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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Could we have a more rational approach to natural disaster relief?

Actually, no. Fixing the way  emergency  response to natural disasters like Katrina is handled is easy.  In a thought exercise.

If someone a tad more rational than Mass Media Podpeople or *spit* politicians had any input into the handling of emergency relief, we’d see some long-term thinking. Let’s look at some of the problems that cropped up in the wake of Katrina as examples in this lil thought exercise, shall we?

Looting: simple answer—shoot looters. Kindly.  That is, do not wound and leave to suffer. This might well have a salutary effect upon other considering a career move into looting in the wake of natural disasters, but it only addresses surface causes. One approach toward underlying causes would be to require people sucking at the welfare teat to work for their “freebies.” (OK, make exceptions for the comatose, quadriplegic and other profoundly physically disabled for whom work cannot be found in some gummint project.)

A corollary of the “shoot the looters” (kindly) proposal is to take any and all Mass Media Podeople who bitch ad moan about the practice into manacles and chain gang ‘em in cleanup efforts. Keep ‘em too tired to flap their jaws.

People who are warned to leave an area of impending disaster but do not.  These fall into two general classes: those who have the means and ability to leave but choes to stay and those who do not have means or ability to leave on their own. Those who have the means and ability to leave but chose not to ought to be viewed as having abrogated their claim to any aid. Those who do not have the means or ability to leave ougt to be viewed as the focus of aid efforts.

Flood/hurricane, etc. aid: people who chose to live in flood/hurricane prone areas certainly should be allowed to receive aid from government sources. Once. People who have received flood or hurricane, etc. relief from government agencies and chose to return to the scene of their stupidity, rebuild and try for another suck at the government teat should be left to wallow in their own resultant mess.

Make the feds, by clear statute provision, the responders of LAST RESORT. Heavens, the New Orleans mayor certainly screwed the pooch during Katrina and ought to be publicly pilloried.  No, I do not mean that metaphorically.  The Louisiana governor ought to be next.  Jerks.

Tag people who refuse aid with implanted RFIDs and when they whine later about not receiving timely aid, remove their right to exercise the franchise, and put ‘em on a chain gang in the cleanup efforts. If they just bitch and moan about such things as getting a sub sandwich instead of a MacDonald hamburger or water instead of beer or pop, issue a warning with a dye marker. Next bitch and moan by a dye-marked whiner gets an RFID, etc.

But these are just surface issues (well, except for the underlying causes of looting and bitching and moaning about free food, etc.)  What’s really needed is a supercharged economy, free from external sabotage, and beefed up Good Samaritan laws so that private responses to emergencies can be even more robust than they are.

Take the supercharged economy first. The two biggest barriers to an American economy that’s truly robust, instead of being the paper tiger the U.S. is on the road to becoming are stupid, short-sighted, greedy energy policy and *spit* politicians who refuse to ditch the income tax in favor of a rational tax plan like the Fair Tax. Think about it: what if your tax bill were offset by lower costs of goods and services and higher wages?  What if a revenue-neutral plan actually allowed elimination of the 22%-25% hidden taxes in all the goods and services you purchased?  Can you say “booming economy”?  

Add to that scenario cheap energy.  Yes, cheap. Manufacturing oil for about $20 per barrel. Electricity at rates lower than today’s. Both done in a way that actually enhances clean air and water.  Doable with today’s technology.

Heck, with those two assets in place, Wal-Mart might actually buy more of its manufactured goods from U.S. companies instead of from Chinese and other slave labor economies.

Barriers? See this post, cos I’m tired of writing about the barriers. *sigh*

Oh, one other thing that might help future relief efforts. Change laws applying to Mass Media Podpeople’s spreading of lies. Right.  Catch one uttering a falsehood, on the chain gang they go.  Oh, I wasn’t intentional? I do not care. Let ‘em do their homework before spouting off. Just quoting a “public figure” who’s spouting lies? If they don’t identify the quote as a lie, chain gang ‘em. Heck, make it a requirement that any Mass Media Podperson who wants to “report” (or otherwise editorialize) on a natural disaster has to spend equal time manning a spoon at a soup kitchen, mucking out houses, shooting looters, etc.

That’d shut ‘em up.

Update: RomeoCat points to a "Squirrel Report" that speaks to my comments on Mass Media Podpeople. The usual warnings and disclaimers apply, that is: the language used is entirely appropriate, and so must be rated "R" or some such for the nancypants who can't take plain speech where plain (thus vulgar) speech is required.