THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. Welcome to the Home of Hyperopia.: Well, Mr. President ...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Well, Mr. President ...

... I guess that's one conclusion you could draw from the Hurricane Katrina debacle.

I'm talking about his speech last night. During which, according to, he said:
  • "It is now clear that a challenge on this scale requires greater federal authority and a broader role for the armed forces -- the institution of our government most capable of massive logistical operations on a moment's notice."

See: CNN article (emphasis mine).

The military might just be the most capable institution of the government for this kind of operation. That statement might just be true. But it's hardly a sound justification for President Bush's conclusion. The most capable institution of a group of bumblers is still a bumbler. The armed forces (and all institutions of government) are light years behind private enterprise (Wal-Mart, Costco, etc.) and private individuals in this regard. Expand their role, expand their authority and enjoy increased costs and decreased results for your supper. This is a point Lew Rockwell, Ron Paul, and Gary North (among others) continually make. Why does government get rewarded for failure? Again and again? What are the chance that this time, in this instance, more money will suddenly make government work? Zero. And I know that is a true statement.

Note that disaster relief is not the primary business of Wal-Mart and Costco. Those companies kicked the government's ass on logistics and compassion. And those companies are not in the business of disaster relief (that's FEMA's rai·son d'ê·tre). Imagine how beneficial it would be to our society if the federal government just up and quit the business.

Instead, though, the federal government monopolizes disaster relief (basically). Wal-Mart and Costco have to provide their services around the edges of the government. In spite of the government. If the obnoxious, slow-moving behemoth** of the federales wasn't in there mucking up the show, America would have private enterprises focusing on disaster relief as their primary business.

And we would be enormously better off.


** Here's a great Lew Rockwell column called "Working Around Leviathan" about how there's cause for optimism despite the ever-increasing size and scope of the federal government. I borrowed the "behemoth" concept from that article. It's pretty long, but well worth a read.


Post a Comment

<< Home