Sunday, December 04, 2005

Here Comes the Story of the Hurricane(s)

A totally reactionary post, a response to comments I read on AOL:

It isn't fair that taxpayers in safer areas have to subsidize those who choose to live in more hazardous locales, said Veronique de Rugy, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. She warns that too much federal support for disaster victims will foster a sense of complacency. People will have no incentive to purchase flood insurance or hurricane-proof their homes if they believe that the federal government will step in and bail them out after a disaster.

I know it's hard for rich right wingers to understand, really I do. But can't they stretch the imagination just a little bit and envision a world in which people didn't buy flood insurance, not because they were complacent, but because they couldn't afford it? My parents were not dirt poor, but they had no home insurance until we were all grown because they didn't have the money.
Ooh, and here's a mind-boggler. Maybe people don't always choose to live in these locales. Maybe they're born there, have few educational and career opportunities and, thus, don't have the money to move. Or maybe, poor people (as dysfunctional and God-forsaken as they are AND despite the fact that only right wingers understand and "value" family) love their families, communities, and friends and have a sense of attachment.
And what do people like this woman assume that poor people think the federal government will do on their behalf? Most of the federal government's programs of social provision are so stingy and stigmatized that they are rarely worth the effort it takes to apply.

"On some level it makes sense that the federal government should help, but there should be a lesson," de Rugy said. "People who have behaved in a completely irresponsible way by not taking any insurance should lose something."

Irresponsible? Oh, de Rugy, see my comments above. And as far as losing something, I would think the loss of your literal and figurative home, your family history, your family, your job, your way of life, your immediate world (and I could go on) would be enough to qualify for some sort of aid.

To pay for the rebuilding, de Rugy suggests the following cuts:
On her list, de Rugy offers up employment training and services ($5.4 billion), vocational and adult education ($1.9 billion), state grants for child support enforcement ($4.3 billion) and a $9.6 billion chunk of NASA's $16.5 billion budget.

Why am I not surprised by the programs she chose? Aside from NASA, they are the programs that would most likely enable these people-who-need-to-be-taught-a-lesson to escape their impoverished circumstances. Of course, de Rugy and those of her ilk (and I hope that does sound like a putdown, because my nose is definitely turned up in distaste) don't see the need for federal assistance in education and training. You should have the money to pay for this yourself because if you and your ancestors had just worked hard, saved, and been models of (Christian) piety, you wouldn't be poor!! I mean, it's obviously a sign of God's disapproval if you don't achieve the American dream. You're supposed to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, for God's sake!

Even if all your shoes were washed away in a flood...

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