Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Grinch Who Stole New Orleans

I feel for the people who have lost their lives, loved ones and have had their lives turned upside down from the devastation of hurricane Katrina, I really do. But I am going to pi$$ quite a few people off and be accused of being a heartless SOB for what I'm about to write. So be it, someone needs to address this angle.

We have become sheep in this country, completely dependent on the government for things it cannot nor was it ever was ever intended to provide. I am referring to the perception of cradle to grave protection for the totality of our existence.

We can build our homes or businesses on a tectonic fault, an island of Mississippi muck 10 feet below sea level, or on the side of an active volcano. No worries, the government won't let anything bad happen to us or our property, that just wouldn't be fair. We have become so completely dependent on the government for conscience that as long as they say it's OK, it must be the right thing to do. I don't need to use my personal God given sense anymore because the collective intellect of the government is far superior.

Every major life decision we make carrries with it a benefit/risk ratio. And oftentimes with a greater benefit also comes an increased risk. So it goes concerning where a man chooses to reside. Florida's ocean front is wonderful, mild climate, no snow, fantastic views, gentle ocean breezes, and........HURRICANES. California, also great, exceptions..... EARTHQUAKES/MUDSLIDES.

Do the people that choose to live in these high risk areas not bear some of the responsiblity for the plight many will inevitably find themselves in? After all, with several areas of the country it's not a matter of if a certain natural phenomenon will occur, but when. There are a few dozen areas on the southern coast that get dinged by hurricanes practically every year, I mean they know they're coming. Whether these people who live in these "high risk" areas choose to accept it or not, they are rolling the dice, betting their life that the big one won't happen to their particular slice of paradise. A risky wager for sure, but that's not how many perceive it. The omnipotent all seeing all saving government is there to protect them.

If nothing else this is a wake up call for those who adhere to this deluded rational. The choices we make do have consequences and the government is not always in a position to insulate us from the bad ones.

Now, aside from the potential for loss of life, let's address the financial consequences of choosing to live in a high risk area. Should the guy who lives in Minnesota who braves vicious winters every year shoveling literally tons of snow and enduring brutal subzero temps for weeks at a time be responsible for rebuilding Joe Gulf Shores home every few years? Should the guy in Oklahoma who pays extra every month for homeowners insurance with a tornado rider routinely bail out the guy who chose to build or purchase his home on a flood plain?

My solution, let these folks who decide to reside in a high risk area self insure. Nothing like personal financial reponsibility to clarify ones mind and sharpen up decision making. My guess, one helluva lot less people would choose to put themselves in harms way if it was clear that they personally were reponsible for the consequences of there choices.

No comments: