were.

QUOTE(Just Leave Me Alone!)
]
No private organization is going to handle the security and policing of an entire city.  If you agree that the private organizations are better at handling humanitarian aid, then why does one group have to handle everything from start to finish?
*


The fact is that the only organization large and powerful enough to handle the immediate aftermath of a hurricane is the government.

The private sector is simply not equipped to do enough.
Vermillion
Firstly, the whole big-government, small-government issue is no longer clear along ideological lines. Obviously, big-government is not necessarily the answer to solving problems arising from crisies such as Katerina.

Why is this obvious? Because the President of the United States that has presided over the single largest percentage increase in the size of government is George W Bush Jr, and yet his huge government (or, to be more accurate, a huge government with him at the helm) was clearly not up to the task of dealing with Katerina's aftermath.

To present this as a big vs. small government ebate is to pretend we are in the pre-neocon era, back when Republicans actually stood for small government, rather than for increasing the size and power and influence of government as much as humanly possible.
Just Leave me Alone!
QUOTE(turnea @ Sep 20 2005, 10:24 AM)
QUOTE(Just Leave me Alone! @ Sep 19 2005, 03:12 PM)
If the government would have focused on getting people out of the city instead of providing false hope to them and taking on responsibility that it is ineffective at meeting, then many of these problems never would have happened.

..again this is ideology talking rather than reality. Consider first of all that your are not advocating an elimination of "dependence" on the government at all with your suggestion. Your simply asking the government to do something different to serve its constituents, which is fine in and of itself, but don't try and cloak it in the language of independence.
*


Ideology rather than reality Turnea? That is an awfully nice way of calling me a liar mrsparkle.gif . I think it is a completely reasonable reality to believe that people would have been better off if the government had not tried to do everything and opened the Superdome. We saw the results for those who went there.

While I am not advocating the complete elimination of dependence on government, I am advocating removal of the direct distribution of humanitarian aid the government provides so woefully because of the dependence it creates. I think that I have made that very plain and clear. I don’t appreciate your insinuation that I am somehow ‘cloaking’ ph34r.gif my true intentions. Can we not be dependent on some things and not others?

QUOTE(turnea @ Sep 20 2005, 10:24 AM)

Violence was not the priority.

Categorizing those still in the city as "people with their hands out" betrays a lack of understanding about the situation. These people had nowhere else to go, if the government didn't provide emergency food, water and medical care, they lives would be forfeit as many were.
*


That is all your opinion. Tell those victim to the violence that it wasn’t a priority. The government stopping rape and murder may not be as important to you as the government providing food and water, but it is to me. Mainly because others can provide food and water.

QUOTE(turnea @ Sep 20 2005, 10:24 AM)
The fact is that the only organization large and powerful enough to handle the immediate aftermath of a hurricane is the government.

The private sector is simply not equipped to do enough.
*


The private sector is equipped to feed, house, and care for the needy. I just cannot understand why you do not believe this. Where do you think that the government gets all of its resources? The private sector. With the Red Cross alone providing a third as many hot meals as the government gave MREs, is it not possible that things would have been better if the government spent it’s full energy on evacuating people, providing order, and fixing the infrastructure? You say the poor would have starved. I say the poor would have gotten out of N.O. to safety a lot faster and lived.
turnea
QUOTE
Ideology rather than reality Turnea? That is an awfully nice way of calling me a liar

Sorry if that's what it sounded like, it's certainly not what I meant. It was a way of saying that it appears to me that you are letting ideology shape your view of reality rather than the other way around.

You're making assumptions I believe are unbacked.

For instance.

QUOTE
I think it is a completely reasonable reality to believe that people would have been better off if the government had not tried to do everything and opened the Superdome. We saw the results for those who went there.

Yes and those who payed close attention saw the results for those still in the city who did not.

You seem to think that relocation to the Superdome and evacuation from the city are two options that everyone had the choice to make. That those who were in the Superdome were there because they wanted "hand-outs" and the true, blue, independent-Americans all got out of town in time.

That is simply your assumption unbacked by the evidence.

The fact is, some families did not have a way out of town and had no choice but to go to the emergency shelters.

QUOTE
While I am not advocating the complete elimination of dependence on government, I am advocating removal of the direct distribution of humanitarian aid the government provides so woefully because of the dependence it creates. I think that I have made that very plain and clear. I don’t appreciate your insinuation that I am somehow ‘cloaking’  my true intentions.

..again I don't mean "cloaking", purposefully rather I meant that your suggestion to limit dependence does nothing of the sort.

Removal of the humanitarian aid would have meant thousands of people starving to death in New Orleans and a wave of looting that would stun anyone not present on the scene.

People tend not to understand the nature of a city because they only see it when it's working. Human beings cannot live in such concentrations without the backing of technology.

When the tech fails a lot of people are going to die if they don't receive help quickly.

No sizable city can feed itself for a week.

QUOTE(Just Leave Me Alone!)
That is all your opinion. Tell those victim to the violence that it wasn’t a priority. The government stopping rape and murder may not be as important to you as the government providing food and water, but it is to me. Mainly because others can provide food and water.

... no they can't. They don't have the equipment to ship such loads through the flooded city. They don't have the money to spend on all that food with no hope of a profit.

The fact is food and water are two of the most basic of biological needs they far outweigh even law and order in an emergency as hungry dehydrated people will be neither law-abiding nor orderly.

QUOTE(Just Leave me Alone!)
The private sector is equipped to feed, house, and care for the needy. I just cannot understand why you do not believe this. Where do you think that the government gets all of its resources? The private sector. With the Red Cross alone providing a third as many hot meals as the government gave MREs, is it not possible that things would have been better if the government spent it’s full energy on evacuating people, providing order, and fixing the infrastructure? You say the poor would have starved. I say the poor would have gotten out of N.O. to safety a lot faster and lived.

Notice your figures. The Red Cross provide a third of what the government did. If you add in the actual number of total aid, is far less than that fraction. The government is the only entity with billions on hand at a moments notice.

Perhaps the government could have tried harder to evacuate people but it would still be the government carrying the load. The private sector was nowhere to be found in the immediate aftermath, they ran like everyone else.
Just Leave me Alone!
QUOTE(turnea @ Sep 20 2005, 12:46 PM)
You seem to think that relocation to the Superdome and evacuation from the city are two options that everyone had the choice to make. That those who were in the Superdome were there because they wanted "hand-outs" and the true, blue, independent-Americans all got out of town in time.

That is simply your assumption unbacked by the evidence.

The fact is, some families did not have a way out of town and had no choice but to go to the emergency shelters.
*


What sort of evidence do you need? You can A ) put people on a bus and get them out of town or B ) put people on a bus and ship them to the Superdome where you have left them completely dependent on you for every need. If a family can make it to the Superdome, why can they not make it out of town?

QUOTE(turnea @ Sep 20 2005, 12:46 PM)
Removal of the humanitarian aid would have meant thousands of people starving to death in New Orleans and a wave of looting that would stun anyone not present on the scene.
*


This is simply your assumption, unbacked by evidence. Can you say that with just the private sector feeding people that the government could not have removed those people from the city?
turnea
QUOTE(Just Leave me Alone! @ Sep 20 2005, 12:34 PM)
What sort of evidence do you need?  You can A ) put people on a bus and get them out of town or B ) put people on a bus and ship them to the Superdome where you have left them completely dependent on you for every need.  If a family can make it to the Superdome, why can they not make it out of town?

That's a false choice. First because I'm pretty sure most people who got to the Superdome had to walk, and second because there weren't enough busses to ship this many people on such sort notice. It tooks day to ship them after the storm and it would have taken just as long to do so before hand. That was time they didn't have between the call for evacuation and the storm's landfall.

...and of course the prospects of crowded buses stranded on crowed roads already full of fleeing residents is something to consider.


QUOTE(Just Leave Me Alone!)
This is simply your assumption, unbacked by evidence.  Can you say that with just the private sector feeding people that the government could not have removed those people from the city?
*


I'm not entirely sure if the government could have removed the people. However their ability to to do so did not depend on whether or not they feed the people left behind.

Either there was enough time and enough transportation or not. It's a short story.

Meanwhile the private sector was never going to get that much food into the town in time.

..all non-essential personnel were to have left the city anyway. What private sector workers were going to hang around?
Just Leave me Alone!
I disagree that it would have taken just as long to remove people before the storm as after it. As I noted earlier, people were leaving at a rate of 18k an hour before the storm. Nagin estimated evacuation at 14-15k a day after the storm. Note, Mayor Nagin officially ordered mandatory evacuation on Sunday, August 28th. Now, as late as that call was, that still gave residents about 24 hours notice. Even walking at 1 mile per hour gets you far out of the city.
Also note, the Superdome is next to two highways and is a little over a mile from the Mississippi River. Now granted, just getting that far would not have solved all of your problems by any means, but it shows that people are able to make it to a safe destination. I just believe that the government giving people the impression that the Superdome was a safe destination was a mistake. I believe that had the government concentrated on areas of strength instead, that we would not have faced as severe of a problem.

An example of private sector workers who were ready to move in after the disaster. Red Cross, August 29th.
QUOTE
The American Red Cross is launching the largest mobilization of resources in its history for a single natural disaster. Hurricane Katrina, a deadly Category 4 storm, is barreling ashore this morning along the Gulf Coast and has the potential to leave widespread devastation in its wake.

"Hurricane Katrina is wreaking havoc for southeast Florida and the Gulf coast states," said Joe Becker, Senior Vice President of Preparedness and Response for the American Red Cross. "The Red Cross will meet the challenge by doing what we do best—coming together to respond with tireless compassion to take care of our neighbors."

The Red Cross is mobilizing on all fronts to bring relief to storm victims. More than two hundred Red Cross shelters are housing thousands of residents who fled Katrina’s wrath. All available resources from across the country, including thousands of staff and volunteers are being moved to safe areas, so additional relief efforts can begin immediately after the storm passes. More than 200 emergency response vehicles (ERVs) and countless other Red Cross resources are en route or on the scene to provide hot meals, snacks, bottled water and distribute other much-needed relief supplies. In coordination with the Southern Baptists, preparations have been made to provide more than 500,000 hot meals to storm-weary residents each day.
turnea
QUOTE(Just Leave Me Alone)
disagree that it would have taken just as long to remove people before the storm as after it. As I noted earlier, people were leaving at a rate of 18k an hour before the storm. Nagin estimated evacuation at 14-15k a day after the storm.

A 22% difference at most, not nearly enough to get people out within that single day.

It took at least three day post-storm the speed wasn't tripled pre-storm so your figures betray your argument.

That many people were not going to move that fast without an extraordinary effort by a well-equipped transportation force.

The Red Cross (whose efforts are to be applauded of course) didn't organize bussing out of the city...

QUOTE(Just Leave Me Alone!)
Now, as late as that call was, that still gave residents about 24 hours notice. Even walking at 1 mile per hour gets you far out of the city.

Many of these people had children and elderly family members to worry about. Were were they going to walk without food and water? How were they going to remain safe? Will they just wander the expressway alongside the cars?

Cross the river or the lake that surround the city?

Many did try to walk and were seen in groups stranded on the highway after the storm. Exposed to the sun without provisions.

People aren't herd animals, they don't migrate well on foot. ermm.gif

QUOTE(Just Leave Me Alone!)
I just believe that the government giving people the impression that the Superdome was a safe destination was a mistake. I believe that had the government concentrated on areas of strength instead, that we would not have faced as severe of a problem

No evacuation of any sizable city will ever be complete, especially with only a couple days notice.

Safe shelter is a necessity for survival in these cases.

The key is not to remove the necessary shelter and think that will encourage people to get a better attitude about fleeing across swap land on foot for their lives... rolleyes.gif

..but to make the shelters safe and keep them stocked until evacuation can be completed.

I don't fault the Red Cross or other charities one iota. I think they are doing a tremendous job.

..but the fact is there are jobs they are not equipped to handle. That's should be the government's realm.
Just Leave me Alone!
QUOTE(turnea @ Sep 20 2005, 08:50 PM)
QUOTE(Just Leave Me Alone)
disagree that it would have taken just as long to remove people before the storm as after it. As I noted earlier, people were leaving at a rate of 18k an hour before the storm. Nagin estimated evacuation at 14-15k a day after the storm.

A 22% difference at most, not nearly enough to get people out within that single day.
*


Check your units my friend.

QUOTE(turnea @ Sep 20 2005, 08:50 PM)
QUOTE(Just Leave Me Alone!)
Now, as late as that call was, that still gave residents about 24 hours notice. Even walking at 1 mile per hour gets you far out of the city.

<snip>
Many did try to walk and were seen in groups stranded on the highway after the storm. Exposed to the sun without provisions.

People aren't herd animals, they don't migrate well on foot. ermm.gif
*


Those people on the highway were better off than the people in the Superdome IMO.
QUOTE(turnea @ Sep 20 2005, 08:50 PM)
The key is not to remove the necessary shelter and think that will encourage people to get a better attitude about fleeing across swap land on foot for their lives... rolleyes.gif
*


Turnea, that is a bit of a misrepresentation of my point. When have I said that the government should not help remove people from swapland? Not providing an additional shelter with the promise of protection that you can not possibly provide would in fact encourage people to walk out on their own(when the land is dry). rolleyes.gif

QUOTE(turnea @ Sep 20 2005, 08:50 PM)
I don't fault the Red Cross or other charities one iota. I think they are doing a tremendous job.

..but the fact is there are jobs they are not equipped to handle. That's should be the government's realm.
*


Totally agree. Law enforcement, rescue, and infastructure are jobs left to the government.

There are things that the government is simply not equipped to handle too though. This is where we differ. The government is just as limited, if not more so, in the areas of actual food, shelter, and medical distribution as the private sector is in terms of law enforcement. The government can eventually overcome these limitations by throwing money at a problem hand over fist, but the government will never do those things well.
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