Sunday, September 04, 2005

FEMA disaster response: Louisiana vs. Florida

Billmon did a wonderful post on FEMA's lackluster response to the (red-state) New Orleans tragedy, and compares it to FEMA's impressive response to the 2004 hurricane season that effected the election-year, swing-state of Florida last year. There are too many quotes, breaks and bullets for me to reproduce it effectively here, so I'll give you the ending:

So you can see that when the chips are down, and the need is absolutely dire, this administration can still deliver the kind of coordinated emergency response that once made the U.S. government the envy of the world -- just as it cooly and capably protected the Iraqi Oil Ministry from the chaos and looting that trashed every other government office in post-invasion Baghdad. As is usually the case in public service, it's just a matter of having the right incentives.

The comparison between the TLC showered on Florida last year and Bush's initial "What, me worry?" response to this year's disaster no doubt will go unnoticed by the amnesia patients in the corporate media. And since I'm lucky enough to live in a swing state that is also coveted by GOP political strategists, I probably don't have to worry about it either -- that is, as long as any future disasters around my neck of the woods happen in one of those years divisible by two.

But for the citizens of staunch, deep red Mississippi and slightly less staunch but still red Louisiana, the lessons are painfully obvious. If you're going to insist on living in a hurricane alley, then you need to take personal responsibility for your own actions, stop whining about government incompetence, and embrace the free market solution to your problems -- by moving to Florida.

A must-read.


...whereas Daniel Henninger pretends FEMA is utterly worthless (conveniently forgetting their stellar performance in swing-state Florida during an election year) and basically says we should privatize the entire Government (including the CIA and the FBI) because corporations are well-known for putting the public safety first.


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