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January 7, 2006

Hurricane Katrina Again: Can Government Work?

-- by John Emerson

People are still arguing about Katrina. Here's what I wrote on Crooked Timber, slightly edited:

"Jet, all of the blame has not been shifted to Bush, except in your paranoid mind. The hurricane has almost been forgotten. A few people who weren’t already Bush-haters blamed Bush for it, and this was one of the very large number of nonfeasances and malfeasances in various areas which have caused his popularity to drop somewhat, but basically nothing happened and nothing will happen. Even the hapless "Brownie" has not suffered significantly for his incompetence; he’s just changed jobs.

Because it is an article of faith deep in your heart that government is just plain no damn good, you will never, ever, be able to distinguish between better government and worse government, nor will you ever try to do so, and you will actually cheerlead “anti-government” governmental leaders like Bush or Schwarzenegger who deliberately sabotage government in order to increase the mindless anti-government cynicism of the blind, ignorant masses of little" jets" out there.

Everything that was not done, or that was done badly in NOLA, has been done well elsewhere in the world -- most of Holland is below sea level, for example. Grand Forks was destroyed by a wintertime flood a few years back, but that was under Clinton, not Bush, and it was white people, so the government reponse was adequate. Downstream in Winnipeg damage was slight, because the jackbooted, parasitical thugs of Canadian Communism had used the tax dollars of the poor, helpless Manitobans to force them to prepare for a big flood which no one could prove was even going to come at all."

Posted by John Emerson at January 7, 2006 8:23 AM

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Comments

Very good points. Yes, there is indeed such a thing as good government, we've had good government in the past, and we're not likely to get any now, even though this is a period in which we need it more than ever. We not only need functioning government when we have natural disasters, and to prevent incidents like the WV mine explosion, but for God's sake what would we do if we did have another major terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11, or possibly even more serious, and find that we're individually on our own dealing with the aftermath?

Because it's been carried out in secret and the media hasn't been reporting anything about it, we are totally unaware of the extent to which Bush has gutted the federal government, replacing experienced professionals with his cronies and industry personnel who can benefit from this. The first clear sign of what's going on was the lack of FEMA response to the disaster in New Orleans. There was a discussion today on C-SPAM about the way the regulatory agencies have been gutted and the professionals replaced, even down to the lower levels, but this has been happening throughout the government and this was the first discussion of it I've ever heard.

Posted by: MJ at January 7, 2006 3:08 PM

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